Texas Tech's buzzer-beater downs West Virginia men
West Virginia guard Jabarie Hinds, left, tries to steal the ball away from Texas Tech guard Josh Gray (5) in the first half of a Big 12 Conference men's tournament game Wednesday night at Kansas City, Mo.
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For a heart-stopping half-second, Dejan Kravic thought he was too late. Then, just after the ball dropped through the bucket, the buzzer sounded. Texas Tech, after squandering a 14-point lead, had a 71-69 victory against West Virginia in the opening round Wednesday night of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
"It's a 40-minute game, so play for the last second," said Kravic. "I saw the ball come toward me. I thought the clock expired, so I just put it up."
The 6-foot-11 Kravic got in front of the West Virginia big men and rebounded Josh Gray's desperation shot, setting up the Red Raiders (11-19) for a second-round match with Big 12 regular-season champion No. 7 Kansas.
Kravic could not remember ever getting a buzzer-beater before. "You see it happen on TV. You never expect it to happen to you. I let out all my emotions in the locker room," said Kravic, who totaled 10 points. I don't have any emotions left."
The Red Raiders, who lost twice to West Virginia in the regular season, gave up a 14-point lead in the first half but managed to hold on for only their second victory all season away from home.
"I would rather be lucky than good," said Texas Tech interim head coach Chris Walker. "We end up being the beneficiary of a put-back, which is great, which is rare for us, which is really good."
Jaye Crockett's 18 points led Texas Tech, which had lost 11 of its past 12.
West Virginia (13-19) ended its first season in the Big 12 on a seven-game losing skid, again denying coach Bob Huggins the victory he has been needing to tie Ray Meyer for 18th on the all-time Division I winning list.
Terry Henderson had 12 points for the Mountaineers, who finished with the worst record Huggins has had in 31 seasons as a head coach.
"Our credo for as long as I've been coaching has always been get to the ball," said Huggins, whose 723 wins are still third among active head coaches.
"It's hard to win when you don't get to the ball. That's any sport, not just basketball. But for whatever reason, this is the worst that we've ever had at getting to the ball."
The Mountaineers were assessed two personal fouls for taunting.
Other men's tournaments
• Patriot: Mike Muscala scored six of his 20 points during a decisive second-half stretch to help Bucknell (28-5) capture its second NCAA tournament berth in three seasons with a 64-56 win against Lafayette (19-15) in the title game in Lewisburg, Pa.
• Pacific-12: Jahii Carson scored five of his 34 points in overtime as Arizona State (21-11) held off Stanford (18-14), 89-88, in Las Vegas. ... Spencer Dinwiddie scored 20 points as Colorado (21-10) picked up a much-needed win in Las Vegas, holding off Oregon State (14-18), 74-68.
• Southeastern: Fred Thomas scored a career-high 21 points as No. 13 seed Mississippi State (10-21) defeated No. 12 seed South Carolina (19-11), 70-59, in the first round at Nashville, Tenn.
• Conference USA: TaShawn Thomas scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Houston (19-11) moved with a 72-67 win against Rice (5-26) in Tulsa, Okla. ... Jordan Swing scored 17 points, including a layup with 9 seconds to play, as UAB (16-16) beat SMU (15-17), 53-52.
• Mid-American: Will Regan hit five 3-pointers en route to 36 points, and Buffalo (14-19) defeated Ball State (15-15), 76-61, in the second round in Cleveland.
• Mid-Eastern Athletic: Adrien Coleman closed regulation with five consecutive points to force overtime and Bethune-Cookman (14-19) handed top-seeded Norfolk State (21-11) a 70-68 loss in quarterfinal action in Norfolk, Va.
• Southland: Dontae Cannon scored 23 points, including the go-ahead basket with 24 seconds remaining as McNeese State (14-16) defeated Nicholls State (9-21), 62-59, at Katy, Texas.
• Mountain West: Wes Eikmeier scored 18 points and second-seeded Colorado State (25-7) held off Fresno State (11-19), 67-61, in Las Vegas. ... Anthony Bennett scored 23 points and UNLV (24-8) defeated Air Force (17-13), 72-56.
• Northeast: Jasmine Martin matched a career high of 22 points, as the top-seeded Quinnipiac (29-2) advanced to the championship with a 63-56 victory against sixth-seed Mount St. Mary's (15-16) in Hamden, Conn. ... Led by a career-night of 27 points from freshman Rebecca Sparks, visiting No. 4 Saint Francis (17-14) took down the No. 2 Sacred Heart Pioneers (22-10), 83-67.
First Published March 14, 2013 12:29 am