March 17, 2005
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Ronald Ross is rollin' and Texas Tech is past the first round of the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row.
Ross, who scored 28 and 22 points in the semifinals and finals of the Big 12 tournament, went for 28 again and the Red Raiders shot a season-high 62 percent in a 78-66 first-round victory over 11th-seeded UCLA on Thursday night.
Texas Tech (21-10) improved to 2-2 in NCAA tournament games since coach Bob Knight came to Lubbock four seasons ago. Knight, meanwhile, is 44-23 in 27 NCAA appearances, but it was only his fourth victory in 12 tournament games since 1995.
The sixth-seeded Red Raiders play No. 3 seed Gonzaga, a 74-64 winner over Winthrop, in the second round of the Albuquerque Regional on Saturday.
UCLA (17-12), with its lowest seed ever on the 10th anniversary of its last national championship, never led but stayed close until a 12-2 run put Texas Tech up 76-61.
Jarrius Jackson scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half for Texas Tech. Devonne Giles added 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds.
Texas Tech never trailed in the first half, but the Bruins managed to tie it four times, the last at 29-29 on Shipp's fast-break layup with 4:18 to go. The Red Raiders outscored UCLA 8-2 the rest of the half, capped by a pair of inside baskets by Damir Suljagic in the final minute, to go up 37-31 at the break.
Texas Tech shot 57 percent in the first half (16-for-28) to UCLA's 50 percent (13-for-26), but the Bruins shot just 38 percent in the second half, compared with the Red Raiders' 67 percent (16-for-24). Many of the shots were easy ones. Texas Tech had a 48-28 advantage in points in the paint.
The Red Raiders scored the first eight points of the game and were up 12-3 after a pair of jumpers by Giles. The Bruins responded with a 14-5 surge, tying it at 17-17 on consecutive 3-pointers by Brian Morrison and Thompson with 11:45 to play in the half.
Darryl Dora's stuff shot punctuated a 6-0 spurt that gave Knight's team a 45-36 lead with 17:13 left.
UCLA's last gasp came when Arron Afflalo was fouled on a 3-point try, and made all three free throws to cut Texas Tech's lead to 64-59 with 6:32 to play.
Giles followed with a tip-in, Jackson made an 18-footer and the Red Raiders were on their way to Knight's 851st career victory, 26 shy of Dean Smith's NCAA Division I record.