KANSAS CITY, Mo. —
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 over West Virginia in the opening round Wednesday night of the Big 12 tournament.
“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.”
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’s 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.
“I guess there was some talking going on,” Huggins said. “They (officials) told them to shut up and our guys said something after they were told that. But the truth of the matter is it should have never happened. You can go back and look — my guys have never done that. It’s inexcusable.”
Tulane 66, Marshall 64
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Ricky Tarrant scored 21 points but none were bigger than his 3-pointer with 7 seconds left to give Tulane a 66-64 victory over Marshall in the first round of the Conference USA tournament Wednesday night.
Josh Davis added 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Tulane (19-13), which trailed 29-20 at halftime and didn’t take its first lead in the second half until Josh Davis converted a three-point play to give Tulane a 54-53 lead with 5:10 to play.
DeAndre Kane led Marshall (13-19) with 22 points and Dennis Tinnon scored 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds.
The Thundering Herd scored 40 points in the paint but surrendered 22 second-chance points off 17 offensive rebounds for Tulane.