March 15, 2007

Boston College pulls away from Texas Tech

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Sean Marshall scored 21 points and Boston College rallied to knock Bob Knight and Texas Tech out of the NCAA tournament.

Marshall had 15 points in the second half Thursday as the Eagles won 84-75 in the first round.

Tyrese Rice added 26 points for the Eagles (21-11), the East Regional's seventh seed. Jared Dudley had 19 points, helping BC win its tournament opener for the fourth straight season.

Martin Zeno scored 21 points to lead the 10th-seeded Red Raiders (21-13), who led by four points midway through the second half before Boston College went ahead to stay with a 14-4 run sparked by Marshall.

Marshall, a senior who had six points in the first half, scored 11 of the 14 points in that run - including consecutive 3-pointers that gave Boston College a 68-62 lead with 8:49 left. The Red Raiders hung around into the final minutes, but they never overcame that run by the veteran team led by a pair of four-year starters in Marshall and Dudley.

Marshall shot 6-for-9 in the second half and finished 8-for-14 for the game with seven rebounds. Dudley - the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year - knocked down a pair of key baskets to keep momentum with the Eagles, including an inside score that gave Boston College a 78-71 lead with 3:17 to play.

Rice, a speedy 6-foot-1 sophomore, took care of the rest. After scoring 13 first-half points, Rice went 6-for-6 at the line in the final 42 seconds to seal the win.

The Eagles shot 53 percent for the game, including 8-for-20 from 3-point range and 16-for-20 at the foul line.

The loss ended a season of highs and lows for Texas Tech, which had beaten Kansas and Texas A&M this year but also had some puzzling losses along the way. The Red Raiders made Knight the winningest coach in Division I men's history in January, but also had a five-game losing streak later that month that put their tournament hopes in jeopardy.

Leading scorer Jarrius Jackson finished with 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting, significantly below his Big 12 Conference-leading 20.2-point scoring average. His 3-pointer with 13:17 left gave Texas Tech a 58-54 lead, but the Eagles answered with a layup from Marshall and a 3 by Rice after an offensive rebound to start the decisive spurt.

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