NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -Bob Knight moved within one win of Dean Smith’s Division I coaching record when Texas Tech went on an early 18-0 run en route to a 71-56 victory over Arkansas on Saturday.
Knight has 878 victories and he can tie Smith’s mark when Texas Tech hosts Bucknell next Saturday. The Red Raiders (9-3) play their next four games at home.
“Doesn’t mean anything to me,” Knight said. “It means I’ve coached a long time. You guys think too much about records.”
Jarrius Jackson scored 16 of his 17 points in the first half as Texas Tech took a 35-22 lead. The Razorbacks (8-2) cut their deficit to eight several times in the second half, but the Red Raiders held on.
Arkansas’ Sonny Weems opened the scoring with a 3-pointer, but the Red Raiders scored the next 18 points.
It was a vintage start for a Knight-coached team as Texas Tech moved the ball patiently, shot well from the perimeter and shut down the Razorbacks’ stagnant offense. Alan Voskuil’s 3-pointer made it 33-14.
“We’ve had problems with leads. We’ve lost a lot more than we’ve extended,” Knight said. “It’s the best we’ve done staying ahead.”
Jackson hobbled off with 17:33 remaining in the second half. He returned quickly, but he appeared to be favoring his right foot and departed again with 14:57 to play. He came back late in the game.
Martin Zeno picked up the slack while Jackson was gone, beating the Razorbacks’ press for a dunk to make it 47-37 and scoring nine straight for Texas Tech at one point. He finished with 17 points, and Charlie Burgess added 19 for the balanced Red Raiders.
Texas Tech’s Benny Valentine hurt himself with 4:47 remaining when he fell to the floor while committing an offensive foul under the basket. He lay on his back for a while holding his left shoulder before leaving the game.
Arkansas struggled with its halfcourt offense, turning the ball over 11 times in the first half. Charles Thomas scored 19 of his 21 points in the second, when the Razorbacks started getting the ball inside, but it wasn’t enough.
Arkansas shot 41 percent for the game, went 3-of-21 from 3-point range and finished with 18 turnovers.
Darian Towns had 10 points and eight rebounds for Arkansas.
Razorbacks coach Stan Heath still needs one win to reach 100. Knight’s next victory will be a much bigger milestone.
Arkansas plays at Texas on Wednesday in an 8 p.m. game nationally televised by ESPN2.
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