This item originally appeared in the January 27, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.
By KYLE ROBERTS
Associate Sports Editor
For the fourth game in a row, the Bulldogs took it down to the wire.
And for the second game in a row, the ball bounced just right for head coach Keith Richard - in the basket.
"Sometimes close games are won and lost at the end with some luck involved," Richard said. "This time, the angels were smiling down on us to help give us the win."
Richard was referring to senior guard Corey Dean's basket with 1.8 seconds left in the game to give the 'Dawgs the 58-57 edge Saturday night over the Southern Methodist University Mustangs in the Thomas Assembly Center.
The win put Tech's record at 8-8 and 3-4 in Western Athletic Conference play.
"I think the most important thing about Saturday night is that we did, in fact, win," Richard said. "That's the second game in a row where in the final five seconds we've walked away feeling good. This couldn't have come at a better time. Our team needed some things to go their way so they'd have something to build on."
The Mustangs kept the game close in the first half and took a 33-27 lead into halftime and led by as many as 10 before the Bulldogs began a 21-5 scoring run with 18:23 left on the clock that lasted 12 minutes.
SMU slowly began to chip away at Tech's eight point lead over the last six minutes before claiming the lead themselves with 10 seconds left in the game at 57-56.
As the seconds wound down, Senior guard Daevon Haskins quickly pushed the ball down the floor and found Dean who hit his final of 14 points to secure the win.
"We played the last possession the exact way I wanted to," Richard said.
"Against Fresno State when we were down by two points, Daevon got the ball from Paul [Millsap] on a rebound with 20 seconds, and he walked the ball down the court which forced me to call a timeout. I told him after the game that wasn't how I wanted to play in that situation. Make or miss, if we're tied or down, I want to push the ball right back at them, and I'll call a timeout if I don't like what I see. That's the best time to move forward against a team is when they're running back, they're a little bit in disarray and they don't want to foul.
"Daevon really learned from the Fresno State game, and in this situation, he got it right out and down the floor quickly while I was motioning to the rest of the team 'Come on!' to get down on offense. It worked well, and Daevon found Corey open for the shot."
Millsap ended the night with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Dean added six rebounds to his 14 points. Haskins chipped in with eight assists.
The Bulldogs will remain home for the week, and host Boise State Thursday and the University of Texas-El Paso Saturday.
"This was a big weekend for this basketball team," Richard said. "We had good support from our fans, and our students really got into the ballgame. We really need everybody for these next two games. They should both prove exciting, and we need everybody together for these two."