NEW YORK (Ticker) -- In his first visit to Madison Square Garden in over six years, Bob Knight received a rude welcome from Marcus Hatten.
Hatten came up with a steal and a layup with 16 seconds left that gave St. John's a 64-63 victory over Knight and Texas Tech in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
St. John's seeks its sixth NIT championship against Big East Conference rival Georgetown in Thursday's title game.
Knight made his first visit to New York since winning the 1996 Preseason NIT with Indiana. Texas Tech (21-13) appeared to be in good shape for a victory after taking a 57-47 lead on Mikey Marshall's dunk with 7:22 remaining.
But St. John's had other ideas, rallying for a 63-62 edge before Hatten fired an airball with 66 seconds to go. The Red Storm were whistled for a kicked ball with 40 seconds left, giving Texas Tech a new shot clock.
St. John's (20-13) elected not to foul and appeared to drop back harmlessly in a zone defense. But Hatten swooped in, easily picked off Will Chavis' pass and went the distance for an easy layup.
"I was reading the guy with the ball, I knew he was going to pass it," Hatten said. "I just tried to turn my back like I was paying him no mind and he fell for it."
Texas Tech came down looking for the win, but Chavis was stripped in the lane and the ball ended up in the hands of Hatten, who was fouled with four seconds left.
"I probably should have taken a timeout when we came down the floor the last time and if I had to do it over again, I would have," Knight said. "I don't think I have it to do over again."
Hatten missed both free throws, and the rebound was knocked out of bounds by St. John's. Texas Tech's Kasib Powell threw his inbounds pass into the frontcourt to Chavis, who misfired on a long jumper as time expired.
The comeback was reminiscent of the Red Storm's 72-71 victory over Duke here on March 2 in which it scored the final 12 points. That game has spurred St. John's to wins in eight of the last nine games.
"We won that game against Duke somehow, it turned the season around," St. John's coach Mike Jarvis said. "Anytime you can get a victory against a Bobby Knight-coached team, you did something well."
After Texas Tech took its 10-point lead, St. John's ran off nine points. Five came from freshman Elijah Ingram, whose 3-pointer with 4:23 remaining forged a 59-59 tie.
"When we got up by 10, I think it was 57-47, we gave up six or seven points in a minute," Knight said. "That little stretch with six or seven minutes to go was the whole difference in the ballgame."
Hatten scored 24 points and Ingram added 16 for St. John's. Hatten claimed that a history lesson allowed him to get motivated for the NIT.
"Any opportunity to win is golden to me," Hatten said. "I did some research on the NIT and I learned that St. John's is the most winningest team in the NIT (with five titles). That is the motivation."
Andre Emmett scored 21 points and Teaneck, New Jersey native Powell added 19 for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders had trouble with the Red Storm's pressure defense, committing 20 turnovers.
The first half featured plenty of histrionics from Knight, who was jeered throughout by St. John's fans. Knight screamed at center Robert Tomaszek after a quick shot, yelling "Four passes, Robert! Four passes!"
After one turnover by Texas Tech, Knight screamed to no one in particular, "Snap back and get the ball!" Knight also called a timeout to air out guard Nathan Doudney, using his hand to prevent Doudney from sitting on the bench so Knight could get in his face.
Just a few rows above Knight, actor Brian Dennehy sat watching the action. Dennehy, who portrayed Knight in a cable television movie, claimed that the coach gave him the tickets after a short phone conversation between the two.
The Red Raiders meet Minnesota in a consolation game Thursday. Both of Thursday's games are rematches of regular-season contests.