Lady Raiders Defeat SMS to Advance

The Texas Tech Lady Raiders (27-5) defeated the Southwest Missouri State Lady Bears (18-13) to keep their Final Four hopes alive. Texas Tech senior Plenette Pierson led all scorers with 25 points.

Early in the game it looked like Texas Tech was going to run away, but SMS clawed its way back and took the lead.  SMS took a 15-16 lead with 7:56 remaining in the half.  The Lady Raiders finished the half with a 10-0 run that gave them a 29-23 lead at the half.  "I think the 10-0 run going into half time was very big for us.  It kind of got the momentum on our side," Said Texas Tech forward Plenette Pierson. 


The Lady Raiders started the second half much as they finished the first.  Texas Tech extended their lead to 12 points with a 6-0 run.  Texas Tech continued to build on this lead, taking a 17-point lead with 8:03 left in the game.  SMS used a 7-0 run to close the gap to 53-44 with just 4:10 left in the game.  Texas Tech fought off the late charge to take a 67-59 victory.




Plenette Pierson really carried the Lady Raiders on offense.  Pierson scored 25 points and tied a season-high with 3 assists.  "Plenette's a warrior," said Texas Tech Head Coach Marsha Sharp, "I think her work ethic and how much she wants to win has been probably the strength of this team."  Jia Perkins was the only other Lady Raider in double figures, with 14 points.  Texas Tech had a tough night shooting from the perimeter.  "Obviously their zone bothered us.  We didn't shoot it very well on the perimeter to begin the game," said Coach Sharp.  Teams will continue to double and triple team the post until Texas Tech proves it can hit the outside jumper.  The Lady Raiders are taking good shots, but they just aren't falling.  It is crucial that Texas Tech continue to take these shots even if they aren't going in.  These shots not only open up the inside a little, they also give more chances for offensive rebounds,  Casey Jackson took advantage of this tonight, grabbing 7 of her 8 rebounds on the offensive end.




Once again, the Lady Raiders' defense stepped up when the offense had an off night.  "I think we just tried to contain.  Just stay between them and the basket," said Texas Tech guard Jia Perkins, "The post players did a nice job of fronting the post."  Texas Tech will have a chance to win every game as long as they continue to play the same tough defense that got them here.  There were some defensive problems on the perimeter, but nothing that can't be fixed by Tuesday.  Casey Jackson had an outstanding game on the defensive end.  Jackson might be the most active defender on this team.  That's saying something when you consider some of the great defensive players on this Texas Tech team.   

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