The Texas Tech Lady Raiders (29-5) advanced to the Elite 8 with a dominating victory over the New Mexico Lobos (24-9). Senior forward Plenette Pierson scored 16 points to lead the Lady Raiders to victory. Texas Tech will face number one seed Duke in the Regional Finals Monday night.
This game got off to a slow start, but midway through the first half, the Lady Raiders turned up the heat on New Mexico.Texas Tech finished the first half with an 18-0 run to finish the half.This run gave the Lady Raiders a 41-19 lead at the half.
New Mexico had slightly more success in the second half, but it was simply too late for it to matter.The Lady Raiders entered the half with a 22 point lead, which they maintained for the entire second half.The Lady Raiders outscored New Mexico 30-29 in the second half to take a 71-48 victory.
New Mexico chose to use a man-to-man defense for the first half, and the Lady Raiders made them pay for it.Only a handful of teams are athletic enough to successfully use a man-to-man defense against Texas Tech, and New Mexico isn't one of them.The Lady Raiders used their athleticism to pick apart the New Mexico defense.Plenette Pierson led the way with 16 points.Jia Perkins and Jolee Ayers both scored 12 points in the game.Erin Grant had another impressive game, though her numbers don't do it justice.Grant led the Lady Raiders with great poise, in a very hostile environment.This was the most impressive offensive performance of the Red Raiders in this year's tournament.While it was nice to see this kind of production, there is still some concern about how the Lady Raiders will handle zone defenses.If Texas Tech continues to play with the same aggression they showed in the first half, their offense could be unstoppable.
The Lady Raiders played a dominant defensive game tonight.The best example of this defense was when Texas Tech held New Mexico scoreless for the final of the first half.While the Lady Raiders have had some impressive defensive performances, that might have been their most impressive defensive effort of the season.That defensive stand allowed Texas Tech to take a controlling lead that they would never relinquish.If Texas Tech continues to play this type of defense, they will have a chance to win the National Championship.