LUBBOCK — Any coach will tell you that every win is a much-needed win.
But count this one as a "much-needed, resume-building" win for Texas Tech.
The Lady Raiders led by as many as 19 points and held off a late comeback bid to beat No. 20 Iowa State, 61-50 at United Spirit Arena on Wednesday night.
"We thought tonight was a must-win, as a staff," Texas Tech head coach Kristy Curry said. "We haven't been to this point. We're in the process of educating (the team) about where we're at, the situation we've gotten ourselves into and understanding our (NCAA Tournament) resume."
It was the first win over a top 25 team since the Lady Raiders beat No. 15 Oklahoma State in Stillwater last season.
Tech (18-7, 5-6 Big 12) got out to a hot start behind leading scorer Kierra Mallard, who hit her first nine shots to score 19 points and help the Lady Raiders take a 22-5 lead with 11:01 remaining before the break.
The Lady Raiders hit six 3-pointers in the first half and gave up just two turnovers while scoring 12 points off Iowa State's seven mistakes.
Casey Morris' 3-pointer after the break gave Tech its biggest lead, 42-23, but then things began to go south.
Iowa State (17-8, 5-6) put together a 19-5 run while the Lady Raiders went nine minutes without a field goal and would not get another basket from Mallard the remainder of the game.
Mallard ended up as the team's top scorer but it was Christine Hyde that made the biggest contribution throughout the night and especially in the end.
Hyde was given the task of guarding Iowa State sharpshooter Kelsey Bolte, who came into Wednesday night's game averaging more than 18 points and shooting 46 percent from 3-point land. She ended the game just 1 of 8 from the field and scored a season-low five points. Then Hyde got into foul trouble and needed to stay collected to help Tech finish the game.
She went on to score 11 of Tech's last 13 points to secure the win.
"It was unbelievable," Curry said. "I got a little nervous when she got that fourth foul but I felt like she was really smart down the stretch. She was aggressive defensively with the fouls even without letting it affect her offense."