Tough "D"

Lady Raiders showed that defensively they will be a tough squad to deal with this season.

The adage that says offense wins games and defense wins championships may be one of the most overused statements in all of sports.

But the statement does have some truth to it, and with that being said, the Lady Raider's defense gives them their best chance to win a championship as was evident in their 69-43 win over the New Mexico Lobos last night.

Tech racked up 35 steals in their two exhibition games and picked up right where they left off last night in the United Spirit Arena totaling 21 steals in the game with Monique Smalls leading the way with seven of her own.

"We just practice on it a lot in practice and we learn to rotate and we know that when someone goes "help" we know to go get their back," she said. "We always have a help person to have their back, and as we were doing our defense, whenever someone shifted over, we always had a back-up person to take their spot."

Every starter for Tech had at least two steals on the night and held all but one starter for the Lobos scoreless in the first half.

The Lady Raiders held the Lobos to 39 percent from the field on the night and forced 30 turnovers.

Head Coach Kristy Curry said they want to force players to make mistakes and play to their weaknesses regardless of the situation.

"We just want to make it difficult for people to run their offense whether it's our three-quarter court, our full-court or our half-court," she said. "We're improving daily on our communication and everybody being on the same page, regardless of what the call is defensively."

Tech's defense played hard all night, but they played smart. They only committed 15 fouls on the night and never made it into the double penalty. New Mexico only shot 8 free throws while Tech shot 29.

Tech will look to keep up their defensive intensity on Wednesday as they head down to Houston to take on the Cougars at 7 p.m.

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