10 and Counting

The Lady Raiders pummeled Western Kentucky for their 10th win of the season, and there is still a big goose egg in the loss column for Tech. Story by Thomas Lott.

It was all Lady Raiders (10-0) in their 75-38 win over the Lady Toppers of Western Kentucky on Wednesday night.


The theme of the week for Texas Tech basketball was getting started fast and shutting down their opponents early as the Lady Raiders jumped out to an 11-0 lead Wednesday, and the men led the Tigers of Grambling State 17-0 on Sunday night.


No one player stood out on the night as No. 15/18 Tech did not have a single player in double digits in the first half, but 9 different players had field goals.


Junior guard Chynna Brown said head coach Kristy Curry encourages every player to shoot because they all have the ability to capitalize.


"Everybody on the team can shoot from the post to the perimeter," she said, "and most of all, we just try and be aggressive and try to get to the foul line."


A problem the team did face however, was rebounding.


Even though the Lady Raiders out rebound opponents by nearly 17 per game, the Lady Toppers (3-9) gave Tech fits all night on the boards.


Western Kentucky showed their prowess on the boards the whole night especially on the offensive end totaling 6 offensive rebounds in the first half and 9 in the second.


But when the Lady Raiders struggle in one area, they seem to pick up steam in another, and on Wednesday they picked up the defense like they always do.


Tech forced nine first half turnovers while forcing the Lady Toppers to take bad shot after bad shot as they were held under 20 percent from the floor in the half.


And who better to lead the defensive charge than Junior point guard Monique Smalls?


Smalls led the way once again for the Lady Raiders with 5 steals including three in the first half while only turning the ball over once. This is the eighth time this season she has turned the ball over less than two times.


"If I don't get a steal, my teammates, I know they're going to get it," Smalls said, "because putting a lot of pressure up top helps Kierra (Mallard) or the back post to get the steals."


The second half was more of the same story as the Lady Raiders came out fast forcing turnovers left and right on their way to an 18-7 run.


The team did it all with balance as four different players scored during the run.


What the team did not do however, was rebound. The Lady Raiders lost the rebounding battle for the first time this year giving up 15 rebounds on the offensive end.


Curry said the team's rebounding was much more due to her own team's efficiency rather than lack of execution.


"I think sometimes the ball just didn't come down in our area, I don't think it was a lack of effort today," she said, "but when you can hold somebody to 38, and then you're shooting 50 percent from the field, it's going to balance that out."


The game came to a close with the Lady Raiders on top once again and Tech added yet another 25 plus point win with the victory, their eighth of the season.


Tech has two games left before Big 12 Conference play begins when they will face the currently undefeated Oklahoma State Cowgirls on January 4 inside the United Spirit Arena.


If they win the next two games, it will be the first time since the 2003-04 season they will enter Big 12 play undefeated.


But before they can do that, they have to go out to San Diego for the Surf 'N Slam Classic where they will face Cal St. Bakersfield and San Diego.


Whether they enter Big 12 play undefeated or not, if the Lady Raiders win either game in San Diego, it will be the third straight season they will enter Big 12 play with two or fewer losses.


Curry said the team's success in non-conference play over the last few years has been due to the team's commitment and this year's team's ability to move on from one game to the next will help this team continue to succeed.


"I don't know what's going to happen," she said, "but I can tell you every day that they're going to lay it on the line and they're going to try to do all that they can to be successful."

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