Lady Raiders Struggle to Win Big 12 Opener

The Lady Raiders got off to a slow start Wednesday night in Big 12 action against the Oklahoma Lady Sooners. Junior LaToya Davis kept the Lady Raiders in the game during the first half with 12 points 1 block, and 1 steal. Sophomore Alesha Robertson struggled from the field during the first half scoring no points and missing two free throws.

Alesha Robertson wasn't the only player struggling for Texas Tech. Senior Cisti Greenwalt, and Junior Chesley Dabbs combined for only 8 points in first half with Greenwalt missing one free throw. In the first half Texas Tech shot only 38% from the field.

The Lady Raiders went to the bench early with Judith Smith, Erin Myrick, and Darrice Griffin seeing playing time.

The Lady Sooners came out scoring 50% from the field in the first half ending up with a 34-31 lead on Texas Tech. Sophomore Leah Rush came out on fire in the first half with 16 points. The Lady Raiders looked confused at times trying to guard Rush in the first half. The Lady Raiders also appeared at times unprepared for the physical play and defensive play from Oklahoma. When the Lady Sooners became more and more physical, Texas Tech lost composer and didn't slow down the game to get good reads on the defense or good shots on the basket.

"First off, I want to thank our crowd, they really helped us and kept us going," Texas Tech Head Coach Marsha Sharp commenting on the crowd of 12,167.

Wednesday night's crowd did keep the Lady Raiders going the entire game. The only time the crowd was quite was during half time, and even then you could hear people cheering and arguing about questionable calls during the first half.

In the second half the Lady Raiders came out and played like a different team Robertson came out hitting a 3 to tie the score 34-34. With that shot the crowd came roaring to life and energized the Lady Raiders the rest of the game.

"We came out in the 2nd half with a plan and executed it, we wanted to get Chesley Dabbs and Alesha Robertson the ball up top," Head Coach Marsha Sharp.

The crowd defiantly gave the Lady Raiders a boost as the crowd was not shy giving both their pleasure and displeasure with calls made during the game. A huge difference in this game was rebounding. The Lady Raiders came down with 20 offensive rebounds compared to Oklahoma's 8.

"We lost this game because of rebounding, you can't give twenty offensive rebounds to Tech and win," Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale.

The Lady Raiders also played much better on defense in the 2nd half holding Rush to only 7 points.

"This was a great women's basketball game," said Coach Sherri Coale.

Wednesday's game was only the beginning for Texas Tech, "1 down, 15 to go," Coach Marsha Sharp after the game.

Wednesday's game ended with Erin Grant blocking a desperation shot by Oklahoma. Texas Tech won nail bitter 70-64 to improve to 10-2, 1-0 in Big 12 play.

It was not a pretty win by any stretch of the imagination, and the Lady Raiders have a lot of work to do in a short time to do it if they hope to remain undefeated in Big 12 play. The Lady Raiders travel to Oklahoma State Saturday, and back to the United Spirit Arena for next Wednesday's game against number 7 Texas.

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