In the second half the Lady Raiders kept the game close until the eleven minute mark, when Louisiana Tech took a 65-57 lead. From that point the Lady Raiders were trying to play catch up for the remainder of the game. Texas Tech stayed within range until Louisiana Tech took a 78-68 lead with just under 4 minutes left in the game. Louisiana Tech won by the final score of 85-76.
Offensively the Lady Raiders looked like a team playing in their first game. Texas Tech had 15 turnovers during the game. This number isn't too bad for the first game, but I would like to see less turnovers in future games. Pierson, Perkins, and Grant all had good games. This trio scored 54 points, which accounted for 71% of the Lady Raiders' points. These players will be a central part of the Texas Tech offense, but they need more scoring help from the rest of the team. I think the rest of the team will start scoring more once the players settle into the offense. During today's game the offense often ended up with the Lady Raiders trying to beat their defender one-on-one. While the Lady Raiders have some great athletes, they can't rely on individuals to score. Once this team gets the offense working, look for the offensive production to increase dramatically. I think we will see lots of work on the offense during the two exhibition games next week.
Defensively the Lady Raiders would have had a fine performance if not for the number of offensive rebounds they gave up. Louisiana Tech was able to get 16 offensive rebounds during today's game. Even the best defense would have a tough time if they gave up that many offensive rebounds. The good news is that the defense played well in the other areas of the game. The guards had a nice defensive performance. Grant and Perkins were able to put good pressure on the Louisiana Tech guards throughout the game. On the interior, the Lady Raiders had 10 blocks in the game. Perkins had a game high 6 blocks, Greenwalt had 3 blocks, and Clark had 1 block. I really like the speed, and athleticism this defense shows. The interior players had a tough test today, but they showed some positive things that they could build on. The biggest defensive problem was rebounding. If the Lady Raiders can fix heir rebounding problems this defense could be very strong.
Plenette Pierson - Pierson led all scorers with 25 points, 6 blocks, and 8 rebounds in the game. Pierson's presence in the paint will be a key for the Lady Raiders throughout the season. Pierson also displayed a nice touch from about 15 feet, which makes her a hard player to guard. Defensively, Pierson was the best interior player for the Lady Raiders today.
Erin Grant – She may be a freshman, but she certainly doesn't play like one. Grant had a nice debut with 13 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. Grant showed her ability to be a big contributor on both ends of the floor today. Offensively, she made some great passes, and showed her ability to score. If she continues to score, opposing defenses will continue to be forced to play her tighter, which will give the offense more space to work with.
Rebounding - The Lady Raiders were out rebounded 40-30 in today's game. Texas Tech cannot afford to lose the rebounding battle against teams as good as Louisiana Tech. Cheryl Ford and Trina Frierson were able to have a big day rebounding against the Lady Raiders. Ford had 15 rebounds, while Frierson had 11 rebounds. Their 26 combined rebounds was only 4 shy of the Lady Raider's team total. This is an area that will have to improve if the Lady Raiders are going to make a serious attempt at a national championship.
Post Defense – Faced with a strong Louisiana Tech front line, the Lady Raiders were unable to keep the interior players from scoring. This problem was somewhat exaggerated by a couple of things. First, offensive rebounds led to several easy shots by the post players. Second, Frierson was hitting her outside shot, which caused some problems for the Texas Tech Defense. The Lady Raiders did have some success with double teams, but Frierson's ability to hit jumpers forced them to abandon that strategy.