Perkins and Pierson continued to dominate the game throughout the second half. Creighton made a few runs, but in the end, they had no answer for the offense of Pierson and Perkins. Texas Tech was able to pull away at the end of the game. The Lady Raiders won by a score of 98-70.
Tonight, the Texas Tech offense displayed the sort of dominance that fans will remember from the early 90's. Creighton ran some man-to-man, full court man-to-man, and some trapping defenses, but nothing worked against the Lady Raiders tonight. Texas Tech was able to keep the tempo of the game high, despite Creighton's attempts to slow down the game. I don't think anyone in the country can stop the Lady Raiders when they are able to push the tempo like they did tonight. Jia Perkins had a game high 41 points, while Plenette Pierson had a career high 31 points. Coach Sharp said, "On any team you are going to have go-to players, I think these are two of the best in the country". Cisti Greenwalt was the only other Lady Raider in double figures with 10 points. Perkins and Pierson were the keys to the offense tonight. They combined to score 72 of the Lady Raiders' 98 points. The duo also outscored the entire Creighton team. Erin Grant was somewhat overshadowed by the scorers in this game, but she played an important role, especially in the second half. Grant finished the game with a game high 10 assists. The Lady Raiders did a pretty good job on the offensive boards, though the rebounding intensity did seem to decline late in the game. Texas Tech was able to get 20 offensive rebounds in the game. The free throw shooting tonight should make Coach Sharp happy. The Lady Raiders made 19 of 23 (82.6%) of their free throws.
The Texas Tech defense played a key role in tonight's game. Steals and defensive rebounds allowed the Lady Raiders to get some great looks in transition. Jia Perkins tied her career high with 6 steals. Jolee Ayers also tied her career high with 3 steals in the game. Cisti Greenwalt did her part defensively with 5 blocked shots. The keys defensively were great pressure on the perimeter and solid play inside. Grant and Perkins do a great job using their quickness to cause problems for opposing backcourts. Greenwalt and Pierson didn't allow the Creighton post players to be a major contributor to the offense. Coach Sharp said, "We got better at sealing things off at the rim as the game went. That's something we want to continue to get better at". The Lady Raiders had another solid game on the defensive boards. Texas Tech out rebounded Creighton 28 to 16 on the defensive boards. They say defense wins championships, and this team is no exception. Defense is going to be the biggest key to a successful season. If the Lady Raiders' defense can continue to improve this will be a hard team to beat once conference play starts.
Jia Perkins – 21 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. This would be a great game for most players, but for Jia Perkins that was just the first half. Perkins finished the game with 41 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 6 steals. Perkins had career highs in points and rebounds, and tied her career high in steals. Her 41 points is 6th on the all-time Texas Tech single game scoring list. This is the first time a Lady Raider has scored more thatn 40 points since 1997. Even though these numbers are outstanding, they don't really do her justice tonight. Jia Perkins was easily the best player on the court. Perkins was everywhere on the court. On offense, she was hitting jumpers and lay-ups. On defense, she was forcing turnovers. Perkins was also grabbing rebounds on both ends of the floor. Coach Sharp was happy for Perkins. "She's been a huge part of what we've done, her whole career I hope there are lots of special moments for her in the next two years" said Coach Sharp. This was one of those special performances that Lady Raider fans will remember for a long time.
Plenette Pierson – Pierson was the other half of a dominant duo tonight. Pierson finished the game with 31 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. Pierson had a great night as well. The most impressive part of her game was her post moves. Pierson has amazing quickness, and a seemingly endless array of moves to the basket. Pierson also works hard on the defensive end. She seems to be in the right place defensively all the time. Pierson is definitely one of the keys this season. If she can maintain this intensity throughout the season she cold be the best power forward in the nation.