Complete Effort Powers Lady Raiders to Victory Over No. 9 Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — Dig. Deep.

It’s more than a moto for the 2021-22 Texas Tech Lady Raiders.

It’s more than a phrase, it’s an attitude.

And Wednesday night in Austin, that attitude was on full display, as Tech used 23 points from All-American Vivian Gray and 21 points from guard Bre’Amber Scott to drop the No. 9 ranked Texas Longhorns 74-61 at the Frank Erwin Center.

The nearly wire-to-wire victory for the Lady Raiders (8-5, 1-1 Big 12) is the first over a top-10 foe since 2011 when Tech defeated Britney Griner and No. 1 Baylor 56-45. It’s also Tech’s first win in Austin since Jan. 16, 2013.

Tech led for 38:20 of the 40-minute contest, and out rebounded the Longhorns (10-2, 1-1 Big 12) 44-33.

The Lady Raiders were an impressive 34-of-44 from the free throw line, and held Texas to just 21-of-72 shooting (29.2 percent).

Tech started quickly Wednesday, using a layup from Taylah Thomas and a triple from Scott to spark 10-1 run that gave the visitors an early 12-5 lead at the 6:06 mark of the first quarter.

The early run allowed Tech to enjoy an 18-11 lead at the end of one period.

In the second, Texas used a pair of triples to cut the once nine-point Tech lead to just 22-19 with 6:27 to play in the quarter.

Needing a response, Tech used a jumper from freshman Rhyle McKinney to spark a 5-0 run that gave the Lady Raiders a 30-22 lead with 2:33 left in the second.

Texas would score eight of the next 10 points to draw to within 32-30 with 29 seconds to play, but a Scott floater with three ticks to play gave her team a 34-30 lead at the break.

Scott scored 10 of her 21 points in the first half, as the Lady Raiders shot a blistering 61.9 percent (13-of-21) from the floor.

After the break, Gray and the Lady Raiders opened the second half on 6-0 run to take a then game-high 40-30 lead with 7:56 to play in the three.

After Texas responded with 10 of the next 14 points to slash the Tech lead to 44-40 with 4:13 to play, Thomas and Lady Raiders closed the period on an 11-2 run to take a 55-42 lead after three quarters.

Tech really cranked up the defensive intensity in the third, as Texas shot just 2-of-18 from the field and 0-for-8 from behind the arc.

In the fourth, neither team was able to break the ice, until Scott nailed a triple with 7:44 left to play. The 3-pointer, gave the Lady Raiders a commanding 58-42 lead.

Texas would respond with a 7-2 run that cut the once 16-point Tech lead to only 60-49 with 5:39 to play.

Needing to regain momentum, Tech used a clutch and-one from Ella Tofaeono to spark a 9-2 run that pushed the lead up to 69-51 with 2:54.

Tech used clutch free throws from Scott and Gray to close out a 74-61 victory. The win marks the second consecutive season that the Lady Raiders have defeated Texas.

• All 12 Lady Raiders were active and available for the first time this season.
• Gerlich played 11 of those 12 players this evening.
• Scott and the Lady Raiders shot an impressive 12-of-13 from the line in the fourth quarter. In the second half, Tech was an equally as solid, 27-of-32.
• The Lady Raiders drew four fouls in the first 53 seconds of the third period. Combined with a technical foul that was called on UT coach Vic Shaffer, Tech spent the final 9:07 of the third quarter in the bonus.
• Scott was an outstanding 5-of-6 from the field, 2-of-3 from deep and 9-of-10 from the line.
• Playing against her former coach, Scott also added a pair of assists and had two of Tech’s nine steals.
• Tech held Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year Rori Harmon to just 10 points and 2-of-11 shooting. Harmon turned the ball four times and was -11.
• Gray drew an impressive nine fouls, and made 13-of-17 from the line.
• Her 23 points marked the 50th time she has reached 20 points in her D-I career.
• In just her second game back from injury, Hadi Faye recorded 11 rebounds and blocked three shots.

“What a great game and I’m so incredibly proud of our kids for how they followed the game plan and how we executed down the stretch. We showed incredible composure and toughness we played with especially down the stretch. We talked the last couple of days about toughness and that you can have a great gameplan and what you’re going to do within the game, but if you don’t show toughness in executing your gameplan you’re not going to win on the road. This is such a hard place to win and coach Shaffer does such a great job. He’s really got this [Texas] program back to where I remember it being all the time. What he’s done is what we’re trying to do at Texas Tech. I’m just really proud of kids for taking that first step today.”

On what the win means for the program:
“This win is huge. It’s our first top-10 win in 11 years, which is huge. Any road win in the Big 12 is very rare, particularly at Texas. We’ve been talking to our kids about how they belong in talks. We’ve played four top-25 teams so far this year and we’ve come up short. But we’ve been right there with them. It’s been a matter of putting it together to get a signature win that can propel us forward into bigger and more wins. We need to have that confidence and belief particularly when you have nine new players who are trying to gel. Today every single player believed in what we were trying to do.

“Coming into the game tonight we knew what we were capable of as a team. We’ve had a lot of adversity early and we finally got everyone back. We love, care and believe in one another. That’s the most important thing. When you have that genuinely and truly, it’s a powerful thing. We haven’t played a complete and whole game yet this season, but this was a step in the right direction. Like I said before, we finally have everyone back and we’re playing to the best of our abilities. We’re just going to continue to build off this. Tonight, is a step in the right direction for us to achieve our goals.”

The Lady Raiders return to action on Saturday when the Oklahoma State Cowgirls visit Lubbock. Tip-off from United Supermarkets Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.

The game is the second of a doubleheader as the Tech men host No. 6 Kansas at 3 p.m.



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