FORT WORTH – Powered by clutching shooting from the free-throw line, and a couple of key defensive plays, the Texas Tech Lady Raiders downed TCU, 78-70 Saturday afternoon at Scholmier Arena.
Over the final nearly three minutes of action, Texas Tech (13-3, 1-2 Big 12) used clutch 8-of-10 shooting and two strong defensive plays to close out the road win.
With the Lady Raiders up 66-65, both teams were whistled for technical fouls. After TCU (6-8, 0-3 Big 12) knocked down a pair, Bailey Maupin stepped to the line and calmy sank both of Tech’s attempts.
On the ensuing Tech possession, forward Ella Tofaeono connected on a layup that gave her team a 70-67 lead with 2:41 to play.
TCU was fouled on its next offensive possession and made one of two to draw to within 70-68 with 2:20 to play.
Tech once again found its way to the free throw line on the next possession, as Bryn Gerlich nailed a pair to give the Lady Raiders a commanding 72-68 advantage with 2:10 to play.
Tofaeono contributed maybe the most important defensive play of the ball game when she blocked a Horned Frog layup. The post secured the rebound giving Tech the ball back with 1:55 to play. The forward was fouled 20 seconds later hitting one-of-two to extend the Tech lead to 73-68.
After the two teams traded defensive stops, a Gerlich driving layup with 51 seconds to go gave Tech a 75-68 advantage.
In the end, Tech rode the momentum to closeout a 78-70 victory.
Guard Bre’Amber Scott finished as Tech’s leading scorer on her 24th Birthday, scoring 20 points while Gerlich finished with 16. Maupin was Tech’s third player in double figures, as the freshman finished with 14 points.
Tomi Taiwo finished with a game-high 33 points for TCU while Lucy Ibeh finished with 13 points on perfect 5-of-5 shooting.
In the end, Saturday’s Tech win featured 20 lead changes as the game was tied 15 different times. After heading into the break trailing 31-30, Tech outscored TCU 48-39 in the second half.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Powered by a triple from Scott, the Lady Raiders scored the game’s first five points and seven of the first 11 to take a 7-4 lead with 6:13 to play.
TCU would respond however scoring the next six points and nine of the next 11 to take their largest lead of the ballgame (13-9) with 2:33 to play.
Needing a response, Tech used a Tatum Veitenheimer triple to spark a 5-0 run that gave the Lady Raiders a 14-13 lead with 58 ticks to play in the opening quarter. Veitenheimer has now hit all five of her attempts from 3-point range this season.
TCU used a triple to quickly hop back in front 16-14 with 34 seconds left in the period, but a pair of Gerlich free throws tied the game at 16 at the end of 10 minutes to play.
Much like the opening quarter, Tech scored the first five points of the second, before TCU answered back with seven of the next nine points to tie the game at 23-all with 4:04 to play until halftime.
An and-one from Scott gave Tech a 26-23 advantage with just over three minutes to play in the second, but TCU used a triple from Tamo to spark an 8-2 run that put them on top 31-28.
Tech answered with a Maupin jumper to close to within 31-30 at the break.
In the opening 20 minutes, Scott scored 11 of her 20 points while Talwo scored 17 of her 30 behind clutch 5-of-7 shooting from distance.
During the first 20 minutes TCU, shot 12-of-27 from the field and 7-of-14 from deep.
In the third, Tech scored four of the first seven points of the period to tie the game at 34-all with 8:19 to play.
After TCU regained the lead on Taiwo’s sixth triple of the night, Tech used a clutch and-one from Gerlich to close a 9-3 run that gave the Lady Raiders a 43-40 lead with 15 minutes to play in the ballgame.
TCU quickly answered with the next four points to go ahead 44-43, before a Maupin triple sparked a 7-0 run that gave the Lady Raiders a 50-44 advantage with 65 seconds to play in the third.
TCU scored the final three points of the third to cut the Tech in half heading to the fourth.
In the fourth, Maupin answered a TCU layup to give the Lady Raiders a 53-49 advantage with 8:53 to play in the game.
Looking to seize control, TCU scored eight of the next 10 points to regain the lead at 57-55 with 7:42 to play. The final three of the eight point surge came on Taiwo’s seventh triple of the night.
As they did the entire night, Tech responded, using a bucket from Jazmaine Lewis to spark an 8-2 run that gave Tech a 63-58 lead with 5:47 to play.
After TCU scored the next seven to take a 65-63 lead, Tech used a driving layup from Gerlich to tie the game at 65-65 with 3:43 to play.
On the ensuing TCU possession, Tech got a stop setting the stage for the Lady Raiders to take the lead when Scott hit from the free throw line. The make gave Tech a 66-65 lead.
Scott came up with a clutch defensive play on the next TCU possession when she recorded a steal. Racing up the floor in a fast break situation, Scott was whistled for an offensive foul for swinging her elbow.
Upon review the referees called coinciding technical fouls. The technical on Tech was called on Scott, who was promptly ejected for receiving her second technical of the ballgame.
As mentioned prior, both teams hit a pair from the line, giving Tech a 68-67 lead.
The two free throws made by Maupin served as a turning point, as the Lady Raiders used the shots to close the game on a 12-3 surge.
COACH SPEAK (HC KRISTA GERLICH):
“It’s never a boring game when we play TCU. We always going down to the wire and there’s always a lot of excitement. Tonight, we played in front of a great crowd and I appreciate all the Red Raiders here in Dallas-Fort Worth for coming out and wearing their red and giving us that boost on the road. That was fantastic. I’m super proud of our girls and just how hard they fought and how much adversity we overcame to win the ballgame. It came down to the wire and I knew TCU was going to play well. They have a lot of weapons and Taiwo really shot the 3-ball well. We had a hard time trying to find her. But I was proud of the way our kids finished the game out. We had so many people that had to finish the game out for us and come off the bench after sitting. It was a great game. Bryn’s leadership down the stretch and big plays she made speaks to her experience and leadership.”
GUARD BRYN GERLICH:
“We’re asking a lot of underclassmen to play key roles. My role as a leader is to keep everyone calm. I don’t always do a good job of keeping myself calm, but just keeping everyone calm is part of being a leader. When we show that we believe in one another is when we play our best. I’m really taking pride in that being my role.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
• Tech recorded more than 15 turnovers for the 12th consecutive game.
• The Lady Raiders are now 12-1 this season when forcing more than 15 turnovers.
• On her 24th Birthday, Scott scored 20 points, marking her second consecutive 20-point outing.
• The Lady Raiders shot an impressive 21-of-24 from the charity stripe (87.5 percent).
• After going a perfect 8-of-8 from the line in the first quarters, Tech shot 13-of-16
• After going a perfect 8-of-8 from the line in the first three quarters, Tech shot 13-of-16 in the final period (81.3 percent)
• Tech outscored TCU 21-14 from the line, as the Frogs shot just 14-of-26 from the line.
• In addition to her 16 point performance, Gerlich also had seven rebounds and five assists. The
fourth of her five assists was her 300th career.
• Maupin was an efficient 2-of-3 from three and was 4-of-4 from the line. The guard reached double figures for the first time since Dec. 22 and for the 10th time this season
• With her perfect 4-of-4 shooting, Maupin is shooting 49-of-54 from the line for the season (90.7 percent).
• Tech outscored TCU 36-24 in the paint tonight.
• The Lady Raiders are 13-0 when allowing 30 or fewer points in the paint.
The Lady Raiders return to action on Wednesday night when No. 17 Oklahoma visits United Submarkets Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 PM.
Release provided by Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics