MORGANTOWN, W.V. – Despite a game-high 16 points from All-American Vivian Gray and three triples from graduate transfer Lexy Hightower (11 points), the Texas Tech Lady Raiders fell 64-53 Wednesday night at the WVU Coliseum.
After a slow start that saw Texas Tech (8-7, 1-3 Big 12) trail 29-22 at the break, the Lady Raiders sparked by Gray and Hightower caught fire in the third quarter, outscoring the Mountaineers (8-5, 1-2 Big 12) 24-16.
The run gave Tech a 46-45 lead after three quarters.
In the fourth, Tech took a 48-45 lead on a Khadija Faye layup with 8:44 to play, but WVU answered with a decisive 15-2 run of the next nearly eight minutes of action to go up 60-50 with 51 ticks to play.
The run allowed the home side to hold on for the 64-53 victory.
Tech did outrebound WVU 41-40, and owned the second chance points 16-2, but the Lady Raiders turned the ball over 21 times Wednesday.
COACH SPEAK (HC KRISTA GERLICH):
“It was a physical game, and we knew it would be. Our kids showed a lot of fight in the third quarter, and we put ourselves in a position to win the game. West Virginia is a physical team and they definitely brought it in the fourth quarter when it was difficult for us to get clean looks at the basket. It was a tough ballgame like we knew it would be, and unfortunately we came out on the losing end of it.”
On the 24-point third period:
“We were just more aggressive than we were in the previous two quarters, and our players understood what we had been talking to them about the last couple of days. Playing more physical and setting better screens. Being strong with the basketball and not giving our opponent easy buckets off turnovers. We turned the ball over way too much in the first half but did a better job of not turning the ball over in the third quarter. I’m really proud of the way we crashed the boards and got some second-chance points. That to me combined with how we handled their pressure was the difference.”