Maupin and Shavers push Tech past Mercer
LAS VEGAS – Powered by a career-high 27 points from Bailey Maupin and a career-high 21 points from Jasmine Shavers, the Texas Tech Lady Raiders downed Mercer 78-66 in a spirited affair Saturday night at the Mirage Hotel.
In just her sixth game at Texas Tech (5-1), Maupin set a school record for most makes in a game without a miss (13). The true freshman was simply outstanding, scoring 16 of her 27 in the second half. Maupin scored her 27 on 6-of-10 shooting from the field.
The difference in the game was a late 17-6 run that increased a slim one-point lead (61-60) to 12 points (78-66).
In the end, Texas Tech’s five starters combined for 70 of 78 points and shot a combined 33-of-34 from the line.
Other strong performances include Bre’Amber Scott finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds and Bryn Gerlich adding seven points and a pair of free throws. Scott was a perfect 10-of-10 from the line, while Gerlich was 2-for-2.
Mercer’s (2-3) Erin Houpt chipped in a game-high 28 points while Enjul Gonzalez added 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Saturday’s contest got off to a wild start, as the two teams combined for 48 points in the opening 10 minutes of action.
Shavers and Scott got the game started well for the Lady Raiders, as each half of the duo hit a pair of attempts from the line to give the Lady Raiders an early 4-0 lead with 7:20 left in the opening period.
After AmoriaNeal-Tysor nailed a triple to break the ice for Mercer, Shavers added a triple to give the Lady Raiders a 7-3 advantage.
Mercer settled into the game scoring 11 of the next 18 points to tie the game at 14-all with 3:08 left in the opening period.
Needing a response, Tech turned to its freshman superstar, Maupin, who contributed a rare 4-point play.
The shot sparked a 10-0 Lady Raider run, that gave Tech a 24-14 advantage with 96 seconds to go in the period.
Showing her scoring prowess, Houpt stole the final minute of play in the opening quarter, scoring her teams’ final eight oints. The scoring outburst allowed Mercer to close the period on an 8-2 run and featured back-to-back 3-balls.
After Shavers connected on the first basket of the second quarter, giving Tech a 28-22 advantage, Mercer answered with six straight to tie the game at 28-all.
Looking for an answer, Tech again looked to Maupin, who scored the next five points to give the Lady Raiders a 33-28 advantage with 5:47 to play in the first half.
Over the next nearly five minutes of action, the two teams combined for just two points, a jumper by Mercer.
After Mercer used a mid-range jumper to draw to within 33-30 with 4:54 to play in the second, the two teams combined to miss the next 10 shots.
The cold spell was finally broken by a pair of Maupin free throws with 33 seconds left. The shots gave Tech a 35-30 lead after 20 minutes of basketball.
Maupin scored 7 of Tech’s 9 points in the second period. Much like the first quarter, the third quarter was a high scoring affair, as the two teams combined for 55 points.
Powered again by Maupin, Tech scored 12 of the first 16 points of the third quarter. The 12-4 run gave the Lady Raiders a 47-34 advantage with 7:02 to play in the third.
After Mercer quickly cut the Tech lead to 47-36, Shavers and Maupin each hit a pair of free throws to give the Lady Raiders a game-high 51-36 lead with 4:56 left in the third.
Needing a spark, Mercer turned against to Houpt, who scored Mercer’s next six points and 10 of the next 12 points.
Houpt’s heroics sparked a 17-6 Mercer run that cut the Lady Raider lead to just 57-53 with 10 minutes to play.
In the fourth, the two teams traded punches over the first nearly three minutes of game action.
With Tech up 61-57, Mercer used an and-one from Nigeria Harkless to cut the Lady Raider advantage to just 61-60 with 7:45 to play in the game.
Needing to respond, Tech scored the games’ next nine points to take a 70-60 with 3:47 to play in the game.
Mercer tried to make one last run, scoring the next four points to draw to within 70-64 with 1:43 to play, but Scott and Shavers each hit a pair from the line to squash the Bears momentum.
With the victory, Texas Tech has now won four games in a row for the second consecutive season. The Lady Raiders opened the 2021-22 season with four straight wins.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- For all intents and purposes, the Lady Raiders started five guards tonight (McKinney, Maupin, Shavers, Scott and Gerlich).
- The tallest player in that lineup was Gerlich at 6’1″.
- Maupin is now an astounding 35-of-37 from the line this season (94.6 percent)
- Entering the day there were just six players in the country to have made 35 or more free throws.
- Maupin’s 94.6 percent shooting from the line would have been 17th in the country.
- Entering today’s action there was nobody in the country shooting at least 85 percent from the line with 30+ makes.
- Maupin is the only freshman in the country with 30+ FTs made and the leads the country in FTs percent by a true freshman
- As a team, the Lady Raiders are now shooting 119-of-144 from the charity stripe (82.6 percent).
- Entering the day, 82.6 percent would have been the fifth-best mark in the country.
- Tech outrebounded Mercer 34-20 tonight.
- Scott was a perfect 10-of-10 from line and is now 27-of-31 (87.1 percent) for the year.
- In her four games, Bre is averaging 7.8 free-throw attempts per game.
- For the second straight night Shavers set a career-high. After scoring 13 points yesterday, Shavers dropped 21 points for her first career 20-point game.
- The guard also grabbed a career-high seven rebounds for the second straight game.
COACH SPEAK (HC KRISTA GERLICH):
“I’m super proud of our team. This was an extremely late night and I hope that our fans stayed up to watch us. We also had a great group of Red Raiders here with us in Vegas. Our kids just fought hard tonight and did a good job of overcoming adversity. Our kids kept battling and were really good at free throw line. Our guards are shooting the ball so well and Ella [Tofaeono] is struggling right now staying out of foul trouble so we thought we could preserve her a little bit more if she came off the bench rather than getting into early foul trouble. When we studied Mercer we felt that we could attack them off the dribble and our kids did a great job of getting to the free throw line tonight. Both Bailey and Jazz played fabulous tonight. I’m so proud of Jasmine [Shavers] because she had a bit of a coming out party this weekend. And we needed to see her do that. Jazz led the charge early on for us and Bailey finished it off. I think you’re watching two future All-Americans and two players that will grow right in front of our eyes.”
On what her team has learned through the first six games:
“I think we’ve learned a lot about our team so far this season. We’re so much tougher than we were coming into the season and our kids are figuring out their roles. One of the strengths of this team is that anyone can step up on a given night. Give Mercer credit, they did an unbelievable job on Rhyle [McKinney] tonight, holding her to just three points. They put their best defender on her and she had a really hard time getting open. But the amount of attention that Rhyle drew definitely allowed Jazz and Bailey to step up. Our ability to score in so many different places is a great thing, and our kids are so unselfish. We’re starting to do some special things.”
GUARD BAILEY MAUPIN:
“With it being such a late game and the fact that we were delayed almost an hour and a half from the original start time, we were ready and prepared. We had the opportunity to live scout them tonight and even before we left for Vegas. We had our scout down. Give number five [Houpt] credit she hit some good shots, but at the end of the day, our defense was sound enough for us to pull out a win. Coach Gerlich preaches DIG DEEP and our defensive principles. Coming into the weekend we knew our offense wouldn’t always travel but our defense would.”
After spending the last week on the road, the Lady Raiders finally return to United Supermarkets Arena on Thursday (Dec. 1) when the Alabama State Hornets visit Lubbock. Tip-off from the arena is set for 7 p.m.
Release provided by Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics