LUBBOCK, Texas – Playing in front over 13,000 fans for the first time in nearly two decades, the Texas Tech Lady Raiders downed Sam Houston 68-55 Tuesday afternoon at United Supermarkets Arena in the program’s annual Education Day game.
Playing in front of an electric crowd that featured over 9,000 kids from the surrounding Lubbock/West Texas area, Texas Tech (8-1) closed out its seventh straight win and extended its best start since the 2019-20 season.
Tuesday’s announced attendance of 13,306 marks the highest attendance figure for a WBB game in the country this season and is the most attended game in nearly a calendar year.
In the victory, four Lady Raiders reached double-figures led by junior forward Jazmaine Lewis and guard Bre’Amber Scott. Lewis scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed 7 rebounds on Tuesday afternoon in just 12 minutes of action, while Scott contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds for her first career double-double.
The Lady Raiders were also boosted by the return of grad transfer Katie Ferrell. Big Kat played in 13 minutes on Tuesday contributing three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
The Bearkats (3-5) were led by guard Chyna Allen’s who scored 17 points on 6-of-21 shooting.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Using an early triple from Scott, the Lady Raiders scored five of the games’ first eight points and nine of the first 15 to take an early 9-6 advantage.
Sam Houston scored eight of the next 11 points to jump back in front at 14-12 with 2:23 to play in the opening quarter. The slim two-point advantage marked the final time that the Bearkats led on Tuesday afternoon.
Using a fast break layup from guard Jasmine Shavers, the Lady Raiders scored the final seven points of the quarter to take a 19-14 lead after 10 minutes of play. Shavers scored 10 of her 12 points in the first 20 minutes of play.
Riding the momentum from the opening quarter, Tech scored 11 of the first 13 points in the second quarter. The 18-2 run dating back to the first quarter gave the Lady Raiders a 30-16 lead with 6:10 to play in the second.
After Sam Houston answered with back-to-back baskets to close to within 30-20 at the 4:31 mark, Tech scored seven of the final 11 points to take a 37-24 advantage into the break.
In the third, Tech used an and-one from Scott, to score seven of the first 11 points of the quarter. The mini run gave the Lady Raiders a 44-28 lead just one minute and 42 seconds into the period.
The Bearkats tried to sneak back into the game, using an 8-2 run to cut the Lady Raider lead to just 48-36 with 14 minutes to play.
Needing a basket, Tech turned to Lewis, who grabbed a key offensive board and recorded a second-chance layup.
Lewis’ layup jumpstarted a 7-2 run that increased the Lady Raider lead to 55-38 with 2:37 to go in the third.
Sam Houston scored the quarters final basket with 1:51 to play, as the Lady Raiders took a 55-40 lead after 30 minutes of action.
Over the first nearly eight minutes of the fourth, Tech and Sam Houston continued to trade baskets, as the Tech led got no higher than 17 and no lower than 14.
With 2:27 to play and her Lady Raiders leading 63-49, Lewis grabbed another offensive rebound (her fourth of the game) and hit a layup. The shot gave the Lady Raiders a 16-point (65-49) lead but also tied Lewis’ career high of 15 points.
On the Lady Raiders’ next possession, Lewis again grabbed an errant shot and hit a layup. The shot, which gave the Lady Raiders a 67-50 advantage with 2:11 to play, also pushed her point total to 17, a new career-high.
An Ashley Chevalier free throw gave the Lady Raiders their largest lead of the game (68-50) with 1:38 to play but Sam Houston closed with the final five points to draw to within 68-55 at the final horn.
In the end, the Lady Raiders forced 22 turnovers for the third consecutive game, turning those opportunities into 15 key points.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
• The Lady Raiders last drew at least 13,000 fans on Mar. 1, 2006 against No. 1 Oklahoma. The announced attendance that day was a sellout (15,098)
• Tuesday’s Education Day game is the seventh-highest attended non-conference game in Lady Raider history and the second-highest attended non-Power Five game (Sacramento State: 12/28/04, 14,119)
• Tech scored 44 of its 68 points in the paint, outscoring Sam Houston 44-20
• In addition to setting a new career high in points (17), Lewis also set a new career high with eight field goals made.
• Scott’s double-double was the first of her career. Scott grabbed her 10th rebound with just 61 seconds left in the game.
• After allowing Sam Houston to shoot 4-of-7 from distance in the opening quarter, the Lady Raiders held the Bearkats to just 3-of-15 in the final three quarters.
• Tuesday’s game featured 131 total field goal attempts, as both teams eclipsed 60 field goals.
• Tech shot 68 of those, hitting 65+ field goal attempts for the second time in three games (Alabama State, 12/1, 66).
• Guard Rhyle McKinney returned to form for the Lady Raiders on Tuesday, scoring 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting. She is now shooting 56 percent from the field and 52.8 percent from 3-point range.
• Sam Houston was just 8-of-20 from the free throw line on Tuesday, highlight by four misses in six attempts by Chyna Allen. Allen had missed just two free throws all season before today.
• Tech led for 32 minutes and 46 seconds on Tuesday, marking fourth consecutive game that the Lady Raiders have led for at least 32 minutes.
• For the first time since the game against Louisiana (Nov. 20), Tech shot fewer free throw attempts than its opponent.
• Today the Lady Raiders got to the line just 16 times, making 12 of those attempts.
• The Lady Raiders have now made at least 75 percent from the line in a game in seven of nine games this season.
COACH SPEAK (HC KRISTA GERLICH):
“First, what a great crowd. I’m so proud of West Texas, and I’m so proud of how much West Texas supports women’s basketball and how much Texas Tech supports women’s basketball. I just want to thank all of the school districts for sending their kids and their teachers. I want to thank the teachers for keeping those kids in check, bless their hearts, but they were fantastic. As we said on the radio, you know, we’re going to credit the crowd and those kids for the free throw line defense that we put on Sam Houston. They made a huge difference every time they went to the free throw line. They were really, really loud and I just want to thank them so much. What a fun day for our program. Lots of records that were set and broken and whatnot. I’m really proud of Big Jazz for coming in and getting a career high. We’re seeing what she can do for us in really an efficient amount of time. To be able to get to 17 points and seven rebounds in just twelve minutes is pretty good. So imagine when she’s going to stay on the floor longer, what that is going to look like. Then for Bre to get a double-double is fantastic. We’ve been challenging all of our kids to get double digit rebounds and for it to be Bre, I think it’s fantastic. Especially because she came out a little gun-shy. But I thought she just played within herself, continued to push forward and kept rebounding the basketball, which is fantastic. Sam Houston is a good basketball team. Ravon does a great job with them. They’re very athletic. They’ve got a lot of different weapons and a lot of versatility. Obviously, they’re big on the inside and can be really athletic and quick on the perimeter. I thought our kids were a little bit hesitant early trying to attack their pressure, but I thought that we got into a pretty good groove in the second quarter and extended our lead a little bit. I thought our defense for most of the night was really spot on and we did a pretty good job. We need to cut down on the amount of offensive rebounds we allow, and we’ll continue to work on that, but Sam Houston is fourth in the country in rebounds for a reason and I think that they showed that tonight. I’m just proud of the kids for ending this little run here on a win and going into finals. Having an 8-1 record is a really great thing for these girls and for our program. I want them to just enjoy it for a day or two and study for their finals and get their academics taken care of before we get back to work.”
On having the week off for finals:
“We’ll take a couple days to let our kids prepare for finals. We have gone really hard, and we’ve gone seven days straight days to prepare for the last three games. We made that decision last week that we thought it would be good for our kids to have to push through and learn how to play on tired legs, do short scouts and things like that. I thought our kids handled it really well. There was a time tonight that I thought we got really winded and looked fatigued. Maybe not winded, but fatigued. And I thought to myself, you know, I was upset at first. I was thinking we’re not in good enough shape. Then a second thought came over me and I thought you know, actually it’s probably because we’ve been playing for seven days and they’ve been playing really hard. So, I like the fact that we pushed through that we were able to come away with three wins here in the last week. Now, it’s time for them to take a mental break , to try to focus on their academics a little bit. We’ll definitely keep them in the weight room and get some shots up. Work on a few things on Friday, I believe that will be all about us, then we’ll come back on Sunday ready to get after Oral Roberts and start game planning for them.”
The Lady Raiders will take the next week off to focus on final exams. Tech next returns to action next Wednesday (Dec. 14) when Oral Roberts comes to town. Tip-off from United Supermarkets Arena is set for 7 p.m.
Release provided by Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics