Strong Effort Powers Texas Tech past No. 25 Texas
LUBBOCK, Texas – Make it a three-peat!
Behind 28 points from Bre’Amber Scott and another 13-point performance from freshman Jasmine Shavers, the Texas Tech Lady Raiders downed No. 25 Texas, 68-64 in front of a juiced up crowd of 5,604.
With the victory, Texas Tech (15-4, 3-3 Big 12) has now recorded a win over UT in three consecutive seasons for just the fourth time in program history, while Coach Krista Gerlich joined her mentor Marsha Sharp and Kristy Curry as the only three head coaches in Tech history to defeat UT in three straight years.
As has been the key all season long, Tech won the points in the paint, 24-22. The Lady Raiders are now 14-0 when holding teams to under 30 points in the paint.
Another key stat on Wednesday came in free-throws. Tech shot 22-of-30 while UT shot just 2-of-6. Tech improved to 6-0 when hitting 20+ free throws and have now made 20 in back-to-back games.
In the end, Tech did not trail over the final 29:26 of play. UT’s final lead of the ballgame came with 9:35 to go in the second.
Tech has now won back-to-back Big 12 games for the first time since the 2020-21 season and improves to 3-3 in Big 12 play for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
Texas placed three in double figures led by DePaul transfer Sonya Morris who dropped 17 points. Preseason All-American Rori Harmon added 12 points, nine assists and six rebounds while National Player of the Week Shaylee Gonzales managed just 10 points on 13 shots.
Gonzales scored seven of her 10 in the first half and was named USBWA Player of the Week earlier this week after the Horns defeated then No. 25 KU and No. 15 Iowa State.
By virtue of tonight’s victory, Tech sits at 15-4 through 19 games and has defeated three top-25 NET teams: Texas (10), Middle Tennessee (16) and Colorado (21).
HOW IT HAPPENED:
For the first time at home in Big 12 play the Lady Raiders got off to a strong start, scoring the games’ first five points on layups from Tatum Veitenheimer and Scott. The first layup from Veitenheimer was an and-one.
Down 5-0 just 75 seconds into the ballgame, Texas used four quick points from Gonzales to score the games’ next six points. The 6-0 run gave the Horns a 6-5 lead with 7:11 to go in the quarter.
After a pair of free throws from Scott gave Tech a 7-6 lead with 5:54 to play, UT scored nine of the next 10 points to race out to a 15-9 lead with 1:33 to play in the quarter.
Needing a response, Tech scored the quarters final four points and the first five of the second period. The 11-0 run featured seven points from Scott.
After Texas answered with a bucket to pull to within 20-17 with 6:04 to play in the period, the Lady Raiders scored six of the next eight points to a take a then game-high 26-19 lead. Dating back to the 11-0 run, Tech’s scoring spurt ran as high as 17-4.
As good teams tend to do, Texas worked its way back into the ballgame, using a triple from Gonzales to cap a 6-0 run that cut the Tech advantage to just 26-25 with 3:34 to play in the first half.
Tech used a pair of free throws from Shavers with 1:58 left to kickstart a 4-2 run that extended the Lady Raider lead to 30-27 at the break.
Following halftime, Tech found yet another clutch run, this time scoring the next seven points. With the score 37-27 in favor of Tech, the Horns used a timeout just 1:55 into the third.
UT found a way to score the games’ next six points to cut the Tech lead to just 37-33, but a clutch 3-pointer from Scott sparked a 6-2 run that gave Tech a 43-35 lead with 4:50 left in the third.
As they did most of the night, Texas continued to nip at Tech’s heels, scoring 10 of the next 12 points to get to within 48-45 at the end of three periods.
Much like the first three periods, Tech got off to another strong start in the fourth, using a layup from Shavers and a triple from Gerlich to score five of the first seven points of the quarter.
Tech’s 5-2 run brought the lead back up to 53-47 with 8:15 to play.
After Texas used a triple from Morris to claw back to within 53-50 with 7:09 left, Tech used five quick points to race back out in front, 58-50 with 6:14 to play.
Looking to try and steal one on the road, UT went to the line with 2:41 to play and had the chance to tie the game at 61, but the Horns made just one-of-two.
On the ensuing Tech possession, Freelon scored her most important bucket as a Lady Raider when she nailed a jumper with 1:48 left. The shot gave Tech a 63-60 lead.
After UT answered with a second-chance layup to pull to within 63-62, Shavers was fouled with exactly one minute to play. The guard sank both attempts to give Tech a 64-62 lead.
Texas missed its last and final chance to tie the game when a Morris 3-pointer fell into the arms of Katie Ferrell. The rebound was her fourth of the game.
Tech used two more free throws and one last stop to close out their first AP Top-25 victory of the season and third straight ranked win over its rival.
COACH SPEAK (HEAD COACH KRISTA GERLICH):
“What a great win for our team, for our program, for our community and for our fans. I can’t thank our fans enough for the atmosphere that they created tonight, and I just want to encourage them to continue to come out. These girls are going to fight and going to fight for 40 minutes, and they are going to compete with anybody in the country. The support tonight certainly put us over and made us really dig deep to find a way to win. I’m just proud of these kids and their composure. They just had such great poise and great composure. You know they were outsized at times and that didn’t matter. We had some broken plays at times but found a way to get to the free-throw line. They just executed the game plan to a tee, and everybody performed their roles, whatever we asked them to do. They’re all being so selfless right now, it’s fantastic, I’m just super proud of them. I’m just so happy we got a win like that in our home court because they’ve deserved it with how we’ve been playing.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
• With the win, Tech improved to .500 in the Big 12 for the first time since the 2016-17 when Tech started 3-2.
• Texas coach Vic Schafer has just 23 losses in 86 games at UT. Three are to Gerlich and the Lady Raiders.
• All three of Tech’s wins over UT have come with the Horns ranked inside the top-25.
• Scott raised her overall points per game average to 16.9 points after becoming the first Lady Raider since Vivian Gray to notch 20+ points in five straight games. Gray scored 20+ in six straight last season (Feb. 5-19).
• Tech improves to 13-3 when Scott plays in a game this season and to 5-1 when she scores at least 20.
• After missing the home game against UT last year, Scott improves to 2-0 against her former coach after scoring 21 in Tech’s win in Austin last season.
• Scott has now scored 147 points (24.5) in six conference games.
• Tech snapped a two-game losing streak at home and has now won 3-of-4 since starting 0-2. Baylor ironically won the Big 12 last season when starting 0-2 after winning 15-of-16 games.
• Tech’s 15 overall wins are tied with Oklahoma for the most in the Big 12 this season.
• UT shot just 6-of-23 from behind the 3-point arc, marking the third time in six games that an opponent has shot 27 percent or lower against the Lady Raiders.
• In fact, Tech has allowed just one Big 12 team (TCU) to shoot better than 33.5 percent.
• Tech won a game when getting outshot (percent wise) by its opponent for the third time this season. Tech was previously 0-23 in those instances under Gerlich.
• In addition to improving to 6-0 when hitting 20+ from the line, Tech is now 8-1 when hitting at least 15 from the stripe.
• Former Lady Raider Khadija “Hadi” Faye scored just one point in nine minutes and 45 seconds of action. Faye was 0-of-2 from the floor.
• Tech forced Harmon to take 19 shot attempts to reach double figures tonight. Harmons’ 19 attempts are the most she’s had this season.
• Minus DeYonna Gaston who shot 4-of-6, UT’s four starters combined to shoot 17-of-44, scoring just 40 points.
• Those four starters (Harmon, Faye, Gonzales and Morris) shot just 5-of-20 from distance.
• In addition to her 12 points, Freelon also grabbed seven boards in her 23 minutes of action.
The road calls the Lady Raiders again as they look to make it three straight wins overall and three straight road wins when they head to West Virginia on Saturday. Tip-off from the WVU Coliseum is set for Noon (CT).
Release provided by Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics