The Texas Tech women’s basketball team showed good offensive play, a little defense and power on the boards. However, the Lady Raiders couldn’t put those pieces together Tuesday night in a 72-65 loss to Kansas State at United Spirit Arena.
“I’ve never seen anything like it where a team goes for such stretches and does something so well and then can flip the coin and not continue to do those things,” Tech coach Candi Whitaker said. “We talked a lot about that. We felt like we fixed the turnovers a little bit and now the rebounds aren’t happening.”
Whitaker feels like the Lady Raiders can put everything together when they play with energy and intensity for a full 40 minutes.
“It’s mental, really,” junior guard Amber Battle said. “You just have to tell yourself ‘You can do it.’ We can do it. We just have to push ourselves and fight for those 40 minutes.”
Battle led Tech (6-10, 0-5 in the Big 12) with a career high 32 points, scoring in double figures for the 14th time in 16 games this season.
Her total was the most for a Lady Raider since Patrice Edwards scored 33 against Baylor on Feb. 7, 2007.
“With Amber, you could just tell,” Whitaker said. “She wanted this. She wanted the ball in her hands. She made plays from the get-go. We’ve got to put her in those situations. She’s a playmaker and a scorer for us. To my memory, I feel like every time but one that we called her number, she scored.”
Freshman guard Minta Spears also finished in double digits with 12 points.
Overall, the Lady Raiders finished shooting 41.2 percent from the floor.
Kansas State (7-9, 1-4) drained 50 percent of its shots from the field.
Leticia Romero led the Wildcats with 21 points, followed by Woods with 14.
The Lady Raiders got out to a hot start, shooting better than 50 percent from the floor and winning on the glass.
“I think we came out with a lot of intensity and energy,” Spears said. “We were ready to play. I think that really helped us.”
However, another scoring drought plagued the Lady Raiders as they couldn’t net a field goal in the final 8:11.
The only points Tech scored in the waning minutes of the first half came from three Battle free throws.
In the final 11 possessions of the first half, Tech missed seven shots and turned the ball over three times.
The most glaring statistic in that span was Kansas State’s growing presence on the boards, outrebounding Tech 11-1.
In the second half, the Lady Raiders started getting the ball inside more but couldn’t finish at the rim.
The Wildcats, however, were hitting almost every shot they took.
Spears drained a 3-point goal, her first since Dec. 22, to cut the Kansas State lead to three.
Tech kept battling to chip away at the Wildcat lead but desperately needed to make a stop on defense.
The Lady Raiders switched from man-to-man to zone defense, but nothing could cool down Kansas State, which shot 57.7 percent in the second half.
Despite Tech’s hot start on the glass, Kansas State won on the boards 36-26, scoring 19 points off its 13 offensive rebounds.
“We just weren’t pursuing rebounds,” Battle said. “We were mixing box-outs and letting them get loose balls.”
Texas Tech continued to show improvement taking care of the basketball, turning it over only nine times.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Lady Raiders are still searching for their first Big 12 win.
“We just lost a game that we thought we should have won,” Spears said. “We just talked in the locker room, and we’re going to come out tomorrow and do the little things right and practice with energy all of practice so it carries over to the game.”
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