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Tech downs Tulane, advances to third round of WNIT

The Lady Raiders showed poise down the stretch, rebounded in the second half and stifled Tulane's offense in a 69-55 second-round victory Sunday at United Spirit Arena.

Posted: March 18, 2012 - 3:52pm  |  Updated: March 19, 2012 - 12:07am
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Tulane's Tyria Snow defends Texas Tech's Monique Smalls as Tulane's Olivia Grayson tries to take the ball during their Women's NIT college basketball game.  Stephen Spillman
Stephen Spillman
Tulane's Tyria Snow defends Texas Tech's Monique Smalls as Tulane's Olivia Grayson tries to take the ball during their Women's NIT college basketball game.
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Texas Tech has improved in several key areas during the first week of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

And that’s exactly what coach Kristy Curry wants to see during this postseason.

The Lady Raiders showed poise down the stretch, rebounded in the second half and stifled Tulane’s offense in a 69-55 second-round victory Sunday at United Spirit Arena.

“We did a nice job of being aggressive,” Curry said. “We didn’t wait for somebody else to make a play.”

Curry said she wants to see more communication and better leadership during the postseason, and the Lady Raiders have started to show those signs in back-to-back wins.

Instead of letting a lead slip away in the final minutes, which was a crippling issue for the Lady Raiders during the Big 12 Conference season, Tech turned a two-possession game with six minutes to go into a 12-point win.

Much like its victory against Eastern Illinois on Thursday, Tech started to show its size and aggressiveness on the glass in the second half. Both teams had 18 rebounds at halftime, but the Lady Raiders outrebounded the Green Wave 26-14 in the second half.

“They wore us down and took over on the boards,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said.

Texas Tech will host San Diego (24-8), an 83-75 winner Sunday against Pacific, in the third round at 7 p.m. Thursday at United Spirit Arena. The game will match Tech’s deepest postseason run in Curry's six seasons.

Jordan Barncastle scored a season-high 21 points to lead Tech, one of three players in double figures. Casey Morris added 12 points and Kelsi Baker 10 — her first double-digit output since scoring 12 against Baylor on Jan. 18.

Olivia Grayson, a first-team all-Conference USA honoree and Tulane’s leading scorer, was held to six points on 2 of 15 shooting.

Center Brett Benzio, Tulane’s second-leading scorer and a second-team all-Conference USA honoreee, scored four points and took only three shots.

“When you look at Grayson, she’s shot nearly 150 shots more than anybody else on the team,” Curry said, “so we wanted to limit her touches and make things difficult. We did a great job of  being aggressive against Benzio.”

Conference USA freshman of the year Danielle Blagg scored only seven points on 2 of 12 shooting. The Green Wave, a 40 percent shooting team, shot 31.7 percent (19 of 60).

The only player to give Tech trouble was undersized freshman forward Adesuwa Ebomwonyi, who scored a career-high 19 points. She accounted for 16 of Tulane’s 28 points in the paint.

“I thought at times in both games we had a chance to go one way or another,” Curry said, “and I thought the kids really stuck together and communicated well. The poise that we are showing at times is really an improvement.”

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david.just@lubbockonline.com

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george.watson@lubbockonline.com

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Texas Tech 69
Tulane 55

TULANE 55

FG FT REB

Min. M-A M-A O T PF A TP

Benzio 23 2-3 0-0 2 6 3 1 4

Blagg 30 2-12 3-3 1 3 1 0 7

Grayson 35 2-15 0-0 1 4 4 3 6

Kautsky 29 2-9 0-0 2 4 3 2 4

Snow 30 2-7 6-8 1 5 4 3 10

Magee 10 1-2 0-0 0 0 1 0 2

Ebomwonyi 24 8-10 3-3 3 7 4 0 19

Dale 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0

Kaplan 18 0-2 3-4 0 0 3 2 3

3 3
Totals 200 19-60 15-18 13 32 23 11 55

TEXAS TECH 69

FG FT REB

Min. M-A M-A O T PF A TP

Barncastle 28 6-11 8-9 3 7 1 2 21

Nobles 20 3-5 0-1 4 7 3 0 6

Brown 29 4-10 1-2 4 9 4 2 9

Morris 38 4-12 2-2 0 4 0 1 12

Smalls 40 1-3 5-8 0 6 1 3 7

Battle 1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 0 0

Mallard 15 2-5 0-2 2 3 1 1 4

Bokenkamp 13 0-2 0-0 0 2 0 0 0

Baker 15 2-4 5-10 3 5 3 3 10

Walker 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0
Totals 200 22-52 21-34 16 44 13 12 69

Tulane 28 27 — 55

Texas Tech 35 34 — 69

Records: Tulane 23-11, Tech 21-13. Shooting percentages: Tulane 31.7% FG, 10.5% 3-pt. FG, 83.3% FT; Tech 42.3% FG, 30.8% 3-pt. FG, 61.8% FT. 3-point goals: Tulane 2-19 (Blagg 0-6, Grayson 2-7, Kautsky 0-4, Magee 0-1, Ebomwonyi 0-1); Tech 4-13 (Barncastle 1-3, Morris 2-5, Smalls 0-1, Bokenkamp 0-2, Baker 1-2). Steals: Tulane 4 (Grayson 3, Snow); Tech 7 (Smalls 2, Nobles 2, Brown, Morris, Mallard). Blocked shots: Tulane 2 (Benzio, Kautsky); Tech 3 (Barncastle, Smalls, Mallard). Turnovers: Tulane 13, Tech 14. Total fouls: Tulane 23, Tech 13. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None. Officials: Chaney Muench, Laurie Porter, Esrael Silva. Attendance: 1,548.

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Good job, Lady Raiders

Just keep on winning, Raiders. You have played well the first two games of this tournament.

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1

Great fan support! (not!)

wow, looks like all of 112 people in the stands and half of them wearing green

way to support these young women, Lubbock!!

(tongue-in-cheek)

*embarrassing* lack of support from Lubbock. totally embarrassing, and inexcusable to boot

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great!

This is fantastic! Just like the first 14 games of the season. Playing a bunch of cupcakes and never-weres' at home. The big girls are playing in something called the NCAA's while Tech is playing before "an announced crowd of 1548", which included the vendors, maintenance people, and the pep band. I for one will be there Thursday night however; no wait, that's my nite to watch the jello harden in the frig, darn! Wake me when this cure for insomnia is over!!!!!!!!!

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Proud of the lady raiders

I have had season tickets since 1993 and have'nt missed a year. This year is what it is, let's stop running them down and suporting then. They are playing hard and winning in the wnit some of you that complain about them do not even buy tickets to any of the game go ladies radies win the tourament and shut them up.

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refresher

Curry was paid $650K for the 2011-12 season. She will receive $700K for 2012-13; $750K for 2013-14; $775K for 2014-15; $800K for 2015-16. $300K is guaranteed each year with the rest coming from endorsements, speaking engagements, etc. In addition, she will receive $12K for a Big 12 Championship, $10K for a NCAA berth, $10K for a Sweet 16 appearance, $30K for making the Final 4, and $50K for a National Championship. Only in America boys and girls!!!!!!

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@johnnybart

You are a hundred per cent correct. I think Wichita is mad because Curry wouldn't kiss him.

I was certainly disappointed with the final standings of the regular season, but they are playing in a post season game which is more than you can say for Tuber and his bunch of girls.

I wish the Lady Raiders the best and if they do not win the next game, they still made it to the third round.

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@johnny@feaco

Johnny, fix your spellcheck; fecal, er feaco, I wouldn't kiss Curry with your lips! I guess as long as the girls are average or below, you don't expect anything more.

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@wichita

I guess you are really just upset because wichita state lost to ok state. I guess Wichita is just a second rate town.

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@feaco

Wichita Falls please!

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Are you embarrassed about Wichita Falls

I would think you would use WichitaFalls65 so people would not mistakingly think you were from Kansas

2
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Know what's better?

Q:Do you know what's better than winning the NIT? A:being anyone of the 64 teams invited to the NCAA!

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@running4district2

Do you know what's worse than not winning the WNIT? It's having a 7-9 football record under Tuberville.

1
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@feaco

That's what you get for thinking!

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@wichita65

What are you going to do when basketball season is over? Will you move on to the next set of Tech sports to comment on and bash after every AJ article posting? I just want to make sure you have something to do to occupy your time since YOU LIVE to be the Texas Tech sports critic via the online AJ Comment section. Tech baseball, track, golf and tennis...get ready....you'll soon be hearing from THE EXPERT OF ALL SPORTS CRITICS....wichita65. Have at it dude if it helps your day go by better!!!!!!

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@rr2007

Don't care about tennis, golf, track. Baseball is next and football will be upcoming next Fall. Thanks for the compliments but "feaco" is the expert, not me.

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@wichita65

Well let's see...you don't care about Tech tennis, track, golf, or softball....pretty sure those sports couldn't care less what you think either....AND I'm pretty sure that everyone involved in the Tech baseball program from the coaches, to the players, student assistants and trainers, etc. don't give A CRAP about your SUPER critical opinion either...but if you feel like wasting your energy to be as negative as possible by all means....I think you might just depress and upset Richard Simmons with your CONTINUAL outflow of criticism & negativity...now THAT is an impressive accomplishment!!!!

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@rr2007

Finally (and thankfully) this almost 4 month train wreck is over. You have all summer to think about next season and Curry leading this outfit to more of the same mediocrity. Thanks for your compliments and enjoy the summer!!!!You think I'm overly critical, look at the posts from last night's loss. LMAO

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