The nice thing about the Texas Tech women’s basketball team is a number of players can score to help the overall effort.
On Thursday night, the Lady Raiders displayed what can happen if a couple of those players are in a funk, though.
Despite career nights from Monique Smalls and Amber Battle, the Lady Raiders had a terrible night shooting the ball en route to a 65-61 loss to the Lobos in The Pit.
Senior starters Chynna Brown and Casey Morris went a combined 0-for-11 from the field and had just two points. Starter Jackie Patterson had six points, but didn’t get on the board until there were less than seven minutes left in the game.
“We don’t have a go-to player that can night in and night out guarantee you 20,” Tech coach Kristy Curry said earlier this week. “So our balance is what makes us special and that’s when we’re at our best. We need to find a way to get that balance back and (Thursday) night we just missed shots.”
The Lady Raiders (1-1) have their first chance to rebound from the first loss of the season at 2 p.m. today against Lipsomb (0-2) in Tech’s home opener.
Smalls had a career-high 22 points and Battle had a career-high 12, but no other Lady Raider had much success from the floor.
Kelsi Baker had nine points, thanks to a couple of inside drives early, but fouled out with 8:22 to go in the game.
Christine Hyde had 10 points, but eight came on free throws.
Excluding Smalls, Tech was 12-of-41 from the floor.
The senior point guard found success in isolation, driving in and making physical plays.
Despite the poor shooting from Morris and Brown, Smalls said she still had complete confidence in feeding them the ball.
“Having a balanced scoring game helps you offensively and defensively,” Smalls said, “because they don’t know who to stop or double team, who to concentrate more on because it’s five players.”
Tech used the same starting lineup in each of its first two games — Smalls, Morris, Brown, Baker and Patterson — but Curry was not pleased how that starting five opened the game and second half against the Lobos.
She said on Friday she would see how the next practice sessions went, but would make an adjustment if needed.
Patterson was originally projected to come off the bench, but Shauntal Noble’s illness has thrust Patterson into the starting center role.
In 20 minutes in the post Thursday, the juco transfer had only two rebounds — another problem Curry wants the Lady Raiders to rectify.
In the meantime, though, the Lady Raiders hope to bounce back offensively and get a more balanced attack in the first of seven straight home games.
“People have games like that sometimes,” Morris said of the loss, “but we can’t afford it this year. So we both (Morris and Brown) understand that, and we need to come back and keep on getting in the gym and keep on shooting and we’ve been doing that.”
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