The Texas Tech women's basketball team knew if it kept shooting, the ball would eventually drop through the net.
Despite a 25 percent first-half shooting percentage Sunday, the Lady Raiders heated up in the second half en route to a 61-41 victory against Lipscomb in the Lady Raiders’ home opener.
“Get your feet set and your hands ready,” said Tech coach Kristy Curry, whose team shot 58.3 percent in the final 20 minutes, “and we need to keep shooting the basketball.”
Tech was coming off a disappointing 65-61 Thursday loss to New Mexico in which saw Lady Raider starters Chynna Brown, Casey Morris and Jackie Patterson combined for eight points.
The Lady Raiders (2-1) came out with a different starting five for the first time this season, with Brown, Morris and Patterson subbed for Amber Battle, Mary Bokenkamp and Christine Hyde.
Curry had hinted that she might shake up the starting lineup, but Brown and Morris came off the bench to combine for 16 points.
Patterson had a strained shoulder, Curry said, so the team kept her out with three games coming up next weekend.
Tech came out and started 4-of-17 from the floor, missing its first eight 3-pointers. However, Hyde echoed her coach’s thoughts as the Lady Raiders never seemed timid to work the ball around Lipscomb’s sagging man-to-man defense and keep shooting.
“We just had to keep shooting, because we knock it down in practice,” said Hyde, who had six points and 10 rebounds. “We shoot the lights out in practice.”
Despite the early poor shooting, Tech’s defense forced all kinds of pressure and kept the Lady Bisons (0-3) off balance all afternoon.
Tech scored 28 points off 23 turnovers en route to its biggest win of the season.
Lipscomb cut a once 23-point second-half deficit to 47-36 with five minutes left in the game, but Tech clamped down on defense the rest of the way and Monique Smalls hit back-to-back 3-pointers to seal the game.
“We kind of, I wouldn’t say got comfortable, but we kind of had some defensive mistakes and that kind of hurt us,” said Smalls, who led the team in scoring for the second straight game, “but with the 3s, that’s just having confidence in my teammates.”
Smalls had a game-high 14 points, going a career-best 4-of-6 from beyond the 3-point line.
Lipscomb’s point total was the lowest for a Lady Raider opponent since Feb. 12, a 51-41 Tech win against Iowa State.
Presley Stastny led Lipscomb (0-3) with 13 points, and Hannah Phillips chipped in 11 for the Lady Bisons.
Brown and Kelsi Baker each had nine points for Tech. All nine players that rotated in for Tech scored, with Bokenkamp, Haley Schneider and Kellyn Schneider scoring their first points of the season for the Lady Raiders.
The Lady Raiders begin play in the Basketball Travelers Invitational at 6 p.m. Friday against Southern Utah. They also have games against Nicholls State at noon Saturday and New Orleans at 2 p.m. Sunday.
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