AUSTIN — The Texas Tech and Texas women’s basketball teams seemed to be heading in opposite directions after their game Wednesday night.
The Longhorns’ youth-centric squad didn’t know how to deal with much of what was thrown at them.
The Lady Raiders’ veterans knew exactly what they wanted to do and how to do it.
Senior guards Chynna Brown and Casey Morris each scored 20 points and helped Tech keep Texas at bay late in a 66-59 victory in Frank Erwin Center.
“We were composed,” Morris said about the strong finish. “The senior class showed a lot of leadership and maturity. I think that showed, and it helped us in the end. We’ve been in situations like that throughout the year and previous years, so we’re ready for it and we stayed focused.”
Texas whittled away a once double-digit deficit to 60-59 with 1:35 remaining, but Tech’s veterans turned back the Horns in the final 90 seconds of play.
Morris missed a 3-pointer from the corner, but Brown immediately snagged the offensive rebound and put it back in for some cushion.
Immediately on the other end, Texas’ Chassidy Fussell corralled her own missed 3-pointer, but then had her inside shot blocked by junior Shauntal Nobles to seal the win.
“I thought we showed great character,” Tech coach Kristy Curry said. “There were a lot of times when maybe some things weren’t going our way, and our kids really found a way to win down the stretch. And it’s just a credit to their character, and I was really proud for them.”
The victory puts the Lady Raiders (13-4, 3-2 in Big 12 Conference play) back above .500 in league play after a loss to No. 16 Oklahoma on Saturday.
Tech won Wednesday night because it stuck to the strengths the senior class has worked to cultivate.
The Lady Raiders looked at their best early in the game when they plucked the ball out of the Longhorns’ hands, tossed the ball up court and made easy transition buckets.
Morris said the team has been working on scoring in transition, and she scored 15 points as Tech jumped out to a 23-9 lead less than eight minutes into the game.
“We were just playing in rhythm,” said Morris, who hit her first five field-goal attempts but didn’t score again until the 8:37 mark.
Morris did hit a cold spell, but that’s when Brown came in.
Brown scored most of her points on jump shots, giving the lady Raiders an offensive weapon they’ve missed in some stretches this season.
Brown also made baskets to chop down Texas runs, and Morris’ 3-pointer at the 8:37 mark kept Texas three possessions down.
Tech’s whole lineup also rebounded Wednesday. The Longhorns entered Wednesday as the Big 12’s top rebounding team in the league, averaging nearly 48 per game.
Tech won the battle on the boards, 31-30.
Imani McGee-Stafford, a freshman, and Nneka Enemkpali, a sophomore led Texas’ attack with a combined 38 points.
The rest of the Texas team was largely ineffective on offense, and combined for 20 of the team’s 25 turnovers.
Texas coach Karen Aston, whose team has now dropped seven straight games, said she can’t get too mad at her young team because it’s playing with effort.
The Longhorns announced Tuesday that Cokie Reed and Chelsea Bass left the team because of medical conditions, and it would have been easy for Texas to crumble after a bad start.
“The story of at least, well, four of the games we’ve played in conference play is too many mistakes,” said Aston, in her first year leading Texas. “I think our effort and our attitude about the adversity in games is getting so much better, but the mistakes are still happening with turnovers and critical possessions where we make a mistake defensively.”
To comment on this story:
email@example.com ● 766-8723
BIG 12 CONFERENCE — WOMEN
Conference All Games
W L Pct. W L Pct.
Baylor 5 0 1.000 15 1 .938
Iowa State 4 1 .800 13 2 .867
Oklahoma 4 1 .800 14 3 .824
Oklahoma State 2 2 .500 13 2 .867
Texas Tech 3 2 .600 13 4 .765
Kansas 2 2 .667 11 4 .733
West Virginia 3 2 .600 11 5 .688
Kansas State 1 4 .200 10 7 .588
Texas 0 5 .000 7 9 .438
TCU 0 5 .000 7 9 .438
Iowa State 82, Oklahoma 61
West Virginia 58, TCU 50
Baylor 90, Kansas State 69
Texas Tech 66, Texas 59
Texas at Oklahoma, 2 p.m.
Kansas State at TCU, 7 p.m.
Kansas at Texas Tech, 7 p.m.
West Virginia at Baylor, 7 p.m.
Iowa State at Oklahoma State, Noon