A seven-minute scoring slump can sometimes mean disaster in college basketball, especially when many league games are decided by only one or two possessions.
So even when the Texas Tech women’s basketball team has been mired in poor offensive stretches, as was the case in the Lady Raiders’ 53-42 victory against TCU on Sunday, Tech has found ways to jump start the offense.
“It’s just a matter of finding a way to win,” Tech coach Kristy Curry said after Sunday’s game. “It wasn’t the prettiest today, but I thought our crowd was tremendous and really got into it and helped us at critical times. And you’re just fortunate to make a few more plays.”
Making hustle plays — such as grabbing offensive rebounds and tipping away passes for turnovers — is what Tech’s offense did best Sunday when the Lady Raiders shot 33.3 percent from the floor (22 of 66).
The Lady Raiders led TCU with 14:17 left in the first half, 12-6, then went on one of their longest scoring slumps in Big 12 Conference play.
Tech didn’t break through against the Horned Frogs’ zone defense until the 7:38 mark, when Kelsi Baker stole the ball and fed a streaking Chynna Brown down the wing.
Brown then dished the ball to Christine Hyde on a two-on-one fast break, and Hyde tied the game with an easy layup.
Two possessions later, after the Frogs regained the lead on a Kamy Cole jumper and Baker missed a jump shot of her own, Brown stole the ball and found Hyde again under the basket for a near-identical play.
The Lady Raiders forced the Frogs into a season-high 23 turnovers, outscoring the visitors 25-7 off takeaways.
Tech also grabbed 20 offensive rebounds, its highest mark in Big 12 Conference play this season. Brown and Nobles each had five offensive rebounds.
“We made them miss enough today, there wasn’t any doubt about that,” TCU coach Jeff Mittie said after the game. “Our defense was pretty decent. We made them miss enough ... but they cleaned it up. Chynna with five offensive rebounds really gave them some extra opportunities.”
Curry said the combination of forcing turnovers and crashing the offensive glass was what made the difference when Tech couldn’t work the ball inside against TCU’s zone and missed a season-high 19 shots (7 of 26) from beyond the 3-point line.
With No. 1 Baylor coming to town at 7 p.m. Wednesday, the Lady Raiders will need to get those hustle points against the conference’s top scoring defense and top defensive player, Brittney Griner.
“It wasn’t our best shooting day,” Curry said, “and that’s something that we’ve been doing a better job with from the foul line and the field, but when you can control those other two statistics, it shows you right there that your heart’s on your business and that’s all you can ask.”
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