OKLAHOMA CITY — Over their last five games, the Texas Tech Lady Raiders played their best basketball of the season.
They defeated Kansas, nearly knocked off Oklahoma and defeated Iowa State to open the Big 12 women’s basketball tournament.
But, no matter how well Texas Tech was playing, it wasn’t enough to knock off No. 4 Baylor and keep its season alive as its season ended with an 82-51 loss to the Lady Bears at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Saturday.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The ball just felt different leaving Dayo Olabode’s hands.
And after each shot kept falling in Texas Tech’s morning shootaround, she kept feeling a little more confident and a lot better.
Now, the sophomore forward couldn’t feel any happier. Olabode hit six 3-pointers, scored 20 points and along with freshman point guard Japreece Dean led Texas Tech to an 89-84 win over Iowa State to open the Big 12 Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Friday.
The Texas Tech Lady Raiders only won one of their last three games to close out the regular season.
But, it wasn’t just about winning and losing since Tech was locked into the No. 9 seed in the Big 12 conference tournament.
It was about moving forward.
And finding its rhythm. Enter Zuri Sanders, a freshman power forward, who hadn’t started a game all season, until the Lady Raiders faced Texas on Feb. 24. — a game Texas Tech lead in the early going before falling 76-55.
Texas Tech guard Japreece Dean was named to the all-freshman team and Ivonne CookTaylor received honorable mention on the all-Big 12 Conference basketball team selected by the league’s coaches and announced Wednesday.
Dean, a 5-foot-6 guard from Cedar Park Vista Ridge, led Big 12 freshmen in points per game (11.8), assists (3.2), free-throw percentage (80.4) and assists-to-turnover ratio. West Virginia’s Tynice Martin was named the Big 12 freshman of the year.
For the last three days, Texas Tech head women’s basketball coach Candi Whitaker was looking for her squad to show improvement.
In many ways the Lady Raiders did just that Tuesday night in its second Big 12 Conference go-around against No. 24 Oklahoma, but were unable to come away with the all-important victory in the regular season finale for both squads.
Texas Tech closed the deficit to two points twice in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough as the Sooners answered the bell each time en route to a 70-60 victory at United Supermarkets Arena.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
TEXAS TECH VS. TEXAS
6:30 P.M. TUESDAY
UNITED SUPERMARKETS ARENA
Looking for an upset
The Texas Tech women’s basketball team will have another opportunity to upset a ranked team when they host No. 24 Oklahoma on Tuesday.
But the Lady Raiders know they must play solid defense, limit turnovers and make buckets if they want to accomplish that goal.
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Texas Tech had only shot better than 35 percent from the floor nine times this season entering Saturday night’s contest at Allen Fieldhouse.
Against Kansas, the Lady Raiders finished at 39 percent from the field en route to a 69-58 victory.
“I loved our tempo,” Texas Tech coach Candi Whitaker said. “We pushed the ball extremely well. We got out and ran and got a lot of transition possessions. We needed that. It lets us get easier shots and not have to face their five on five pressure.”
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
TEXAS TECH AT KANSAS
7 P.M. SATURDAY
The Jayhawks are searching for their first Big 12 win of the season, coming off a 71-49 loss at Oklahoma State.
Kansas is led by Lauren Aldridge, who averages 10.5 points and 2.3 assists per game.
Behind a combined 37 points from Japreece Dean and Ivonne CookTaylor and a 17-20 team performance at the free throw line, the Texas Tech Lady Raiders defeated Kansas, 54-44, on Jan. 30 at United Supermarkets Arena.
Texas Tech played with a “spark.”
It just died out a little too fast to pull off its biggest upset of the year.
The Lady Raiders threatened early, but couldn’t finish off No.8 Texas and fell 76-55 on Wednesday at United Supermarkets Arena.
“I feel like we we had a spark and the we were feeling it. The energy was high,” Texas Tech freshman point guard Japreece Dean said. “I feel like that spark helped everyone out.”
Texas Tech (11-16, 2-14 Big 12) as it has often this season, fell in an early hole as the Longhorns rattled off the first seven points of the game.