Shauntal Nobles gave herself a simple mandate in the second half Thursday.
Slow down. Take your time.
The Texas Tech sophomore forward heeded her own advice and scored 12 of her career-high 18 points in the final 20 minutes of her team’s 85-71 win over Eastern Illinois in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Brady Sallee could guess how Texas Tech’s halftime discussion went Thursday.
“Maybe not with all the verbs and adjectives,” the Eastern Illinois coach said, “but they talked about rebounding and clearly they talked about throwing that ball down into the post.”
Sallee was absolutely right, but that information alone wasn’t enough to save his Panthers. Texas Tech dominated in the second half on the way to an 85-71 victory in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament at United Spirit Arena.
Texas Tech weathered a sluggish first half to overcome Eastern Illinois, 85-71, in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament at United Spirit Arena on Thursday.
The Lady Raiders led by 16 midway through the first half and then went without a field goal for 8 minutes, 18 seconds.
The Panthers rallied to a 36-35 lead with a minute to go in the half before Texas Tech found its way.
Shauntal Nobles set a career-high with 18 points and notched her third double-double of the season with 11 rebounds.
Kristy Curry and the Texas Tech women’s basketball team remember the way they felt after losing to Wyoming in the second round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament two years ago.
“Riding a bus home from Wyoming taught us a lot,” Curry said.
It’s a feeling the Lady Raiders certainly don’t want to experience again, particularly after such a disappointing 2012 season.
Tech, which was 14-0 and ranked 10th in the country in January, missed out on a second straight NCAA tournament bid after losing 12 of its last 16 conference games.
Texas Tech will host Eastern Illinois in the opening round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament on Thursday at United Spirit Arena. The time of the game has not been announced.
Eastern Illinois (22-8) took second place in the Ohio Valley Conference behind Tennessee-Martin.
The Lady Raiders (19-13), making their third WNIT appearance since 2008, have never lost in the first round.
It’s not the postseason destination Tech had in mind two months ago, but the Lady Raiders are hoping to end the season on a positive note.
Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry said Wednesday that the key to beating Baylor is capitalizing on turnovers and stops.
The Lady Raiders struggled in that department Thursday, scoring only eight points on 18 Baylor turnovers. In the first half Tech had only two points on 11 Baylor turnovers.
Baylor didn’t have that problem, though, scoring 30 points on 20 Tech turnovers.
“I think we kept them from gaining momentum,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Baylor had already built a 21-point lead on Texas Tech with the first half winding down at Municipal Auditorium on Thursday, but coach Kim Mulkey wanted more.
After Tech turned the ball over near the Baylor bench with five seconds left, Mulkey shouted instructions and frantically pointed her players into position for one final shot.
The ball was inbounded to reserve forward Ashley Field, who took a few dribbles, pulled up five feet behind the 3-point line and banked-in a buzzer-beating jumper.
It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season, so the saying goes.
But Baylor’s third bout with Texas Tech wasn’t a problem at all Thursday.
The top-ranked Lady Bears overwhelmed the Lady Raiders on both ends of the floor and ran away with a 72-48 victory in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament at Municipal Auditorium.
“We should have beat them,” junior guard Casey Morris said. “We were going to be the ones to beat them.”
Bear of an opponent
Texas Tech will get a third stab at No. 1 Baylor this season in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament on Thursday.
The Lady Raiders have played Baylor closer than any team in the conference and the country, losing by eight and five points during the regular season.
The Lady Bears (31-0), who are averaging a roughly 30-point margin of victory, have only won five games by less than 10 points. Their close wins came against No. 4 Connecticut, No. 9 Tennessee, No. 22 Texas A&M and twice against Tech.