MORGANTOWN, WVa. – Despite opening the second half on an 11-2 run to take a four-point lead, the Texas Tech Lady Raiders fell 67-57 Saturday afternoon at West Virginia.
Saturday’s contest ends a stretch of three straight Saturday road games and four-of-six overall on the road. Texas Tech (15-5, 3-4 Big 12) ended the stretch 3-3 overall and 2-2 on the road.
Despite 20 total turnovers and shooting just 3-of-22 from 3-point range, Texas Tech (15-5, 3-4 Big 12) had a chance to record a third consecutive road win, but 5-of-7 3-point shooting from the Mountaineers (13-5, 4-3 Big 12) in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference.
In the end, the Mountaineers shot 7-of-13 from the field, 5-of-7 shooting from deep and 12-of-13 free throws. WVU outscored Tech 31-25 in the fourth and final quarter.
As she has for the entirety of Big 12 play, Bre’Amber Scott scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Kilah Freelon added 11 points and five rebounds.
Three WVU players hit double figures led by Jayla Hemingway’s 18 points and 10 rebounds. Madisen Smith added another 17 points while Ja’Naiya Quinerly scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds. Quinerly was 7-of-7 from the line.
Despite outscoring WVU 42-14 in the paint, Tech fell for the 12th consecutive matchup overall against WVU and for the ninth time in 11 matchups in Morgantown.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Tech got off to a strong start in the first few minutes scoring the first four points and six of the first 10 to lead 6-4 with 6:31 left in the opening quarter.
After WVU responded with the next five points over the next 44 seconds of game action to hop out in front 9-6, Tech scored the next four points to get back in front, 10-9 with 1:28 to play.
WVU used a triple from Smith to take a 12-10 lead into quarter number two.
Since going up 6-4, the Lady Raiders made just two of their next 10 shots.
In the second, Tech did not get on the scoreboard until the 5:39 mark as WVU opened with the first five points of the quarter.
Ella Tofaeono broke the ice for Tech when she hit a layup. The shot brought Tech to within 19-12.
WVU ran its run to 7-2 on a Quinerly layup with 5:05 to play, but Tech scored the next seven points to pull to within 21-19 with 2:18 to play in the quarter.
Tech was held scoreless over the final 2:18 of the quarter, as WVU scored the final four points to lead 25-19 after 20 minutes.
In the first two quarters, Tech managed just 9-of-28 shooting and was 0-of-9 from distance.
After the break, Tech used a layup from Katie Ferrell to jump start an 11-2 run over the first five minutes and 15 seconds of the third quarter.
The run flipped a six-point halftime deficit into a 30-27 Tech lead. The run was sparked as much on the defensive end as the offensive one, as the Lady Raiders held WVU without a field goal over the span. WVU was 0-of-7 from the floor and turned the ball over three times.
WVU responded after the under-five media timeout, scoring five of the next seven and nine of the final 11 points to lead 36-32 after 30 minutes of play.
The Lady Raiders held WVU to just 3-of-12 shooting from the floor and 0-of-7 from 3-point range.
The Mountaineers kept riding the momentum from the end of the third period in the fourth, using a triple to take a second half high 39-32 lead with 9:42 to play.
Tech answered with back-to-back layups from Freelon to pull to within 42-38 with 7:19 to play in the game, but WVU used back-to-back triples from Smith and Kiyah Watson to take a 45-38 lead with 6:25 to play.
WVU extended its run to 10-2 with five quick points from Hemingway. The run gave WVU a 52-40 lead with 4:10 to play.
Tech twice pulled to with eight points with 2:40 remaining (52-44) and with 2:01 (55-47), but WVU found a way to increase its lead to 59-47 with 1:23 to play.
The Lady Raiders answered with 10 of the next 12 points to claw to within 61-57 with 32 ticks to play but WVU answered with the next six points to seal the victory.
With the loss Saturday, Tech fell to 5-17 all-time against the Mountaineers.
HEAD COACH KRISTA GERLICH:
“Obviously, it is a disappointing loss for us because I feel like we had some momentum heading into the game. We looked pretty fatigued from the word ‘go,’ which was unfortunate. I do think that West Virginia is a very good basketball team, and they are very well coached. Their guards are really tough, some of the best in the conference. We turned the ball over too many times, and we had too many empty plays, particularly in the second half after we closed the gap. We didn’t finish well, and West Virginia did. They shot the ball really well from the three-point line in the fourth quarter, and I think that was the difference.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
• Freelon continues to play well the last three games. The forward reached double-figures for the second straight game.
• The forward has now scored 31 points the last three games on 13-of-18 shooting.
• Tofaeono scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds in just 11:25 of action. The forward was perfect 4-of-4 from the floor but was hampered by four fouls.
• Despite shooting just 7-of-19 from the field and 2-of-6 from the line, Scott found a way to get to 18 points to extend her streak to seven games with at least 18.
• She did however fail to get to 20 points for the first time in six games.
• WVU shot 29 attempts from the charity stripe as compared to 10 attempts for the Lady Raiders.
• Tech outrebounded WVU 35-30.
• The Lady Raider fell for the first time this season when holding a team below 30 points in the paint. Tech was previously 14-0 in those instances.
Following the mini-bye on Wednesday, Tech returns to action for Baylor next Saturday (Jan. 28). The game will be the All-Lady Raider reunion as well as the 30th anniversary of the 1993 National Championship.