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Mar. 1, 1997

Texas Tech Takes Care of Missouri

By Garrett McKinnon

LUBBOCK, Texas - The No. 15-ranked Texas Tech Lady Raiders didn't play poorly in the first half of their game against the Missouri Tigers. They just didn't play all that well either.

That all changed in the second half, as the Raiders (19-7, 11-5) scored 50 second-half points enroute to a 83-69 victory over the Tigers (10-19, 3-13) in front of 6,500 fans in Lubbock's Municipal Coliseum.

The game marked the final regular home game for Tech seniors Sandy Parker and Kim Sumrall, and clinched at least a fourth-place finish in the Big 12.

Early on, the game was extremely physical. Neither team scored until Tech's Julie Lake hit a three-pointer with 16:47 to play in the first period that put the Lady Raiders up 3-0. Alicia Thompson followed that with a layin seconds later and the Raiders led by five.

Missouri's Julie Helm, the team's leading scorer and an almost lock for Freshman of the Year in the Big 12, hit back-to-back three-pointers to put the Tigers in the lead.

A 6-0 run by the Raiders put them up by five, but another Helm's three pointer capped a 7-2 Missouri run that tied the game at 13 with just under 10 minutes to play in the first period.

Rene Hanebutt capped an 11-2 Raider run with a driving layin that put Tech up 24-15 with 7:10 left.

But, once again the Tigers responded, this time with a 5-0 run that cut the lead to four with 3:48 remaining in the first stanza.

Hanebutt finally broke a four-minute Raider scoring drought with her first three-pointer, but Helm answered with her fourth trey and the lead was 27-23 with less than three minutes left in the opening half.

Thompson took things into her own hands at that point, scoring on consecutive possessions while drawing fouls number three and four on Missouri's Ekpedeme Akpaffiong, who drew the unlucky task of guarding Thompson.

The Raiders, who used a full-court press on several occasions during the game to disrupt the Tigers' offense, turned several late steals into points and had a 33-25 lead with less than a minute to play.

Once again, though, Helm proved to be a thorn in the Raiders' sides, scoring her fifth three-pointer of the first half with 42 seconds left to play and cutting the lead to five in the process.

The Raiders were inexplicably whistled for a technical foul with 15 seconds left for having six players on the floor. Helm nailed both free throws, cutting the lead to three. The Tigers would come no closer, though, as Debra Williams' 15-foot jumper at the buzzer was well short, keeping the halftime score 33-30 in favor of the Raiders.

Tech head coach Marsha Sharp vehemently argued the technical foul call at the start of halftime, a fact which would have some bearing in the second half.

For the half, the Tigers shot 45.8 percent, with Helm hitting all five of her three-point attempts, the only Tiger to so much as attempt a three. The Raiders, meanwhile, shot a respectable 44.4 percent, but were out-rebounded 20-11.

The officials called only 13 fouls in the first half, with the Raiders receiving all five of theirs in the final five minutes of the period.

The Raiders started the second half on fire, with Lake sparking and capping an 11-2 run with a jumper and a three-pointer that put Tech ahead 44-32 with 16:48 left to play.

The Lady Raiders eventually opened up a 19-point lead before a late Tiger surge cut the lead back to seven. Hanebutt ended the threat with a three-pointer, and Thompson proved that she can do almost anything on a basketball court by hitting a three-pointer on one possession and making all three free throws after being fouled and spraining her ankle on the next.

In all, the officiating crew called 25 fouls in the second half. Both Akpaffiong and Susan Dixon fouled out of the game for the Tigers.

The Lady Raiders shot 50 percent in the second half and 47.5 percent for the game, while the Tigers shot 32.4 percent in the second half and 37.7 percent for the game.

Thompson scored a team-high 26 points on seven of 20 shooting. She was 11 of 12 from the charity stripe.

Thompson was followed by Hanebutt, who scored 16 points including three-of-six three-point shooting, and freshman Keitha Dickerson, who scored 15 points. Crystal Boles scored a solid 10 points while grabbing eight rebounds and blocking seven Tiger shots.

Lake scored eight points for the Raiders, as did freshman Melinda Schmucker, her most since an 11-point outing against SMU on Dec. 21.

Helm led all scorers with 32 points, including a Tech opponent's record seven three pointers. Helm finished the night seven of nine from downtown. Kesha Bonds chipped in 11 points for Missouri, but no other Tiger player was able to score more than six.

The Tigers did out-rebound the Lady Raiders 43 to 34, though, including a whopping 18 offensive boards.

"We probably executed for 40 minutes better than we have all year. That's right where you want to be going into the conference tournament and postseason play," said Sharp. "When we put Keitha on the floor in the first half, it was a turning point. Her athletic ability really sparks us."

"I think we've had a really good week. We really feel like we're playing as good now as we have all year."

The Lady Raiders, the No. 4 seed in the Big 12 Conference Tournament, will play the winner of the No. 12 seed versus No. 5 seed game Wednesday, March 5 at 2:20 p.m. in the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. The Oklahoma Sooners are the No. 12 seed, with the No. 5 seed likely belonging to the Iowa State Cyclones or the Kansas State Jayhawks.

NCAA WOMENS BB
MISSOURI (69)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Bond            24   3-8   5-6   3-9  0  4   11
Akpaffiong      13   2-6   1-2   1-3  1  5    5
Dixon           33  3-10   0-0  4-11  2  5    6
Williams        35   2-6   0-0   0-2  4  0    4
Helm            38  9-15   7-9   0-2  5  2   32
Monsees          7   0-1   1-2   1-3  0  0    1
White           19   2-4   0-0   0-0  3  0    5
Johnson          7   1-2   1-2   2-2  0  4    3
Woehrer         12   0-4   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Thornton         6   0-2   0-1   1-1  0  1    0
Nahrwold         6   1-3   0-0   1-3  1  1    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 23-61 15-22 13-36 16 22   69
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.377, FT-.682. 3-Point Goals:
8-11, .727 (Helm 7-9, White 1-1, Woehrer 0-1).
Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 2 (Dixon,
Nahrwold). Turnovers: 21 (Helm 6, Dixon 3,
Williams 3, Akpaffiong 2, Bond 2, Johnson 2,
Thornton 2, Woehrer). Steals: 8 (Williams 2,
Bond, Dixon, Johnson, Monsees, White, Woehrer).
TEXAS TECH (83)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Hanebutt        27  6-10   1-1   1-2  1  3   16
Thompson        34  7-20 11-12   2-7  2  2   26
Boles           33  5-12   0-3   3-8  0  4   10
Lake            32   3-7   0-0   2-3  4  2    8
Parker          24   0-0   0-0   0-1  5  0    0
Schmucker       18   2-2   4-4   0-0  4  3    8
Gibbs            2   0-1   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Cockerell        5   0-0   0-0   1-1  2  1    0
Dickerson       22   5-7   5-9   3-8  1  1   15
Sumrall          2   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Tate             1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 28-59 21-29 12-31 19 16   83
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.475, FT-.724. 3-Point Goals:
6-10, .600 (Hanebutt 3-6, Thompson 1-1, Lake
2-3). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 7 (Boles
7). Turnovers: 16 (Hanebutt 4, Boles 2, Parker 2,
Thompson 2, Cockerell, Dickerson, Gibbs, Lake,
Schmucker, Tate). Steals: 9 (Dickerson 2, Lake 2,
Parker 2, Thompson 2, Cockerell).
__________________________________
Missouri           30   39  -   69
Texas Tech         33   50  -   83
__________________________________
Technical fouls: Texas Tech 1 (Bench).  A: 7,984.

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