Kansas State Sneaks By Texas Tech|
Amber Battle led Texas Tech with a career-high 32 points on Tuesday vs. Kansas State.
Jan. 14, 2014
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech junior guard Amber Battle scored a career-high 32 points and Minta Spears added 12 as Kansas State survived a comeback bid by the Lady Raiders to win, 72-65 on Tuesday night at United Spirit Arena.
Battle became the first Lady Raider to score 30 points or more in a game since Patrice Edwards tallied 33 against Baylor on Feb. 7, 2007. She was 10 of 15 from the field and 11 of 13 from the free-throw line - also career highs.
"You could just tell, she wanted this," Texas Tech head coach Candi Whitaker said of Battle. "She wanted the ball in her hands, she wanted to make plays from the get-go. I could just tell. So we put her in those situations. She's a playmaker for us. She's a scorer for us and to my memory; I feel like every time but one that we called her number, she scored. Just stepped up huge."
Tech (6-10, 0-5 Big 12) shot out to an early 10-4 lead with Battle scoring seven of the points. The Lady Raiders would stay within four points or less of Kansas State for most of the first half after the Wildcats took the lead and much of that was attributed to getting in the paint and staying ahead on the rebound battle.
But once again, the Lady Raiders hit a drought with their shooting after Battle hit a jumper to make it 18-14 in K-State's favor with 8:11 left in the first half. Tech would go scoreless over the next 8:06 until Battle hit three free throws with five seconds remaining before the break. The Wildcats ended the half with a 13-0 run during the Tech drought to take a 27-21 lead at halftime.
Kansas State (7-9, 1-4) took over the rebound advantage from that point and outrebounded Tech 15-12 the rest of the way and 36-26 total, including 13 offensive rebounds that resulted in 19 second-chance points.
The Lady Raiders cut it to two points with 9:26 to go but missed its next three shots on two possessions as K-State extended its lead to eight points and never looked back as freshman Leticia Romero was a perfect 6 of 6 from the field and 5 of 6 from the line in the second half. She ended the night with a team-high 21 points.
Spears said the team showed improvement from its previous four conference games and had plenty to take away from Tuesday's loss.
"It motivates us," she said. "We lost a game that we thought we should have won. We just talked in the locker room that we're going to come out and practice (Thursday) and do the little things right, and practice with energy all throughout practice so it carries over to the next game."
Tech will look to snap its six-game skid when it heads to Stillwater this weekend for a 12 p.m. tip on FOX Sports Oklahoma against No. 11 Oklahoma State (15-1, 4-1) on Saturday at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Cowgirls beat TCU, 65-53 on Tuesday night after handing then-No. 9 Iowa State their first loss of the season, 69-62, in Ames on Saturday.
"I truly do believe it's a level of intensity and a level of detail that comes from practicing at a high level for an entire practice, and this young team is not there in practice where they need to be," Whitaker said. "I think that's hurting us and carrying over to a game. So we're going to focus on that in practice and trying to maintain it and that's the challenge right now. I hope that can carry over and improve the droughts in a game."