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Aleah Johnson Catches Fire To Lead Lady Raiders Past Baylor

Plenette Pierson pulls in a rebound in front of Baylor's Michelle Neely during the first half Saturday.

Plenette Pierson pulls in a rebound in front of Baylor's Michelle Neely during the first half Saturday.
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Feb. 5, 2000

Box Score

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer

WACO, Texas (AP) - When Aleah Johnson moved inside, ninth-ranked Texas Tech surged ahead.

Johnson scored 11 of her 19 points during a four-minute stretch when she was posted inside as the Lady Raiders (18-2, 7-2 Big 12) pulled away to beat Baylor 65-49 on Saturday night.

"One of the biggest moves we made was when we put Aleah inside, took her off the wing spot. She really created some problems in there and got some good looks," Tech coach Marsha Sharp said. "She got some good buckets, plus the fact that she hit free throws when they fouled her."

Johnson's breakaway layup tied it at 47 with about eight minutes left and started a game-ending 20-2 run by the Lady Raiders, who beat Baylor (5-14, 0-9) for the 35th straight time.

Johnson's scoring barrage - 11 of 12 Tech points during the first part of the run - ended with two free throws that made it 57-49 with 4:05 left. She hit 9-of-10 free throws in the stretch.

"I felt confident enough that my team wanted to go to me every time and rely on me to get the ball in. I knew I had to put it in," said Johnson, a 6-foot-1 senior. "I feel comfortable around the basket and I knew I had to help my team pull it out."

Baylor (5-14, 0-9) didn't hit another field goal after Mandy Haworth's 15-footer provided a 47-45 lead with 8:51 left. Then Johnson took over.

"That kind of broke our backs," said Baylor coach Sonja Hogg. "Basketball is a series of runs. When you're on the receiving end of that, you have to bow up and respond. We did that several times, but the final score doesn't indicate that."

In addition to having not beaten Texas Tech since 1983, Baylor has a nine-game losing streak during which it has lost by an average margin of 19 points. The Lady Raiders, meanwhile, have won seven straight by 20 points a game.

 

 

Plenette Pierson added 15 points, and Katrisa O'Neal had 10 for the Lady Raiders. Nicole Collins led Baylor with 12 points, and Danielle Crockrom had 10.

Tech led 33-26 at halftime, but Baylor came back to tie it at 39 on a basket by Crockrom, which came just seconds after a 3-pointer by Collins. The teams then traded two-point leads until Tech's decisive run.

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