No. 14 Texas Tech Drops Oklahoma, 83-70|
Feb. 23, 2005
By JEFF LATZKE
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Just by following coach Marsha Sharp's orders, LaToya Davis methodically helped Texas Tech keep its chances of a Big 12 title alive.
Davis scored 16 of her 20 points in the second half and Erin Grant added a season-high 21 as No. 14 Texas Tech beat Oklahoma 83-70 Wednesday night.
Davis scored six points during a 16-4 surge to start the second half and put Tech in control. She hit a pair of free throws to start a string of eight straight points for the Lady Raiders (20-5, 11-3) and finished the decisive spurt with a putback of Cisti Greenwalt's miss to make it 59-41.
Beginning with that offensive rebound, Davis scored the Lady Raiders' next 12 points. She added another offensive rebound putback, hit two baskets from the post and nailed all four of her high-arcing foul shots. She had seven rebounds - including five on the offensive glass - in the second half.
"Coach Sharp said the best way the team was going to get me the ball was to shoot it," Davis said. "Coach Sharp said, 'When the ball goes to the rim, run to the backside and you'll have the rebound.' "
When Greenwalt scored to end Davis' run, it stretched the lead to 71-52 - Tech's biggest advantage.
Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said Davis' success was due in part to the Sooners' efforts to stop Greenwalt, who entered the game averaging 13.3 points and 9.6 rebounds.
"We had problems blocking Davis out," Coale said. "When we had to go double on Cisti Greenwalt, then suddenly there was a rebounder somewhere, and we had a hard time getting there.
"We just didn't make the plays we needed to make."
The Sooners (15-10, 7-7) - playing on senior night - staged a brief comeback to make it interesting.
Lauren Shoush hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to start an 11-0 run that pulled Oklahoma within striking distance. Erin Higgins scored underneath and Dionnah Jackson followed with a jumper in the lane and a spinning layup before Beky Preston's layup brought Oklahoma to 71-63.
But Tech scored the next four points, and the Sooners would never get closer than nine thereafter.
Greenwalt finished with 19 points, Chesley Dabbs scored 15 and Alesha Robertson eight as Tech's starters combined for all of the Lady Raiders' points. Tech has won at least 20 games in each of the last 16 seasons.
Sharp said she thought her team was motivated by being one game behind first-place Baylor in the Big 12 standings. The sixth-ranked Bears beat Kansas 70-60 on Wednesday to maintain their lead.
"I think they played with some urgency tonight," Sharp said. "I think they really understood what was on the line for them."
Tech plays Oklahoma State on Saturday before a showdown with the Bears on Mar. 3.
"We've got one down and one on Saturday to finish," Sharp said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to go down there with some meaning attached to that game."
Jackson finished with 23 points for Oklahoma and Shoush had 10. Both were playing their final game at Lloyd Noble Center.
But it was the Lady Raiders who got off to the hot start.
Tech hit 13 of its first 17 shots and led 34-26 after Davis scored in the lane over Oklahoma's Leah Rush. Tech scored on 14 of its first 18 possessions - several times hitting against the Sooners' pressing zone with only a few seconds left on the shot clock.
"We dug ourselves a hole and it was tough to get out of," Coale said.
The Sooners got within 43-37 at halftime, but they were never as close at any time after the break.