Lady Raiders down Wildcats in Manhattan
Shauntal Nobles scored a career-high 16 points.
March 4, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Shauntal Nobles scored a career-high 16 points and led three Lady Raiders in double figures as Texas Tech played spoiler on senior day at Kansas State, beating the Wildcats, 64-63 on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum.
It was the second consecutive game that was decided by just one point. Kansas State won, 62-61, in Lubbock on Jan. 14.
Kansas State (18-12, 9-9 Big 12) jumped out in front quickly after a back-and-forth start, building up a 33-16 lead with 6:58 to play in the first half. Then the tables turned for good thanks to Nobles, junior guard Monique Smalls and senior forward Kierra Mallard, who helped lead Tech (18-12, 6-12) go on a 40-11 run over the next 18 minutes and build a 56-44 lead - its largest of the game.
"We got off to kind of a slow start," Tech head coach Kristy Curry said. "You have to give credit to (K-State's) energy and their five great seniors. They came out and they were aggressive early. We got down by 17 and as many bad things as we had happen, we just kept fighting and that has been the tale of our season. I am so thankful that these kids came out on the good end tonight. When we needed to make plays the most, we made them. It was a great game, kind of like it was in Lubbock and it was an all out Big 12 battle."
The Lady Raiders were 14 of 22 (63.6 percent) from the field during that span. Mallard and Smalls each finished with 15 points. Smalls tied a career-high in points for the third time this season - all coming during wins (Dec. 3 vs Penn State; Jan. 28 vs Texas).
Tech hit 28 field goals - its highest in Big 12 Conference play and most since hitting 29 against CSU Bakersfield on Dec. 29. And had to do it without the help of junior guard Christine Hyde (out after knee surgery Friday) and sophomore forward Kelsi Baker (day-to-day with ankle injury).
Tech finishes the regular season with at least 18 wins for the second consecutive season under Curry.
"This is the kind of success that we needed to have going into a big week with the Big 12 Championships," senior Jordan Barncastle said. "We just needed things to fall our way and that kind of happened tonight. We were able to hit some shots and that is exactly what we need as we head into the Big 12 tournament."
The Lady Raiders will be the No. 9 seed at the upcoming Big 12 Tournament and will play either Texas or Kansas at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 7 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.