Texas Upsets No. 6 Lady Raiders, 68-50|
March 9, 2000
By STEVE BRISENDINE
KANSAS CITY, Mo.- Let Texas Tech worry about Edwina Brown. That just opened things up for JoRuth Woods and Brown's other Texas teammates. Woods scored 17 points Thursday night and three other players reached double figures as sixth-seeded Texas continued its run of upsets in the Big 12 tournament with a 68-50 semifinal victory over No. 6 Texas Tech.
"I think it all comes down to the word `team,"' said Texas coach Jody Conradt, whose team earned its second victory over a ranked opponent in as many days.
"This is what you dream about as a coach. "I think the thing that I am happiest about is that this team finally believes in themselves," Conradt said. "I have to probably say that there are a lot of other people that believe in them now, too."
Texas (21-11), which beat No. 18 Oklahoma 71-68 in Wednesday's quarterfinals, plays No. 10 Iowa State in Saturday's championship game.
Before this year, no sixth seed had even made the semifinals. The Longhorns are trying for their first conference tournament championship since 1994, when they beat Texas Tech 71-69 for the Southwest Conference title.
"Coming into this game, I thought we might be a little winded or get a little tired, but I think our adrenalin was going too fast to even think about being tired," forward Tracy Cook said. "That really carried us, and I think it will Saturday."
Brown, who came into the game averaging 21.6 points per game, wasn't shut out Thursday night. She offset eight turnovers with 14 points and nine assists.
"I wouldn't say that I mapped it out this way, but I knew my time had to come and it showed up at a good time," Brown said. "This caps my career."
Tai Dillard added a career-high 13 points and freshman Alisha Sare had 10 for Texas. Dillard also had eight rebounds, another career high, as Texas outboarded the second-seeded Red Raiders 41-25.
"It's (rebounding) something we've always relied on," said Keitha Dickerson, who led Texas Tech with 19 points - 13 in the first half - and eight rebounds. "We usually do a better job of boxing out and grabbing rebounds, but they had the edge and it showed."
Texas Tech (25-4), the two-time defending tournament champion, shot just 34 percent (17-for-50) from the floor and managed only one field goal in the final 12 1/2 minutes. The Longhorns shot 30-for-60, 50 percent.
Woods' 18-footer at the buzzer gave Texas a 40-29 halftime lead, and she added five points in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second half as the Longhorns padded that advantage to 51-33.
"We were trying to salvage something positive at the end of the first half, but we didn't get the rebound and they got that last shot off," Texas Tech coach Marsha Sharp said. "That was a big momentum builder for them."
Aleah Johnson's basket with 9:05 left cut the margin to 59-47, but the Red Raiders didn't score again for more than five minutes.
Texas also struggled to score down the stretch but was able to widen the margin to 66-47 before Dickerson hit two free throws to break Texas Tech's drought with 3:36 remaining.