Lady Raiders Withstand Wolfpack Charge|
March 15, 1999
By CHRIS NEWTON
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Texas Tech found a crack in North Carolina's power post game. It was all Tech needed to defeat the Wolfpack 85-78 in an NCAA Midwest tournament game Monday night.
With the victory, Texas Tech (30-3) advances to the third round to face Rutgers (28-5) on Saturday in Normal, Ill.
Tech's Angie Braziel scored 25 points, including several clutch free throws down the stretch as Texas Tech held on to win.
Braziel attributed the victory to the team's second-half dominance over Summer Erb, the Wolfpacks' star center.
"She (Erb) got kind of winded and we wanted to take advantage of that," Braziel said. "It was great to come out with the win. We're playing pretty well as a team right now. If we keep ourselves together, I don't think there is anything that can stop us."
Erb led the Wolfpack with 25 points and 15 rebounds, but was held scoreless for the first four minutes of the second half as Tech threatened to turn the game into a blowout.
The Lady Raiders, fueled by a Braziel-led surge after halftime, built a 48-31 lead with 16:10 left and were up 69-52 with 5:34 remaining. North Carolina State (17-12) then fought back with a 13-3 run, including back-to-back jumpers off stolen inbound passes. The run, led by the Wolfpack's Kim Smith, cut the Tech lead to 72-65 with 2:45 left.
"They kept running at us and never quit," said Tech's Keitha Dickerson. "We had to grab boards and hang in there."
But Braziel hit two free throws with 2:21 left and Tech was able to keep the Wolfpack at arm's length the rest of the way.
Wolfpack coach Kay Yow said she felt her team fought valiantly, but had fallen too far behind to have a good chance.
"It's a very disappointing loss for us to say the least," Yow said. "I am disappointed in my team for the stretch that we had at the beginning of the second half. It put us in a hole that we couldn't get out of."
Tech led 33-29 at halftime. But Braziel came out red-hot after halftime, scoring 11 points during the run that broke the game open. She hit her first jumper with 19:14 remaining and followed with three consecutive baskets.
Tech coach Marsha Sharp said the team played its best basketball in the opening minutes of the second half.
"The first 10 minutes of the second half was obviously the difference for us," Sharp said. "We came out and made some big plays on both ends of the floor. It was the turning point of the game for us."
Keitha Dickerson scored 21 points and Rene Hanebutt had 11 for Tech.