Lady Raiders Cruise Through First Round Test|
March 18, 2000
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - The Texas Tech Lady Raiders aren't done proving themselves yet.
Aleah Johnson led a balanced Texas Tech scoring attack with 22 points, and the sixth-ranked Lady Raiders stormed to an 83-54 victory over Tennessee Tech in a first-round NCAA women's tournament Mideast Regional game Saturday.
"It seems like this whole season we've been proving ourselves to everybody," Johnson said. "We've got a lot more to prove before we get the respect that we deserve."
The victory sends third-seeded Texas Tech (26-4) into a second-round matchup Monday against No. 22 Tulane, which defeated Vermont 65-60.
"They played with the deserving ranking that they are," Tennessee Tech coach Bill Worrell said. "We were swimming uphill with a bunch of sharks blocking our path. Our mistakes tonight were obvious."
Texas Tech coach Marsha Sharp looks forward to the team's matchup against Tulane, especially between Tulane's Grace Daley and Tech's Katrissa O'Neal.
"I think O'Neal and Daley are going to be a good matchup, and even I look forward to watching Monday night," Sharp said. "I think if I wasn't coaching, it would be one I'd buy a ticket to."
Sharp said to continue advancing in the tournament, Tech has to keep its scoring droughts to a minimum.
Scoring, however, came easy for the Lady Raiders on Saturday as Plenette Pierson added 18 points, Amber Tarr another 13 and O'Neal 10.
"They really do tend to score points in bunches," Sharp said. "We got better looks at the basket because we were more patient. We have to preach patience on the offensive end to keep getting better looks at the basket."
Texas Tech jumped in front early against Tennessee Tech (24-9), scoring the
first six points for a 30-19 lead as Johnson scored eight points. The Lady
Raiders led 33-21 at halftime.
"We're down 30-21 and I felt pretty good, and then they busted a 3 on us," Worrell said. "Then they came back in after the half and stomped on us with both feet."
Pierson scored four points and Johnson and Keitha Dickerson also added baskets as Texas Tech took a 41-25 lead with 17:50 left.
Tennessee Tech closed to 48-36 midway through the half, but Texas Tech responded with a 16-8 run to build the lead to 20.
Diane Seng led Tennessee Tech with 18 points, and Megan Isom added 15.
"They did force our guards a lot farther out than we would have liked them to have been, and kind of forced us out of our offense," Seng said. "They really came out playing hard tonight."