Texas Tech Holds Off New Mexico|
Nov. 14, 2013
LUBBOCK, Texas - Amber Battle followed up her career night in Texas Tech's opener with another double-double on Wednesday with 17 points and 14 rebounds to help hold off New Mexico, 64-56 at United Spirit Arena.
"It was a great win for us," said Candi Whitaker, who won her second game as Texas Tech's head coach. "I'm really proud of how we played. I thought we played well at times, we had some lapses but we came back. When they came back and made a run, we countered it. It's a big win for our program and we're excited to be 2-0."
Tech (2-0) got off to a 10-point lead after two baskets inside and the first made 3-pointer of the season by Spears - which was also the first of her career. Her three helped push Tech to an 11-1 opening run. That lead all the way through the first half as the Lady Raiders took a 27-16 advantage at the break.
New Mexico (1-1) then bounced back in the second half with a 12-4 run out of the break that closed the gap and then eventually took a 34-33 lead with 13:35 to go.
But then the Lady Raiders countered with a 13-4 run to take back the lead for good, anchored by two 3-pointers from Marina Lizarazu and Lockhart. The Lobos would close the gap again to pull within two points with 1:19 remaining but Spears and Lockhart combined to hit all six free throws to secure the win.
"I always view free throws, like I've got to make them," Spears said. "In the end I always remember the ones I miss, especially if it's a close game. So that's how I approach free throws, and I just stepped up and knocked them down."
It was a knock down contest in the paint for both teams, as Tech won the edge in defensive boards with 36 - 13 coming from Battle. She is now averaging 19 points and 12.5 rebounds through two games.
"That's what we talked about all week in practice - boxing them out because they're a good offensive rebounding team," Battle said. "So for us to box out and for us to get those rebounds it was very key."
The Lady Raiders will use those keys to try and get out to a 3-0 start when it welcomes Arizona State (1-1) to Lubbock at 2 p.m., Sunday. The Sun Devils lost at San Diego on Wednesday night after winning their home opener against Hawaii.