Lady Raiders Top Thunderbirds in BTI Opener|
Nov. 23, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Casey Morris scored a season-high 18 points while Christine Hyde and Kelsi Baker added 16 and 13, respectively, to lead Texas Tech to a 73-54 win over Southern Utah on Friday night at United Spirit Arena in game 1 of the Basketball Travelers Invitational.
Tech (3-1) won its second consecutive game thanks in part to improved play on the boards and an aggressive defense. The Lady Raiders outrebounded Southern Utah 49-37 and forced 24 turnovers, which resulted in 26 points.
Sophomore Amber Battle played just 19 minutes and scored only three points but had a huge impact on Tech's rebounding with a career-high 10 rebounds to lead the Lady Raiders - eight of which came in the second half.
Tech finished with 28 offensive rebounds - just two shy of the record (30) set against New Mexico on Dec. 3, 1991.
"It was physical. But that's the way its going to be in the Big 12 so we need to get ready for it," Baker said. "It was a tough game - rough game. But we kept fighting through."
Southern Utah (1-2) never gained a lead on Tech, who shot better from the field in the second half and found a rhythm outside the arc that helped open up the game.
The Lady Raiders found themselves up by only 10 with 13:57 to go when Monique Smalls and Morris combined for six consecutive free throws and sparked a 21-7 run that helped build their largest lead at 65-40 with eight minutes left.
"It was good to come out and be aggressive," Curry said. "We obviously didn't start the half very well but we were able to make our run a little longer. We got some great looks in transition and created some great energy from our defense."
Tech will take on Nicholls (5-1) at noon on Saturday. The Colonels beat New Orleans 75-45 in the second game on Friday night. New Orleans (1-3) will play Southern Utah at 2 p.m. Saturday.