No. 19 Texas Tech Edges No. 16 Penn State, 70-66|
The No. 19 Lady Raiders moved to 7-0 with a win over No. 16 Penn State on Saturday afternoon.
Dec. 3, 2011
by Britton Drown
Kristy Curry said long before this game even started that her team needed this. In the first Top-20 match up at the United Spirit Arena in over six years, Saturday afternoon provided just the right stage for her undefeated squad to make a statement.
With just 3.4 seconds remaining in the game, and one second left on the shot clock, senior Jordan Barncastle took an inbounds pass, and drilled a 3-pointer from deep in the corner to do just that.
"I don't know that there was much to it," Barncastle said after the game with a laugh. "What else are you going to do with it?"
The shot sent a raucous United Spirit Arena into frenzy, and 34 seconds later the No. 19 Lady Raiders swarmed together at center court to celebrate a 70-66 victory over No. 16 Penn State.
"I thought today was a lot of fun," Curry said after the game. "I hope every single person in that crowd had fun."
Those in the crowd of 8,923 witnessed one of the most exciting games in recent memory, as the 19th-ranked Lady Raiders extended their non-conference home winning streak to 38 games--and did so by defeating a team picked to win the Big Ten conference.
"We definitely needed the challenge." Curry said. "It was awesome. I am just so proud of these kids and how hard they competed down the stretch."
But this time, Tech used a crucial 11-2 run late in the second half to pull away from Penn State, and secure crucial momentum in a game that saw 17 lead changes.
"It's just what good teams do," Curry said. "We have a lot of confidence. We feel like our balance is what makes us special. We want to be the most aggressive team."
Senior Kierra Mallard led the Lady Raiders with 18 points and 15 rebounds on the afternoon to record her third double-double this season.
Penn State built an eight-point lead midway through the first half, but Tech used their speedy defense, and second chance opportunities on offense to crawl their way back into the game. The Lady Raiders recorded 22 offensive rebounds.
Saturday marked their fourth game of recording more than 20 offensive rebounds.
"We've been very consistent with our effort," Curry said. "It just shows that this group is playing very hard when you can get 22 offensive rebounds."
The Lady Raiders will look to continue playing with that effort and intensity as they wrap up their six-game home stand on Wednesday with a match up against UT-Arlington.
"We are far from satisfied," Curry said.
Tip off on Wednesday is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena.