Dec. 20, 1997

Texas Tech Wins Close One over New Mexico 65-62

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Alicia Thompson's short jumper with 14.3 seconds left and Katrisa O'Neal's steal and layup allowed No. 6 Texas Tech to hold off New Mexico 65-62 Saturday night.

Thompson and Angie Braziel, the Lady Raiders' frontline duo, rallied Texas Tech (6-1) from a 49-42 deficit with 8:09 left. Tech repeatedly went inside to Thompson and Braziel to chip away at New Mexico (9-2).

New Mexico's only other loss this season was also to a ranked team, Western Kentucky.

Braziel scored 19 points and Thompson 14 and the two combined to score 14 of Tech's final 23 points. They also got 27 of Texas Tech's 38 rebounds, with Thompson finishing with 14.

A free throw by New Mexico center Katie Kern with 1:16 left gave the Lobos a 62-61 lead. The Lobos had a chance to extend the lead after Thompson threw up an airball, but Kern turned it over with 35 seconds remaining.

Texas Tech got the ball to Thompson, who powered inside for a jumper over much smaller Lobos defender Sonya Bryant. New Mexico called timeout and, on the ensuing possession, O'Neal stepped in front of a pass and played it in with 7 seconds remaining.

New Mexico point guard Tamika Stukes got off a 3-pointer at the buzzer that bounced off the front of the rim.

New Mexico, led by Abby Garchek's six straight points, went on a 15-2 run in the first seven minutes of the second half to erase a 28-21 Tech lead. A 3-pointer by Stukes put New Mexico up 49-42. The Lobos built the lead with Braziel, who picked up her third foul with 16:35 left, sitting on the bench.

Garchek, who scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half, hit back-to-back 3-pointers in a 30-second span to give the Lobos a 55-49 lead with 6:02 left.

By then, Braziel and Thompson were dominating inside. A layup by Braziel off a steal by O'Neal tied it at 59 with 2:37 left.

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