The Texas Tech women’s basketball team defeated the Oklahoma Sooners, 88-82, in its final conference game of the season on Tuesday, March 5, in the United Supermarkets Arena.
The win advances the team’s record to 13-16 on the season and 4-14 in Big 12 play.
This is the first time in eight years the Lady Raiders have split games with the Sooners. Stollings said that is a big leap forward for the program and she is happy with how far they have come.
“The 29 turnovers we forced was really a difference in the game and holding them to seven points in he second quarter ended up being the difference and then hitting our free throws down the stretch when it mattered most,” Stollings said.
The starting lineup for the Lady Raiders consisted of sophomore guard Sydney Goodson, freshman guard Chrislyn Carr, junior forward Brittany Brewer, sophomore guard Angel Hayden and lone senior forward Zuri Sanders.
Coming out of the gate, Tech started off hot as Brewer nailed a layup to take the lead followed by a three from Hayden to bring the Lady Raiders up by three, 5-2. The Sooners wasted no time coming back after a successful jumper and free throw, tying the score, 5-5.
Both teams went back and forth shooting point-for-point until the final buzzer of the first period. The Sooners got the last shot and ended the quarter with the lead, 24-22.
Carr opened the second period with a three to tie the game up, 24-24, she then followed that up with a pass to Sanders who nailed a layup to put Tech back in the lead.
Goodson nailed a three early in the second period to extend Tech’s lead to five. The Lady Raiders followed in her footsteps as fellow teammate, Kiara Shoals, nailed another three to extend their lead to eight, right before Goodson made her way back to the net for a jumper.
Junior center Erin DeGrate nailed a layup to put the Lady Raiders up by double digits, 41-31. The Lady Raiders kept their lead over the Sooners going into the half, 45-31.
Hayden came out at the half and opened the third period with a three to extend the Lady Raiders' lead back to 14 with 8:04 left in the third period.
Shoals and Sanders nailed a back-to-back jumper and layup to extend the Lady Raiders' lead to 17, now up 54-37. Sanders followed behind with back-to-back layups to put four more points on the board.
Oklahoma tried to fight its way back to the top but fell short as the Lady Raider defense proved to be too much for them, holding them off, 71-55, heading into the final period of the game.
With a big three from OU’s Ana Llanusa, the Sooners cut down Tech’s lead to four, 75-71, with a little over four minutes left to go in the game. Carr stole the ball back, to drive it down the court and nail a layup to keep Tech’s lead.
The Sooners managed to dwindle down Tech’s lead and come back with the lead with only minutes left to go in the game, but the Lady Raiders pulled back ahead after a layup from Carr.
This was not the first game the Lady Raiders had opponents come back at the last minute to take the lead. The difference in this matchup was the toughness Tech played with, Goodson said.
“I don’t think there was any doubt in our minds that we weren’t going to win that game,” Goodson said. “We stayed locked into the game plan coach gave us and all we had to do was execute.”
Although both teams fought until the last second, the Lady Raiders early lead was too much for the Sooners to handle as they kept the momentum going and pulled ahead at the last minute to claim their fourth Big 12 victory, 88-82.