Vivian Gray, Lexi Gordon

The Lady Raiders welcomed Iowa State to United Supermarkets Arena on Sunday for their fifth conference game of the season.

Texas Tech went with the starting lineup of junior guard Bryn Gerlich, junior guard Naje Murray, freshman forward Khadija Faye, who earned her first career start and the senior tandem of Lexi Gordon and Vivian Gray.

Heading into the match, Gerlich said in a news conference Iowa State was one of the most explosive offenses in the country; on Sunday afternoon, they proved that.

In the first frame alone, the Lady Cyclones went on to make six of 12 three pointers. An extremely efficient percentage at a comparatively high volume.

They completely contrasted the early output of the Lady Raiders, which was outlined by a 4-20 shooting quarter in the opening frame.

They struggled on both ends of the court, and Iowa State was taking advantage of Tech. Gordon really kept the Lady Raiders in somewhat of a battle early, with six points in the opening quarter.

The game steadily improved for Tech into the next frame, with Gordon continuing her scoring output with the first baskets for Tech.

Tech also came out of the break more responsive on defense; however, the scorching Lady Cyclones were not to be denied, making a flurry of shots on the quarter.

Heading into the break, although Tech’s defense ramped up, their twos were not enough to dent Iowa State’s perimeter attack. As a result, they were down 25 at halftime.

In head coach Krista Gerlich’s news conference prior to the game, she outlined how her team came out of the locker room at halftime much better.

Gerlich was correct, and Tech made seven of their first seven shots out of the gates.

Gordon was still scoring, but the biggest improvement for Tech’s offense was the arrival of Gray, who had seven points in the third quarter by herself.

The Gordon and Gray led offense led to a 25-point half, but with every Tech basket, Iowa State responded. In fact, Tech’s offense tripled its first quarter production in the third frame, and Iowa State still outscored them.

The Lady Cyclones scored above 21 points in every quarter, and over 26 in two of them.

Their leading scorer was guard Lexi Donarski, who finished with 25 points on the night. She stepped up in the absence of their typical leading scorer, who is among the top leading scorers in the conference, guard Ashley Joens.

For Tech, Gray and Gordon combined for 46 points, but to no avail, as Iowa State rode its perimeter onslaught to the finish line, where they defeated Tech.

The Lady Raiders will now turn their attention to West Virginia, which they play at 6 p.m. on Jan. 13.

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