The Lady Raiders welcomed Oklahoma to United Supermarkets on Wednesday for their fourth conference game of the season.
In regulation, Tech suffered a 75-74 loss after fighting back into contention.
“They could’ve easily in the first half given up,” head coach Krista Gerlich said.
Tech came out to a quick, 5-0 start spurred by a three by Murray to open scoring. The game was extremely fast-paced.
Oklahoma cooled down first and went on a two-minute scoring drought, but Tech was unable to capitalize, as they fell into a drought of their own.
After an Oklahoma bucket, the Lady Sooners led 17-15 after one quarter. However, they resumed a momentous second quarter out of the gates, jumping on a 4-0 run quickly while holding Tech scoreless.
following four of five shots in a row, Oklahoma sprung their largest lead of the half with a 36-25 advantage.
With a saving grace, Gray helped Tech out of the slump in the final minute of the second quarter. She led all scorers for Tech with 12 points in the first half.
Heading into the locker room, Tech had only made one three of nine total attempts.
On the other end, their defense was struggling to contain an Oklahoma offense that was shooting above 50 percent from all levels throughout the game.
Despite a tough first half, Tech came out firing in the third quarter. In fact, they took the first lead of the game since the first quarter while opening up an eight-point advantage.
It started on defense, holding the Lady Sooners scoreless for over five minutes. They also forced six turnovers in the same time.
Offensively, they went on a 16-1 run while making four field goals in a row.
A 22-point quarter spurred Tech to their largest lead of the game.
A big x-factor for Tech was freshman Khadijah Faye, who forced several Oklahoma turnovers and came up with big blocks; offensively, she showed her prowess with a quick six points through three quarters of play, efficiently, making four of her six shots.
“She’s a huge presence on the inside … She protects the rim really well,” Gerlich said.
The final quarter of play was the most back-and-forth of the contest. However, Oklahoma’s short run in the middle allowed them to gain some momentum which they rode to the finish. But Tech did not give up without a fight.
With eight seconds left to play, Lady Sooner Mandy Simpson knocked down two free throws to put her team up one point.
Following the makes, Tech called a timeout to try and come up with a game plan for their final possession.
The Lady Raiders put the fate of the game in Gray’s hands, but her shot came up short, as Tech fell by one point in regulation.
“She had to cut her path, and whenever she tried to get back into t she got bumped a little … I still think she got a pretty decent look at it, it just didn’t go down for her,” Gerlich said.
The Lady Raiders will take the floor again on Sunday for another home matchup against Iowa State.
Tech proved they could defend for long spurts if their offense is not strong. In the third quarter, the Lady Raiders held Oklahoma scoreless for over eight minutes, and ultimately only allowed eight points for the Lady Sooners which enabled them to fight back into the game.
Although they did not shoot well from three, Tech found other sources of offense. Gray led all scorers with 24 points and Gordon followed with 22. They had help from their rotational players as well, with Faye finishing with eight points and Murray with seven.
Tech did, however, struggle with turnovers, with 17 on the game. This has been one of head coach Krista Gerlich’s most focused on points during the season.