Over Thanksgiving weekend, the Texas Tech women’s basketball team hit the road for the first time this season for the San Diego Thanksgiving Tournament.
The Lady Raiders’ first game was against the Fort Wayne Lady Mastodons. Tech, however, dominated from the jump and gained a 23-10 lead after just the first quarter of play.
Tucker was the backbone of the Lady Raiders’ offense early on, finishing the first period with almost half of her team’s total points.
The tournament games showcased the scoring output of Brewer, who averaged over 15 points throughout the tournament while Tucker averaged over 16 points. Junior guard Maka Jackson showed her perennial defensive ability, swiping a season-high five steals from the Lady Mastodons.
The Lady Raiders could not get their offense going early in the third quarter, allowing Fort Wayne to get within 11 points. However, Tucker shut down a Lady Mastodon comeback, scoring seven points to put Tech up nearly 20 points after the third.
Despite their sputtering offense, the Lady Raiders were steady on the defensive end. In the fourth quarter of the game, they only allowed the Lady Mastodons to score two points, which was a program record for points allowed in a quarter, previously set by their 2015 team, according to Tech Athletics. Tech battled to conclude the game with an 82-48 win.
This was the first road victory of the season for the Lady Raiders, marking the first-ever 4-0 start during Coach Stollings’ Tech tenure, and was also the 13th 4-0 start in program history. The win also earned Tech a ticket to the championship game against the tournament host, the San Diego Lady Toreros.
The first quarter was neck-and-neck with no team gaining more than a four-point advantage and several lead changes throughout the period. The quarter ended with a 17-16 finish in favor of the Lady Raiders as Brewer and Tucker were handling the scoring load early.
The Lady Raiders buckled down on the defensive, holding the Lady Toreros scoreless in the final four minutes of the half. On the other end, the Lady Raiders’ offense kept it pushing with scoring in the backcourt by Carr and junior guard Andrayah Adams. This opened up the second-largest lead of the game (eight) in favor of Tech.
A scoring drought riddled the Lady Raiders’ offense to begin the third, but it was quickly ended by a Brewer jumper. Both teams regained offensive fluidity, and the championship game was turning out to be close going into the fourth quarter with a score of 49-45.
Brewer anchored the steadily improving Tech’s defense, as she walked away with seven blocks on the evening, tying her at third place on the Tech women’s basketball all-time block list.
Adams who shot 4-5 from downtown, began the final period with two three-pointers to give Tech a 12-point lead, the largest lead of the game.
The Lady Raiders held on to their lead and eventually prevailed to defeat the San Diego Lady Toreros 64-60.
As Tech emerged the champions of the San Diego Thanksgiving Tournament, it marked their first tournament championship victory in five years. Their 5-0 start on the season is the best in the past eight seasons of Lady Raider basketball.
Tech will return to Lubbock as tournament champions and play Ole Miss at United Supermarkets Arena at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.