The Texas Tech women’s basketball team lost at home to Kansas State, by a score of 76-72 in United Supermarkets Arena on Saturday.
The Lady Raiders’ starting lineup remained the same as last game, with junior guard Jo’Nah Johnson starting alongside junior guard Lexi Gordon, sophomore guard Chrislyn Carr, junior guard Sydney Goodson and senior forward Brittany Brewer.
The Lady Wildcats struck first in a fast-paced game with Peyton Williams getting a put-back layup. Tech responded with a deep three-pointer from Carr. The emphasis of the game early on was to get out and run, and both teams played with high energy.
Halfway through the first quarter, there were already four lead changes. Both teams were getting up shots early and often, however, they were not hitting them with much efficiency. At the five-minute mark of the first quarter, Tech was shooting 22 percent from the field, and Kansas State was shooting 20 percent.
Tucker, per usual, provided an instant spark off the bench, as she scored within the first few seconds of being on the court. Tucker finished the first quarter with eight points, the second-most for the Lady Raiders.
Defensively, Tech held the Lady Wildcats on a bit of a drought where they did not score for almost three minutes. A layup by Angela Harris, despite great defense, fell for Kansas State and broke their dry spell.
The momentum of the game almost immediately flipped after that score, as Kansas State then went on a 6-0 run, and the Lady Raiders went scoreless for three minutes.
Their drought was put to an end by a Brewer and-one, that put the Lady Raiders back within two points with a few seconds left in the quarter. Tech played for the last shot of the quarter and capitalized. A last-second layup by Tucker tied the game up 12-12 after the first quarter of play.
The Lady Wildcats came into the second quarter with a three-pointer by Christianna Carr, her shot was answered by an inside finish from Brewer on the other end.
Kansas State has one of the tallest rosters Tech has gone against all season, and it showed, as the Lady Raiders struggled a bit on the boards early. Kansas State capitalized with 16 second-chance points on the game.
Defensively, the Lady Wildcats fell back into a zone, and their length seemed to hinder the Tech offense at first. Brewer found her way around the defense and countered their zone for an abundance of points inside. Brewer contributed to an efficient Tech run which gave them a 24-23 lead halfway through the second quarter.
Kansas State stayed in this zone all game and forced the Lady Raiders to shoot. Tech struggled from beyond the arc, as they shot 8-33 from deep. Despite the poor shooting, coach Marlene Stollings said she recognized the team's need to be able to hit shots.
“They sat in zone 90% of the night and we just didn’t hit shots,” Stollings said. “Bottom line of the whole game, we just couldn’t capitalize on opportunities”
Kansas State responded with their own short run, as they shot 5-5 from the field in the short span of time.
Brewer kept answering everything the Lady Wildcats had, whether it be offensively or defensively. The Lady Raiders as a whole also capitalized on the tall Kansas State roster, as they used their quickness to maneuver around the taller opposition.
Their offense kept rolling as they went on a 7-0 run led by Brewer. On the other end, Tech was holding Kansas State to a two-minute scoring drought as they took a 31-29 lead.
The game seemed to slow down, as both teams were finding better shots, and trading layups early on. The Lady Raiders, despite finding great looks for each other, could not get any stops on an aggressive Kansas State offense. On the night, Kansas State shot 43 percent from the field.
The Lady Wildcats hit a barrage of three-pointers and went on a 7-0 run in under a minute to give them their largest lead of the game, 50-41, with 5:13 left in the third quarter.
Tech went on a two-minute scoring drought, and the Lady Raiders desperately needed a basket, Carr answered the call with a three-pointer. Their offense still was a bit stale, but Tech was getting more opportunities, as they were finally getting stops on Kansas State’s offense.
The Lady Raiders shortly after found their offense, a 7-0 scoring run tied the game up for Tech.
To finish out the quarter, Kansas State held for the last shot and hit a deep three-pointer to give them a 55-52 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Gordon started off the fourth quarter with a strong offensive rebound and a score. Tech continued into the early part of the fourth quarter with great defense and transition buckets. These stops resulted in good looks and ultimately gave the Lady Raiders a 56-55 lead.
The Lady Raider offense quickly stagnated once again, as they went on a two-minute scoring drought.
Turnovers hurt Tech, halfway through the fourth quarter they had 15 turnovers, and Kansas State converted off of them, with 24 points off turnovers.
Gordon ended the Lady Raider dry spell with a base-line jumper, her shot was shortly followed by a Carr three-pointer, and those two shots tied the game 65-65.
Kansas State went right back on the attack, and on the interior, they could not be denied. The Lady Wildcats finished with 40 points in the paint.
Tech went dry on both ends and went into intentionally fouling to try and close the deficit with the little time they had left.
Kansas State's Harris knocked down one of her two free throws to widen the gap to four points. On the other end, Tucker battled for a rebound, where she got fouled and knocked down both free throws to cut the Lady Raider deficit to two points.
Both teams went back-and-forth fouling each other, ultimately, Kansas State won the free-throw battle and the game with a 76-72 score.
The Lady Raiders will return to action Wednesday in an away game against University of Texas at 7 p.m.