The Texas Tech women’s basketball team had a victorious home-opener, defeating Southeastern Louisiana 67-45 at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11.

After having an overall record of 10-15 last season under the debut of head coach Krista Gerlich, the Lady Raiders brought a certain energy to the court tonight.

The Lady Raiders took advantage early in the game with a 20-point lead in the first period.

Head coach Krista Gerlich said first quarter lead was important and her girls were able to achieve an early lead.

“I thought the first quarter we really threw the first punch, which was actually one of our emphases for this game,” Coach Gerlich said. “I thought that the girls came out and really did a great job of that.”

Junior forward Ella Tofaeono made her Tech debut, leading the team with 18 points and one block. Tofaeono ended the game 6-6 on field goals, earning herself a field goal percentage of 100%.

Already during her first game at Tech, Tofaeono had career-highs in points and rebounds.

Senior forward Taylah Thomas is another new program face who made her Tech debut. Coming from Arkansas, Thomas opened tonight’s game scoring 15 points and leading the team with 10 rebounds.

Coach Gerlich said the two transfers, Tofaeono and Thomas, brought skill to tonight’s game.

“We brought them here for a reason,” Coach Gerlich said. “I thought both of them just came out and owned it. I mean, there’s a lot of value in bringing experience in. It’s fun to see them be key parts of our win instead of role players, and I thought they really stepped up.”

Freshman guard Rhyle McKinney played her first collegiate basketball game tonight, putting up 11 points, three of those points coming from her first collegiate three-pointer.

“Rhyle is a scorer,” Coach Gerlich said. “That’s what she did in high school, that’s what she’s known to do. She turned down a shot early and I told her ‘Shoot the basketball, that’s what you’re out there for,’ and she really did that.”

Junior forward Bryn Gerlich saw the floor tonight, and lead the team with five assists.

Senior forward Vivian Gray was withheld from participating in this season’s home-opener along with junior guard Bre’Amber Scott.

Coach Gerlich said the two players missed due to injury but will be back on the court.

“You know, we don’t want to rush [Vivian] back and let her have a nagging injury all year,” Coach Gerlich said. “Bre’Amber will be more like December, and then Vivian will be very soon.”

Not only was this the first win of the season, but it was also Coach Gerlich’s 300th career win.

“No doubt that I’ve coached some really special players along the way to help me do that, and obviously great coaching staff,” Coach Gerlich said. “It really isn’t about me, it’s about these kids. To do it here at Texas, to do it with this team, it’s fantastic.”

The Lady Raiders will host their next game against Weber State at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

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