LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech Lady Raider basketball team battled tough, but dropped a thriller of a 75-74 game to Oklahoma at United Supermarkets Arena on Wednesday night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Trailing by as many as 12 in the opening half and going into halftime down nine, the Lady Raiders used a strong third quarter to storm back and take the lead. Tech would stretch its lead to as many as nine by the end of a third, but a late Oklahoma run helped give the Sooners the edge as the final buzzer sounded.
For the third time in four games, seniors Vivian Gray and Lexi Gordon each scored 20-plus points for the Lady Raiders. Gray poured in 24 along with five rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block. Gordon added 22 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Gordon scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half to help spark the Tech comeback.
Freshman Khadija Faye in only her fourth collegiate game had eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Najé Murray scored seven points, four rebounds and three assists, while Alexis Tucker also had seven points and four boards.
For the fourth-straight game, the Lady Raiders outrebounded their opponent, pulling down 37 boards to Oklahoma's 24. Seven Lady Raiders had four or more rebounds, led by Faye's seven. Offensively, Tech shot the ball at a 52.5 percent clip from the floor, which was the team's third-highest shooting night of the season.
The first quarter of the game was a battle, as the two teams slugged it out to a 17-15 narrow advantage for Oklahoma after the first 10 minutes. Gray scored six in the opening quarter and Murray scored five to help keep pace with the Sooners despite a slow shooting start for the team.
Oklahoma used an 8-0 scoring run late in the second quarter to lead it, 40-31, after the first half; however, it was Texas Tech that came out of the locker room hot to start the third. The Lady Raiders held the Sooners to a mere 1-of-11 (9.1 percent) mark from the floor in the third quarter, and led by Gordon's nine and Gray's six, outscored the Sooners, 22-8, in the frame. The team ran off 14 straight midway through the period to help flip the halftime deficit of nine in their favor with 1:05 to go in the third.
Leading by five heading to the final period, the Lady Raiders held the advantage for most of the fourth but a 6-0 Oklahoma run tied the game at 70 apiece with 1:24 to play. Gray found Tucker down low for an easy layup to put Tech up two with under a minute to play, which was followed by a Taylor Robertson three to put the Sooners up, 73-72, with 37 seconds to go.
Following a timeout, Tech's Maka Jackson drove the ball to the basket and converted to push the Lady Raiders ahead, 74-73, as the clock ticked under 20 seconds to play; however, Gordon was called for a blocking foul on Mandy Simpson on the other end of the court with eight seconds to go, and Simpson hit both free throw tries to put Oklahoma ahead.
Gray was able to get off a midrange jumper with two seconds on the clock, but couldn't get it to fall as the Sooners came away with the win.
Tech will return home on Sunday at 3 p.m. as they face another tough test against Iowa State at United Supermarkets Arena. The game will be on ESPNU.