The Lady Raiders came oh so close to the upset win but came up short to Baylor 56-51.
After starting the game off slow, Tech was ahead at half-time by 5 points (35-30). Tech did not score until 4.5 minutes into the game and had allowed Baylor to put 9 points on the board.
But then Tech got Hot and shot triple 3-pt shots to tie the game. Tech went ahead at the 11 minute mark in the 1st half and went on an 18-8 run and stayed ahead of the Bears until the 11 minute mark in the 2nd half.
Tech and Baylor over the next 4 minutes exchanged the lead. With a little over 7 minutes left in the game Baylor took the lead for good. Tech kept it within a basket difference but missed a couple of opportunities to tie or go ahead. In one exchange, Tech had three looks at the basket because they got their own rebounds but could not get the ball to fall,
There were some bad calls against Tech and a number of calls that were not called on Baylor (specifically Griner). With Baylor's Griner having the height advantage as well as her reach it was difficult for Tech to get baskets on the inside.
Tech faded at the end or ran out of steam. I know that they were tired but they need to find a way to take good clean shots in the final moments of the game.
I am very proud of this team and how they played in this game. They were in a very hostile environment (Baylor sold out the arena) and they came so close to pulling out the win and the biggest upset of the season. I am hoping that the Lady Raiders can play like this the rest of the season and win their remaining 4 conference games and win in the Big 12 tourney and get invited to the NCAA Tourney.
Call it moral victories but the Lady Raiders are the only Big 12 team to keep the final margin against Baylor to under 10 points. Tech held Baylor to a season low of only 56 points.
Stats and Quotes after the break ......
Chynna Brown 5 pts and 9 rebounds
Jordan Barncastle 6 pts and 6 rebounds
Monique Smalls 13 pts and 7 rebounds and 4 steals
Casey Morris 9 pts and 3 rebounds and 2 steals
Shauntal Nobles 3 rebounds
Christina Hyde 7 pts and 2 rebounds
Kierra Mallard 10 pts and 5 rebounds and 1 stal and 1 block
Kelsi Baker 1 point and 1 block
The Lady Raiders made 7 3-ptrs:
1 from Brown
2 from Barncastle
1 from Smalls
1 from Morris
2 from Mallard
FG% Tech 34.7% . Baylor 35.1%
3-Pt FG% Tech 53.8% . Baylor 15.4%
FT% Tech 71.4% . Baylor 63.6%
Pts off Turnovers: Tech 6 . Baylor 18
2nd Chance points" Tech 3 . Baylor 8
Pts in the Paint: Tech 18 . Baylor 34
UCONN lost today and I was hoping Tech could pull out the biggest upset of the day and season with a win over the Bears.
Head Coach Kristy Curry
"We say `twelve-strong', we talk a lot about being `twelve-strong'. I thought our kids did a nice job. Basketball is a game of runs, and I knew they were going to make a run and it had to be in the first few minutes. They were able to sustain that. It was just whoever came up with runs a little longer and I was proud of our kids for getting back in."
On the game plan...
"Against those guys you try to play the percentages and to get them to play as hard as they can. I thought we played really smart. As far as the execution, we were willing to take shots and make plays."
On out-rebounding Baylor...
"I don't think we're as big as them, you know, I think that rebounding is about heart and going and getting it. So, I'm really proud of our kids for really wanting the basketball."
On what she takes away from the loss...
"Well, you know, it's gut wrenching, it hurts like heck. But, we know there will be more victories. You know, it's like I always say, `close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.' But we certainly played some of our best basketball against those guys and we've got to bottle it up and take that to the next four opportunities that we're blessed with. Hopefully we can end this thing strong."
Junior Guard Casey Morris
On their confidence...
"It's always there, we always think we can beat any team we play against. We know how talented we are, we all know how good we play when we play together as one and it makes you feel entirely strong. So, confidence is there the entire game, we just hooked up a little bit and we couldn't play. But, we're coming right back, we're going to keep on playing."
On what was working...
"I think we were just executing and taking shots when it was open and making good decisions. We outsmarted them in some positions and just played basketball smart."