LUBBOCK, Texas – Kierra Mallard scored 24 points in leading Texas Tech to an 82-57 win over Charleston Southern in the first game of the Basketball Traveler's World Vision Classic Friday night at the United Spirit Arena.
Charleston Southern (3-2) scored the opening basket of the game but Tech (5-0) responded with a three-pointer by Casey Morris to take a 3-2 lead, a lead it would not relinquish the whole game.
The Buccaneers kept the game close the first 10 minutes until the Lady Raiders scored six-straight points to get their first double-digit lead at 27-17 when Mallard hit a layup with 8:09 remaining in the half.
Tech's largest lead of the half was 19 points, 42-23, as Monique Smalls made a pair of free throws with 3:38 to go in the first period. CSU held Tech scoreless the remainder of the game and scored six-straight points to cut Tech's lead to 42-29 going into the locker room at the half.
The Lady Raiders shot 63 percent (17-27) from the field in the first half.
The Buccaneers' Katie Tull came out hot to start the second half as she nailed three-straight three-pointers in a minute and 10 seconds span to cut Tech's lead to seven at 48-41 with 15:50 to go.
Tech got its double-digit lead back with back-to-back buckets by Teena Wickett and Mallard to go ahead 52-41 with 14:27 left. CSU hit its ninth three-pointer of the game to cut the lead back down to 52-44 at 13:26. Mallard connected on a three-point play – a layup and a free throw to go up 55-44.
The Lady Raiders matched their biggest lead of the game up to that point when Chynna Brown got a layup with 8:36 remaining in the game to put the score 67-48, and then again at 7:39 on a Mallard layup, 69-50.
A putback by Marissa Ashton at 6:30 gave Tech its first 20-point lead of the game at 71-50. Tech's biggest advantage of the game was 26 points as Shauntal Nobles hit a jumper with 46 seconds to go in the contest.
For the game, Tech shot 60.3 percent from the field (35-58), scoring 62 points in the paint. CSU shot 42 percent (21-50). The Lady Raiders outrebounded the Buccaneers 38-18.
Along with Mallard's 24 points, Morris had 12 and Wickett added 11. Wickett also had a career-high eight assists and a game-high six rebounds. Smalls collected four steals.
Tull led the Buccaneers with 17 points.
The World Vision Classic continues on Sat., Nov. 27, as Tech faces American at 12 p.m., followed by Sam Houston State and Charleston Southern. On Sunday, Charleston Southern and American tip-off at 12 p.m., followed by Tech and Sam Houston State at approximately 2 p.m.