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.