LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Teena Wickett scored a game-high 16 points en route to being named the Most Valuable Player of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic as Texas Tech edged California, 50-43, Monday afternoon at the Events Center at South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa.
Tech (11-1) opened the game by scoring the first four points with back-to-back layups by Monique Smalls and Casey Morris. Cal (7-3) got on the board at the 16:40 mark on a three-pointer by Layshia Clarendon. The Bears took the lead on their next basket at 16:08.
With about three more minutes expired, the Lady Raiders regained lead on a jumper by Smalls but Cal responded with a layup up just seconds later.
The Bears continued to lead until the 3:01 mark as Chynna Brown hit a jumper to give Tech a 17-16 advantage. Wickett followed that with a layup and then Brown followed that up with her own layup with 50 seconds left to give the Lady Raiders a 21-16 lead at halftime.
Tech held Cal scoreless for the last six and a half minutes of the first period.
The Bears came out in the second half scoring four-straight points to cut Tech's lead to 21-20. Shauntal Nobles scored for the Lady Raiders at 17:55 to give Tech a 23-20 advantage. However, the Bears scored four points over the next two minutes to take back the lead at 24-23. The lead changed three more times with the final change coming at 14:05 as Wickett tipped in the ball to put Tech up 27-26, a lead it would never relinquish.
The Lady Raiders largest advantage of the game was 13 points at 45-32 with three minutes to go when Brown made a layup. From there, Cal outscored Tech 11-5, but Tech hung on to claim the seven-point victory.
Along with Wickett's 16 points, Brown and Smalls both added 11 points. Wickett finished with game highs of eight rebounds, four steals and two assists. Smalls also had two assists.
Rama N'diaye led Cal with 11 points.
Tech shot 37.5 percent (18-48) from the field to the Bears' 34 percent (17-50). Cal outrebounded Tech 38-31.
WIckett was named the MVP of the tourney, while Morris and Brown were named to the all-tournament team.
The Lady Raiders return to action on Wed., Dec. 29, at Western Kentucky at 7 p.m.