Lady Raiders win season opener
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Powered by an epic 22-3 second quarter and a 38-8 run, the Texas Tech Lady Raiders downed Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 69-49 Tuesday, in front of a strong crowd on opening night of the college basketball season.
Texas Tech (1-0) was led by a trio of newcomers, as Houston transfer Jazmaine Lewis, Bailey Maupin and Katie Ferrell all shined.
Lewis was Tech’s leading scorer on Tuesday night, as the post player dropped a career-high 15 points and added 7 rebounds.
Lewis was 6-for-8 from the floor in her 17 minutes of action. Maupin was the next Lady Raider in double figures. The freshman had 11 points in her nearly 17 minutes of action.
The final newcomer to shine in the opener was UT Arlington transfer Katie Ferrell who had a typical Big Kat performance (five points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists).
Sophomore Rhyle McKinney continued her strong start her second season in the Scarlett and Black, scoring 11 points on perfect 5-of-5 shooting.
With the victory, head coach Krista Gerlich improves to 3-0 all-time in season openers. As a program, the Lady Raiders won the home opener for the fifth consecutive season.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi (0-1) was led by guard Maya Ellis. Ellis scored 11 points in her 21 minutes of action.
HOW IT HAPPENED:Down by as many as 10 points in the opening period (16-6), the Lady Raiders used a clutch triple from Maupin to draw to within 16-9 after 10 minutes of play.
Using the momentum from the aforementioned triple, Maupin scored Tech’s next six points, bringing the Lady Raiders to within 16-15 with 7:23 to play in the second.
After A&M Corpus Christi snapped Maupins’ personal 9-0 run with a basket from First Team All-Southland selection Alecia Westbrook, the Lady Raiders answered with back-to-back layups from Lewis to take a 20-17 lead with 3:43 left in the first half. Westbrook was limited to just eight points.
The Islanders would answer back with a layup from Makinna Serrata to cut the Tech advantage to 20-19, before a triple from McKinney jumpstarted a 10-0 run over the final 3:05 of action.
The run gave the home side a 30-19 lead after 20 minutes of play.
In the decisive second quarter, the Lady Raider held Corpus to just 1-of-7 shooting and 0-of-5 from three. Tech forced eight turnovers, scoring 10 key points.
Following the break, the Islanders struck first, using a jumper from Westbrook to draw to within 30-21 just 30 ticks into the second half.
Needing to regain the momentum, Tech used a layup from Lewis to jumpstart a 14-3 run that gave the home side a 44-24 advantage, with 4:48 to go in the third quarter.
After the Islanders drew to within 16 points (46-30) with just under 90 seconds to play in the period, Tech answered with a McKinney jumper with 10 seconds in the third to lead 48-30 after three quarters.
In the fourth, 14 of the first 20 points went the way of the Lady Raiders, as freshman Jasmine Shavers capped the 16-6 run with a layup. The basket gave Tech a 62-36 lead with 4:03 to play.
Down the stretch, Tech’s lead grew as high as 27 (66-39/69-46), before A&M Corpus Christi used a pair of 3-pointers to close to within 69-49.
After turning the ball over 26 times in their exhibition contest, the Lady Raiders turned it over just 12 times. Conversely, the Islanders turned the basketball over 18 times, leading to 20 Lady Raider points.
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE:
• The night belonged to Lewis who set a new career high in points. Her previous mark was set during her time at UH.
• Lewis finished just three rebounds shy of her second career double-double.
• Katie Ferrell was as advertised Tuesday night. The former Gerlich signee out of high school was a team-best +29 in her 24 minutes of action.
• The Lady Raiders dominated the paint, outscoring Corpus Christi 38-14 inside.
• Tech’s bench was also impressive on Tuesday, scoring 35 of the teams’ 69 points.• Both Bryn Gerlich and Tatum Veitenheimer finished the contest with four assists and no turnovers.
COACH SPEAK (HC KRISTA GERLICH): ”First, I want to tell you how much respect I have for Coach Chadwick. I’ve known him my entire life and he recruited me coming out of high school. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years. He’s going through a really tough time right now, as his mother actually lives in Lubbock and she’s not doing very well. So, this has been a really emotional week for him. His kids came out and played super hard as I knew they would. As a staff, we knew that they were going to defend us really tough. Corpus Christi absolutely jumped on us in the first quarter and it took us a little while to get acclimated. But our kids kept fighting. I haven’t seen any panic in our kids yet. They do a great job of pounding and defending, and I thought they followed the game plan really well. We did a great job of rebounding and winning the points in the paint. Our goal was to try and double them up with points in the paint and I believe that we did that. So, that’s a really good job on their part. We also really wanted to take care of the basketball and have less than 15 turnovers. We had 12. So, that’s fantastic as well. There was lots of improvement even from our exhibition game, and I’m super proud of and I love the fact we have so much balance on our team as well. We’re really coming together and just playing within ourselves. It’s exciting. I also want to thank the crowd for coming, and obviously the students. We want to encourage them to continue to come back because it certainly gives us a home-court advantage. It was a fantastic night.”
SOPHOMORE RHYLE MCKINNEY:” It’s my second year, and I am feeling more comfortable. But I also feel so good being coached by Coach Gerlich; she puts so much effort into coaching me every day at practice. She is super confident in me, and I think I lacked that last year. I second-guessed so many of my shots and so many other things. I’ve listened to her this year and now I am looking for my shot and looking to attack the basket. I try to do anything that helps my team.”
UP NEXT: The Lady Raiders return to action next Tuesday (Nov. 15) when they host Jackson State. Tip-off from United Supermarkets Arena is set for 7 p.m.
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