Cold Shooting Stops Buffs
LUBBOCK, Texas - Colorado couldn't quite overcome its coldest shooting game of the year as Texas Tech claimed a 74-61 Big 12 Conference win Tuesday night at the United Spirit Arena.
Colorado (11-4, 1-1 Big 12) shot a season low 31 percent for the contest, including just 18 percent in the first half, hitting just 6-of-34 from the field. Texas Tech (13-3, 1-1 Big 12) took advantage with two different 16-0 runs to build a 25 point lead early in the second half, before Colorado narrowed the final margin.
Bianca Smith led the way with 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Senior Courtney Dunn registered her first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
Texas Tech held CU's leading scorer Brittany Spears to just three points, her lowest output since recording three against Texas on Feb. 16, 2008.
Jordan Murphree led Texas Tech with 21 points. Ashlee Roberson and Monique Smalls each had 10 rebounds as the Lady Raiders won the battle of the boards 45-35.
Alyssa Fressle had 12 points for the Buffaloes and dished out four assists.
Colorado returns home to host Iowa State University on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 4:30 p.m. MST. The game will be televised by FSN Rocky Mountain.
Freshman guard Chucky Jeffery scored the game's first points on a steal and pull-up jumper in transition, but Texas Tech scored the next 16 points, six coming from Roberson.
Spears stopped the Lady Raiders' streak with her only field goal of the game - a 3-pointer with 14 minutes, 6 seconds left in the first half. That field goal sparked a 10-2 CU run as Smith's first 3-pointer cut the Tech lead to 18-12.
Colorado missed its next 12 shots, but Texas Tech had cooled off too, making just 2-of-12 during that same stretch. Dunn scored on a put-back with 5:23 left in the half and Fressle nailed a deep 3-pointer to pull CU within eight at 27-19 with 3:51 remaining.
But Texas Tech scored the final 10 points of the half for a 37-19 halftime lead. The Lady Raiders then opened the second half with two straight Kierra Mallard buckets and a pair of Murphree free throws to push their lead to 24.
"I thought the game was decided in the first six minutes," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "I thought Texas Tech came out extremely focused, their defensive pressure took us out of it. I thought we settled consistently, got on our heels, did not executeand that is a focus of ours."
Smith ended Texas Tech's second 16-0 run with a 3-pointer with 16:44 remaining. Soon after the Buffaloes found some rhythm and clawed back into the game.
Texas Tech claimed its biggest lead at 51-26 with 14:27 left, before Colorado stormed back. The Buffaloes scored 13 straight en route to an 18-2 run that cut the Lady Raiders' lead to single digits.
Fressle started the rally with a traditional 3-point play, then later, Smith and Meagan Malcolm-Peck hit back-to-back 3-pointers to trim the lead to 51-37.
After a Fressle jumper, Roberson ended the 13-0 CU run to put Tech back up 53-39. Smith answered with a 3-poinster to knock the lead down to 11. Another Dunn put-back capped off the CU run as Tech led just 53-44 at the 8:54 mark. The Buffaloes had a chance to cut the lead down even further, but wasted transition opportunities two straight possessions prior to Dunn's basket.
Texas Tech regrouped and pushed its lead back up to 20, mostly from the free throw line. The Lady Raiders hit 21-of-24 from the line in the game including 12-of-14 in the second half. CU, which entered the game as the Big 12's top free throw shooting team, made just 12-of-20.
"I was proud of our players and the way we came back and went to the bench," McConnell-Miller said. "We got a little more confidence with some of the players on the bench. But it was Texas Tech's night and I thought they had a great game plan. I thought they executed. They took (Brittany) Spears out of her game. They took Chucky Jeffery out of her game. But I am definitely proud of the players that came off the bench and performed."
Colorado rebounded to shoot 47 percent in the second half, outscoring Texas Tech 42-37 in the final 20 minutes.