FAST BREAK: Lady Raiders looking to bounce back following first loss

Texas Tech’s head coach Candi Whitaker calls out a play during the Lady Raider’s exhibition game against St. Edwards on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas. (Jay Crain/A-J Media)

Texas Tech and Florida A&M University will be looking to bounce back following season-opening losses last week.

 

The Lady Raiders (0-1), who had four players finish in doubles digits, are set the host the Rattlers in an 11 a.m. Wednesday contest at United Supermarkets Arena.

“For the most part, it’s just buying into defense,” Texas Tech forward Dayo Olabode said of learning lessons taken from the season-opening loss to Texas State. “Trust the scout (scouting report). And whenever our coach tells us a player is a driver, a player is a shooter — we need to buy into that and make the changes.”

Texas Tech’s Jada Terry (22 points), Recee’ Caldwell (13), Olabode (10) and Brittany Brewer (10) finished in double digits in a 17-point loss to Texas State last week. Terry enjoyed an efficient night, shooting 10 of 13 from the floor and added two free throws.

“She was really efficient,” Texas Tech head coach Candi Whitaker said of Terry’s performance. “I think Jada has been really consistent for us this year. Practices have been very consistent. I expect her to have a great senior year because of her consistency and her preparation. … Definitely proud of the growth she’s had since she’s been here.”

While the Lady Raiders had success on the offensive end, the difference in the game revolved around an inability to stop Bobcats’ Taeler Deer who finished with a game-high 44 points — netting 25 at the end of the first half.

Texas State shot 52 percent from the floor and 38 percent from beyond the three-point line, including five triples from Deer.

“There was a lot there to work on,” Whitaker said of what was worked on following game film from the Bobcats’ loss. “I think, for us, we really wanted to focus on the defensive end. The energy you have to play with when you’re in your zone. The energy and the communication you have to play with with whatever defense you’re in, particularly in ball-screen defense. We had prepared three days for ball-screen defense and was very disappointed to not see just simple communications.”

The Rattlers, who dropped their first contest to Eastern Michigan, were able to keep things close early on. FAMU trailed 22-11 after the first quarter but saw its deficit balloon to 39-25 by the break.

For the game, the Rattlers shot 34 percent from the field — led by guard Florence Ouattara who notched 19 points, seven rebounds and five steals in last Friday’s loss. Center Shalunda Burney-Robinson added 10 points and five rebounds, while forward Shakeyrra Morrison added eight points, 11 rebounds and three assists.

“They are very, very athletic,” Whitaker said of FAMU. “They shoot it very, very quickly. They have no fear of putting the ball up. … They have a little more size, inside, but I would say they’re still guard dominant. In that they really want to spread you at and attack ya, they want to turn you over and they want you to play at a very high pace.”

Just the facts

Who: Texas Tech Women’s Basketball vs. Florida A&M University

When: 11 a.m., Wednesday

Where: United Supermarkets Arena

Records: Texas Tech 0-1 overall; FAMU 0-1

Last game: Texas State def. Texas Tech 87-70

Last meeting: First meeting between programs.

Notable: Texas Tech is hosting its fourth-annual Education Day. Texas Tech Athletics invites all area students 8th grade and younger to attend.

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— Carlos Silva Jr., A-J Media

 

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