Lady Raiders unable to make shots in loss to LSU

Texas Tech never found its offensive rhythm, and LSU’s defense gave the Lady Raiders the blues.

 

Hoping to get back on track after a blowout loss to Texas A&M, the Lady Raiders had trouble getting into an offensive groove and fell to the Lady Tigers 48-40 Thursday night at United Supermarkets Arena.

LSU’s win in the Big 12/SEC Challenge game dropped Tech to 3-3 for the season. Brielle Blaire and Receé Caldwell scored 10 points each to lead Tech, with Brittany Brewer adding eight points to go with her 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.

LSU’s leading scorer for the season, 5-foot-10 senior guard Raigyne Louis, paced the Lady Tigers (4-3) with 17 points on 8 of 18 shooting, but she was LSU’s only scorer in double figures, and Tech coach Candi Whitaker was pleased with the Lady Raiders’ overall defensive effort.

“I thought our defense was excellent,” Whitaker said. “If you would have told me we would hold them to 48 points on 35 percent shooting, and hold their best player to 17 points on 18 shot attempts, I would have been pleased. But we just have to rebound out of it and make some shots.”

After one of the roughest starts in Lady Raider history against A&M, the Lady Raiders again started slowly against the Lady Tigers, hitting just 28 percent on the way to trailing 13-9 after the first quarter.

LSU’s aggressive matchup zone defense, mixed with some full-court press, kept the Lady Raiders off balance from the beginning. The Lady Raiders committed eight turnovers in the opening quarter, and hit a scoring drought from the end of the first quarter through the start of the second.

A layup by Brewer on an inside post move with 5:40 remaining in the second quarter snapped a seven-minute stretch without a field goal for Tech. But the offensive woes continued for the Lady Raiders, who managed just seven points in the second quarter.

“We just have to find ways to score, to cut down on turnovers, and when you finish with just nine assists on 16 shots made, that’s not enough,” Whitaker said.

Trailing 17-16, the Lady Raiders had a chance to take the lead when Zuri Sanders stole a cross-court pass and pushed the ball upcourt, but Caldwell was called for traveling on Tech’s subsequent possession, and LSU finished the half on a 6-0 run to lead 23-16 at halftime.

Lady Raider post Jada Terry, who finished with six points, picked up her third foul early in the second quarter, and with her out of the game, Brewer came off the bench to spark Tech’s inside game.

“We have to get the ball to Jada more than we did,” Whitaker said.

The Lady Raiders started to heat up to begin the second half. Caldwell drained a long 3-pointer and Blaire scored on a putback after a Caldwell miss on Tech’s next possession to pull within 27-23 early in the third quarter.

Brewer had three of her blocked shots in the second half as Tech stayed close, but every time the Lady Raiders made a run, the LSU defense responded.

“Their big (6-6 LSU post Faustin Aifuwa) bothered me a little bit, and their guards were out on us the whole game,” Caldwell said.

With the LSU lead still in single digits late, Whitaker said the Lady Tigers took the fight to the Lady Raiders to close things out.

“I thought they out-toughed us, and out-fought us in the last four minutes, and that’s really why we didn’t win the game,” Whitaker said. She pointed to a need for improvement in taking care of the ball and working for good shots.

“We can’t turn the ball over 21 times and shoot 33 percent and expect to win.”

 

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