LUBBOCK (AP) – Texas Tech used a different offensive tactic in its 72-64 loss to No. 1 Baylor.
It’s a plan that the game’s leading scorer for Lady Raiders found effective — just not often enough to pull out the win.
Texas Tech placed its post players on the perimeter and worked for chances to score from there.
“I felt that when (Brittney) Griner steps out we just get a green light to drive, drive, drive,” said Christine Hyde, who finished with 15 points. “We felt like we took advantage of that.”
The loss was the third straight for Texas Tech, which had won 14 games before falling at Oklahoma and at home to Kansas State and Baylor.
Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry said the loss to the Lady Bears is tough
“There are no moral victories tonight and we’re very disappointed we lost,” she said. “We told our kids they are the exact same basketball team that got to 14-0. There is nothing wrong with us.”
Griner scored 21 points to lead Baylor.
Texas Tech cut the lead to 69-63 when Monique Smalls stole the ball from Odyssey Sims in the backcourt and made a layup with 1:12 remaining.
But Griner, who finished 7 of 16 from the field with eight blocks, hit a short jumper from the left side to put the Lady Bears back up by eight 71-63 and seal the win.
Baylor worked the ball inside to the 6-foot-8 Griner, who was able to pass the ball out or work her way in for easy layups.
Destiny Williams scored 16 points and got a career-high 16 rebounds for Baylor (18-0, 5-0).
Hyde scored 15 points to lead the Lady Raiders (14-3, 2-3).
The Lady Bears used a balanced attack, getting double-digit scoring from three players. They overwhelmed Texas Tech on the boards 42-29. But the Lady Raiders battled to get the ball inside and outscored Baylor in the paint 38-36.
Texas Tech’s defense forced 14 turnovers, but the Lady Raiders got just nine points from them.
Baylor used a 10-0 run after halftime to lead 47-33, while the Lady Raiders failed to score on eight possessions over five minutes.
The Lady Raiders had just three turnovers in the first half and doubled that in the first three minutes of the second half.
Baylor led 37-31 at halftime, as Griner made her presence known early and often in the first half. Despite having two Lady Raiders draped on and around her, Griner got 11 points and four rebounds in the first half.
Baylor built a lead against Texas Tech, using a 13-2 run late in the half, to go up 36-23. But the Lady Raiders did not relent, finishing the half on an 8-1 run.
The win for Baylor avenged a rare loss for it last season. Texas Tech stunned the Lady Bears in Lubbock 56-45 in February. It was just their second loss at that point and broke Baylor’s 21-game win streak.
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