No. 9 Texas Tech 68, Texas 62
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) _ Texas Tech used free throws and rebounding to make a case for a fifth straight Southwest Conference championship.
The No. 9 Lady Raiders hit four free throws in the final 33.3 seconds in holding off Texas 68-62 Saturday to move into first place in the SWC.
``Sometimes in conference you have weeks with minefields,″ said Tech coach Marsha Sharp, whose team beat preseason favorite Southern Methodist 86-73 on Wednesday.
``This week we tiptoed through, and that’s because we played with a lot of courage and a lot of poise,″ Sharp said.
Michi Atkins had 31 points and 15 rebounds for the Lady Raiders (16-2, 6-0 SWC).
``We came out intimidated and didn’t look like ourselves,″ said Texas coach Jody Conradt. ``Tech did a good job of shutting us down behind the 3-point line.″
The Lady Longhorns (10-6, 5-1) led just once _ 25-24 in the first half _ but stayed close throughout thanks to a man-to-man defense that forced 25 turnovers, including 14 steals. But Texas shot just 38.6 percent and was outrebounded 50-35.
Alicia Thompson had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Tech and Sandy Parker added nine assists.
``I definitely give credit to my teammates for having confidence in me and getting the ball to me,″ said Thompson, a sophomore. ``They feel comfortable with me, which allows me to shoot more.″
Texas was led by Vanessa Wallace’s 23 points and Erica Routt’s 16. Danielle Viglione, who had been averaging 14.3 points per game, was held to four.
The Lady Raiders led 21-9 with 8:35 to go in the first half when Texas went on a 14-3 run featuring eight points by Routt. Routt’s steal and layup at 1:57 gave Texas a 25-24 lead.
Parker sank two free throws 27 seconds and Tech led 31-25 at halftime.
Texas closed to 44-43 on Wallace’s steal and layup with 11:07 remaining.
``We’d make a run and then relax,″ Conradt said. ``We were relaxing whenever we would catch up.″
The Lady Raiders built their biggest lead of the second half at 56-47 after a 3-pointer by Julie Lake with 5:20 to go.
Texas cut it to 64-62 with 1:13 to go when Wallace hit two free throws.
``I thought there were two good basketball teams going after each other today,″ Sharp said. ``I thought every player that got out on the floor played with a lot of heart. Both teams.″