By Sue Jane Mayes: CNJ correspondent
LUBBOCK — The hibernation is officially over.
The Baylor Bears, led by junior Sophia Young’s 24 points, defeated Texas Tech’s Lady Raiders 52-49 Saturday night in front of a sell-out crowd. The loss knocks Tech into a second-place with Baylor and Kansas State.
Trailing 48-44, Tech’s Erin Grant hit a 3-pointer with 1:04 to play to pull the Lady Raiders to within one.
Baylor’s Chameka Scott responded with the play of the game, nailing her second trey on the evening on the ensuing possession. Aided by an Emily Neiman free throw, the Lady Bears held on to win their first game in Lubbock since 1982.
“It came down to making a play at the end,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey-Roberton said. “It feels good to come here and win.”
Tech’s loss was not a result of lack of effort, especially on the defensive end. Young and senior Steffanie Blackmon—both pre-season National Player of the Year candidates—were held to just 12 combined points in the first half.
“I thought we played good enough defense all night to win,” Lady Raider Coach Marsha Sharp said. “We let them get too many too many takes from the elbows. It came down to making plays.”
Young, however, went to work inside in the second half. The 6-0 junior connected on 7-of-10 after intermission.
“It cost us the game that we weren’t able to defend her better,” Sharp said.
Sharp was quick to praise an athletic Baylor team that held Tech to its lowest point total of the season. She also noted that Tech failed to take advantage of some open looks.
“When you’re playing a great team, you have to make the shots made available to you,” Sharp said.
Tech was 9-of-14 from the free throw line and struggled from the field, shooting 33 percent on the evening.
Point guard Grant was the only Lady Raider to score in double figures with 11 points. Senior Cisti Greenwalt was shut down most of the game, going only 1-of-3 from the field. The Clovis native had only one rebound.
League-leading Iowa State (18-2, 8-1) comes to Lubbock Tuesday night. A win for the Lady Raiders can put Tech right back in the thick of the Big 12 conference standings.