Texas Tech women come apart early vs. No. 1 Baylor


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- After two closes losses against Baylor in the regular season, Texas Tech had hope for an upset of the nation's top-ranked team.

That hope didn't last very long. Not even until halftime, really.

The No. 1 Lady Bears closed the half on a 13-0 run and took all the suspense out of their 72-48 win Thursday in the Big 12 tournament.

"You've got to come out and make shots and be aggressive," Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry said. I felt like we were going east and west and not rim to rim or north to south."

The Lady Raiders actually took a two-point lead by holding Baylor to four points in the opening four minutes. It didn't last.

Odyssey Sims scored 18 points and Brittney Griner had 15 points, nine rebounds and five blocks for the Lady Bears (32-0), who will face Kansas State in the semifinals.

The plight for Texas Tech (19-13) was symbolized by Ashley Field's three-point bank shot that beat the buzzer at the end of the first half. That made it 40-16 after Tech had been hanging around, trailing just 27-16 with 3:53 left in the half.

Monique Smalls led the Lady Raiders with 11 points and Kelsi Baker had nine rebounds.

"I really feel like we didn't come out playing as well as we know we should have," Smalls said. "But credit to Baylor. They had a good game and we had a bad shooting half. It happens."

With Tech up two after the first television timeout, Sims got things rolling for Baylor with a couple of passes over the top of the zone defense. Baylor went to full court pressure and the length and athleticism of the Lady Bears kept the Texas Tech offense in check.

Unable to finish drives against the intimidating presence of Griner, Texas Tech shot just 18.5 percent (5 of 27) in the first half while committing 12 turnovers. Meanwhile, Baylor was able to distribute the ball well over the final 16 minutes of the half, resulting in a 61.5 percent field goal percentage (16 of 26). The Lady Bears had a 20-4 advantage in lane points during the opening 20 minutes.

"They've got great balance across the board and their supporting cast is playing really well," Curry said.

Texas Tech had looked strong on Wednesday with an opening round victory over Texas, but the deep and talented Lady Bears proved to be a different type of challenge.

The Lady Raiders had hoped to stay with Baylor by avoiding Griner as much as possible and hitting a bevy of 3-pointers. But Tech finished just 3 of 14 from beyond the arc.

The Lady Raiders played a lot of zone and collapsed around Griner whenever she caught the ball in the post. But Sims hit four three-pointers and had balanced scoring with Griner taking just 10 shots.

"Today, their supporting cast did a great job of getting into the heart of the defense," Curry said. "I'm sure that's something they've worked on. You've got to pick and choose. I don't think you can let (Griner) be your entire focal point. You've got to have great balance not only at the offensive end, but also the defensive end."