Texas Tech defeats Tulane 76-59
Posted: Tuesday March 21, 2000 01:06 AM
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- A strong defense was Texas Tech's best offense against Tulane.
The Lady Raiders scored 34 points off turnovers and grabbed 38 rebounds in a 76-59 victory Monday night in the second round of the NCAA women's Mideast Regional.
"I think the downfall for us was turnovers and offensive rebounds," Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. "When you give up 21 offensive rebounds you don't expect to win too many games. ... Texas Tech played 40 minutes very hard even when things didn't go their way."
Plenette Pierson scored 19 points, pacing a balanced scoring attack for third-seeded Texas Tech (27-4). Aleah Johnson, Katrisa O'Neal and Tanisha Ellison each had 12 points.
"We had to go on the attack and stay on the attack all night," coach Marsha Sharp said. "We knew that we were not going to shut them down. The key for us since [Janell] Burse was scoring 19 points a game was to contain her. I think we did that."
The other player Tech worked to hold back was Grace Daley, who led all scorers with 24 points.
"We knew she liked to go to the left a lot," said Tech guard Katrissa O'Neal, who guarded Daley. "We worked at just staying down and trying to contain her and making her work for everything she got."
Tech broke open a close game late in the first half, putting together a 10-2 run that turned a 24-22 lead into a 36-24 halftime advantage. The flurry was punctuated by back-to-back 3-pointers from Amber Tarr and Keitha Dickerson, who hit a running shot from beyond the top of the key as time expired.
"I got it from Plenette and I looked at the clock and said, 'Five seconds. Why not?'' said Dickerson, who threw her arms in the air after hitting the three-pointer and ran off the court with a huge grin on her face.
At the half, Tulane's players still felt they could win the game, but Stockton was worried.
"I had never really seen our team so timid on defense," Stockton said. "I thought a lot of our turnovers came from a lack of intensity - coming through the lane and not knowing who's behind you, putting a floater up that can be stolen. It's not that our kids didn't want to win this game."
The Lady Raiders pushed the lead to as many as 16 points during the opening stages of the second half, but sixth-seeded Tulane (27-5) sliced the gap to 49-39 at the 10:24 mark on a pair of free throws by Daley.
Tech answered with a 15-foot jumper from Tarr, a follow shot by Ellison and a layup by O'Neal to make it 55-39 with 8:17 left. Tulane got no closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
"We tried to make some people handle the ball for them who we knew hadn't handled the ball as much this season,' Sharp said.
Fabrecia Roberson was the only other Tulane player in double figures with 12 points.
"We made a lot of bad decisions out there tonight and it hurt us offensively," Daley said. "It was not so much what they did, but what we didn't do that hurt us."
Tech, which won its 30th consecutive home game, advances to the Mideast Region semifinals, where it will meet Notre Dame.
"The most important thing for me is to win basketball games,"
Sharp said. "I think that group of people in the locker room wants
to keep playing and I guarantee we'll take our best shot."