Texas Tech Powers Past Louisiana to share Preseason WNIT Title

LAFAYETTE, La. – Bolstered by strong early performances from freshman Bailey Maupin and junior post-player Jazmaine Lewis, the Texas Tech Lady Raiders cruised by the University of Louisiana, 64-48, Sunday afternoon from the CAJUN Dome.

In the victory, Maupin led the way for Texas Tech (3-1), scoring 13 points on efficient 3-of-5 shooting. With her 13-point performance, Maupin has now reached double figures in the first four games of her Lady Raider career.

Other strong performances included 12 points and five rebounds from Lewis and 10 points and two steals from Rhyle McKinney.

Like Maupin, McKinney has now also recorded double figure scoring in all four games this season.

The duo were two of seven players selected to the WNIT All-Tournament team after averaging 17.7 points (McKinney) and 15 points (Maupin) respectively over the three games.

With the win, the Lady Raiders share the Preseason WNIT team title with the University of Colorado and Jackson State.  Colorado’s Quay Miller earned Most Valuable Player honors.

For the game, Tech shot a blistering 24-of-39 from the field (61.5 percent) and 6-for-11 (54.5 percent) from three.

On the defensive end of the floor, the Lady Raiders held Louisiana to just 15-of-60 shooting (25 percent) and 5-of-23 shooting. In the first half, the suffocating Tech defense held Louisiana to 1-of-11 shooting from behind the arc and to just 4-for-29 (13.8 percent) from the field.

Nubia Benedith came off the bench Sunday to lead all scorers with 16 points, while guard Lanay Wheaton added 11 for the Ragin’ Cajuns (1-4).

HOW IT HAPPENED:

Sunday’s game off to a slow start, as neither team was able to break the ice through the first three minutes of action.

After Louisiana struck first on a made free throw three minutes and one second into the contest, Lewis gave the Lady Raiders a 2-1 lead with 5:45 to play in the opening quarter.

The basket was the first of six consecutive points the forward would score for the Lady Raiders.

After Wheaton cut a 6-3 Tech lead to just 6-5 with 1:41 remaining in the quarter, Tech used a jumper from Gerlich and three end-of-quarter free throws to take an 11-5 lead after 10 minutes of play.

The five points allowed mark the fewest the Lady Raiders have allowed in an opening quarter this season and marks the second time that a team has failed to score more than five in a period.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi managed just three points in the second quarter back on Nov. 7.

Louisiana used a Wheaton triple to spark a 4-0 spurt that cut the six-point Lady Raider advantage to just 11-9, 90 seconds into quarter number two.

With the momentum starting to turn, Maupin got to the free throw line and made a pair.

The two shots sparked 16-0 run that took Tech’s advantage to a first half best 27-9 with 22 ticks to play in the opening half.

One last layup right before the buzzer from Wheaton, cut the Tech lead to 27-11 at the break. Wheaton’s layup snapped an 0-for-14 stretch by her team.

Following the break, the Lady Raiders continued to find success, as an and-one from guard Bre’Amber Scott closed an 8-2 run that pushed the Tech advantage to 35-16 with 6:53 remaining in the third quarter.

Louisiana tried to claw back into the game, scoring 15 of the final 24 points of the third quarter to draw to within 44-31 after 30 minutes of action.

In the fourth and final quarter, the Lady Raiders shook off an early free throw to go on an 9-0 run that highlighted by back-to-back triples from Scott and McKinney. The run expanded a 44-32 Tech lead to 53-32 with 6:14 left.

Louisiana made one last large charge to draw to within 57-43 with 2:18 to play, but five quick points from redshirt freshman Jasmaine Shavers shifted to the momentum back to the Lady Raiders who cruised to a 64-48 victory.

After allowing Louisiana to shoot 8-of-16 from the field in the third period, the Lady Raiders clamped down defensively, holding the Cajuns to just 3-of-15 shooting in the final period overall and to 0-for-6 shooting from distance.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
• With tonight’s victory, the Lady Raiders share the overall team title with Colorado and Jackson State. All three teams went 2-1 during the event.
• In her first career start, Maupin reached double figures for the fourth consecutive game. She becomes the first Lady Raider since Vivian Gray to score in double figures in the first four games as a Lady Raider.
• Maupin is averaging 14.5 points and 4.5 rebounds.
• The guard is shooting 41.2 percent from the field, 46.2 percent from behind the arc and an impressive 22-of-24 (91.7 percent) from the line.
• The West Texas product has made at least four free throws in all four games this season.
• Tech’s 61.5 percent shooting from the floor is the best field goal percentage since Tech shot 39-of-63 (61.9 percent) against UIW (12/29/20)
• McKinney continues to be both productive and efficient this season. The Argyle product is now 26-of-43 (60.5 percent from the field) and an impressive 9-for-19 (47.4 percent) from distance.
• Her season average sits at an even 16.0 points per game through the season’s first four games.
• The win improves Tech to 12-2 in November under Gerlich.
• Scott continues to be a difference maker for the Lady Raiders. The guard scored nine points, grabbed five boards and was a combined +24 in her 21 minutes and 35 seconds of action.
• Lewis continues to flash on the offensive end of the floor for the Lady Raiders.
• After reaching double figures just five times in her 68 game UH career, the Kansas City native has 10+ points in three of her first four games as a Lady Raider.
• With the win tonight, Tech head coach Krista Gerlich improves to 11-5 all-time against Louisiana.
• All 12 Lady Raiders that suited up Sunday played at least five minutes in the game.
• After recording back-to-back games with 10 or more offensive boards, the Lady Raiders managed to secure just one of 15 misses Sunday. The lone offensive rebound came from Lewis in the fourth period.
• Shavers’ five points a career-high.
• The Mississippi State transfer also made her first career 3-pointer on Sunday.

COACH SPEAK (HC KRISTA GERLICH):
On the defensive effort:
“In the first half our defensive effort was excellent. Hopefully we learn from what happened in the second half and make a few corrections. We let Louisiana get too many easy looks at the basket in the second half, we fouled them too much and turned it over way too much.”

On Maupin and Lewis’ performance:
“Both kids did a great job of coming in and getting some buckets to get us going. Bailey is shooting the ball well and she’s been really aggressive off the dribble. She’s got good energy and spring to her, which give us a lift. And then Jazmaine [Lewis] is being that inside presence that we need. She’s finishing around the basket and shooting a really high percentage from both the field and the free throw line. She’s causing people to have to focus on her down low which opens up our guards a bit especially on the perimeter when they have to help off.”

UP NEXT:
The Lady Raiders head to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving where they will take part in the Las Vegas Shootout. Tech will play a pair of games in Sin City against a pair of preseason conference favorites in Middle Tennessee (Friday) and Mercer (Saturday). Tech’s contest with the Blue Raiders tips off at 1 p.m. (CT) on Friday while Saturday’s contest is slated for a 10 p.m. (CT) tip.

–TECH–

Release provided by Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics