AUSTIN, Texas (AP)Texas Tech so thoroughly dominated No. 9 Texas Wednesday night that coach Krista Gerlich needed little prompting to make a proclamation about her team.
”We’re for real,” Gerlich said.
Vivian Gray scored 23 points, Bre’Amber Scott had 21 and Texas Tech asserted itself inside during a 74-61 win.
The Red Raiders (8-5, 1-1 Big 12) shot 50 percent from the field, had an 24-16 edge in the paint and continually went to the free throw line, enabling them to overcome a season-high 26 turnovers.
Tech converted 34 of 44 free throws – Gray was 13 for 17 and Scott nine for 10 – while Texas hit 12 of 19. The Longhorns made eight straight in the third quarter but missed their last four when the deficit was single digits, helping Tech pull away.
Texas (10-2, 1-1) had its worst shooting game of the season, 29.2%, as Gerlich deployed much more zone defense that usual.
”They were outstanding,” Texas coach Vic Schaefer said. ”They were tougher and played with a lot more poise. We had a real lack of character and discipline. That was my mess out there tonight. I’ll wear it. I’ll fix it, though.”
Tech had a 44-32 rebounding edge thanks to 13 by Taylah Thomas, who scored 12 points . Khadija Faye had 11.
”I’m so proud of these kids – the composure they played with, and just the toughness,” Gerlich said. ”You can have a great game plan, but if you don’t have the toughness to execute it, you are not gonna win, especially on the road.”
Aliyah Matharu led the Longhorns with 12 points but missed 12 of 17 shots. Audrey Warren scored 11.
Tech used hot shooting to take a 34-30 halftime lead despite 14 turnovers. The Red Raiders hit 62 percent, nearly double Texas’ 32.4.
Tech had a 14-6 edge in the paint largely because Texas post players combined to convert just one of 12 shots.
The Texas hit 2 of 18 from the field in the third quarter, leaving itself trailing by 13 and Tech in position for a big win.
Before Wednesday, Gray had played in only four games this season, and Scott in three, both because of injuries.
”We haven’t played a full, solid game yet,” Scott said. ”This was a step in the right direction. We’ve got everybody back now.”
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders lost four of five games before facing Texas. But three were against ranked teams – No. 13 LSU, No. 15 Georgia and No. 23 Oklahoma – and all but one were without Gray, who averaged 19.8 points and 8.2 rebounds last season for Tech after transferring from Oklahoma State. She missed eight games this season with an ankle and foot injuries and returned in time to produce 21 points and nine rebounds in the Big 12 opener, a 97-91 loss to Oklahoma.
Texas: The Longhorns couldn’t take advantage of having their full roster of players available for the first time since opening night of the season. Since then, injuries and COVID-19 removed players from the lineup, including freshman starter Aaliyah Moore. She returned against Tech after missing eight games with an ankle injury and scored six points.
Schaefer and Gerlich received technical fouls at the start of the second half after they exchanged words around mid court. They shook hands after the game. Gerlich said there is some confusion at the scorer’s table about her second-half lineup.
”Vic was exceptional after the game, very complimentary of our kids,” Gerlich said. ”We’re both very passionate about what we’re doing and we both are gonna stand up for our kids and that’s all that was happening.”
Schaefer said he was defending the Texas crew working the scorer’s table and blamed Tech for the confusion.
”You ain’t gonna sit there and jump all over my people at the table,” Schaefer said.
Texas Tech: hosts Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Texas: hosts Kansas on Jan. 12. A scheduled game at No. 14 Baylor on Sunday was postponed because of COVID-19 issues in the Baylor program.
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