LUBBOCK, Texas – Sophomore Brittney Richardson came off the bench for a career high 18 points but it was not enough as the Texas Tech Lady Raiders defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks, 75-60, in women’s basketball at the United Spirit Arena.
Arkansas, 10-4, exhibited a punishing defense against Tech, 9-4, but could not get it’s own offense on track early in the game to snap the Lady Raiders’ home winning streak. Texas Tech is undefeated this season at United Spirit Arena.
“This was a frustrating loss for us,” UA head coach Tom Collen said. “We can’t afford to have bad shooting night from behind the line, and with one exception, we had a bad day.”
For the game, the Razorbacks shot 31.4% from the field and 28.0% from behind the arc; a stat made more dramatic by a poor first half.
Richardson had the majority of Arkansas’ three-pointers, hitting 5-of-7 while the rest of the team combined for 2-of-18.
“She’s capable of that on any night, and it was good that we had it today, but we need that more often from her,” Collen said. “What was really important was that confidence she had in her shot carried over to the rest of her game. She was getting rebounds and going after steals.”
Arkansas trailed the entire first half before Richardson drove the Razorbacks to their first lead of the game midway through the second half.
The teams traded runs to open the second half until Richardson started to get hot from behind the arc. The sophomore’s third trey of the afternoon started a run with 13:41 which Shanita Arnold continued with a running jumper to tie the game for the first time, 44-44.
Another Tech turnover allowed Arkansas to set a play for Richardson, who drained a 22-footer from the top of the key for the first Razorback lead of the game, 47-44, with 11:57 left.
Jordan Murphree rallied the Lady Raiders with back-to-back jumpers, but a Ricketts free throw tied the game again at 48-48.
Tech rebuilt its lead at the free throw line hitting six straight for a 54-48 lead with eight minutes to play. The free throws launched a 15-1 run that gave the Lady Raiders a 63-49 margin with six minutes left.
“If we had a couple more buckets right when they started their run, it could have changed the game,” Richardson said.
“Ultimately, we didn’t shoot well, and that was a difference,” Collen said. “But another key was they eventually solved our press in the second half which didn’t give us the turnovers we needed to convert at the end.”
The Razorbacks started the game cold, missing their first seven shots. Arkansas’ defense held the Lady Raiders to only two field goal attempts in the opening five minutes.
Lyndsay Harris broke the scoring drought with a deep three-pointer at 17:31. In spite of a less than 20% start from the field, Arkansas trailed only by one, 6-5, with pressure defense.
Tech took advantage of the Razorbacks’ cold shooting to build a seven-point lead off six points from Dominic Seals in an 8-2 run to 14-7.
The Lady Raiders had twice the turnovers of Arkansas in the opening half – 15 to 7 — giving the Razorbacks almost twice as many field goal attempts, 43 to 25. With the exception of Ayana Brereton, who opened the game perfect from the field, the Razorbacks could not take advantage of the defensive power early.
In the closing minutes of the half, Arkansas regained its shooting touch for an 8-0 run. A deep three-pointer from Richardson opened the run, followed by a driving layup by Brereton. A three-point play by Ashley McCray brought Arkansas to within a bucket, 25-23.
The McCray free throw with 2:48 left in the first half was the first free throw attempt of the half for Arkansas. Meanwhile, Tech made up for its shooting deficit with an 8-of-10 performance at the line.
Arkansas closed to within one, 29-28, with an inbounds pass to Ricketts for a driving layup with 19 seconds left. Tech’s Murphree hit a buzzer-beater for her 14th point of the first half to send the teams to the locker room at 31-28.
Ricketts finished with 13 and Brereton with 10 points as Arkansas’ only other player in double digits.
Murphree led all scorers with 22 for Tech while Kierra Mallard had a double-double with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Seals added 16 points and Roberson pulled down 13 rebounds.