KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Texas Tech overcame an early 8-0 deficit and never put the brakes on en route to winning its first Big 12 Championship game in five years, 75-52 over 11th-seeded Oklahoma State on Tuesday at Municipal Auditorium.
Tech (22-9) used poise and precision throughout the game and watched Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year, Chynna Brown score 13 points to lead the Lady Raiders bench - outscoring OSU 24-5.
Tech head coach Kristy Curry credited the Brown, Kelsi Baker and Shauntal Nobles for helping give the Lady Raiders an extra spark when they needed it. "When you look at the energy Nobles and Baker had tonight off the bench, you know, at Oklahoma State they were absolutely horrific," Curry said. "And they know it and they've grown from it. That was the difference in the game was our bench and energy tonight."
Sophomore guard Monique Smalls led four Lady Raiders in double figures with a career-high 15 points, while junior forward Kierra Mallard and Brown each had 13 to go with sophomore Christine Hyde's 12.
Oklahoma State (16-14) relied heavily on the 3-point ball early on and had some good luck. Lakyn Garrison appeared should could not miss in the first part of the game, hitting three 3-pointers in the first half to bring Oklahoma State within one point of Tech before halftime at 19-18. But Tech went up 26-22 at the break and never looked back.
"They've learned a lot along the way," Curry said of her team's poise throughout the game. "We want to make sure that we do all the little things against the zone from out ball reversal, shot fake, pass fake, still dribble -- we were patient and poised and patience is a virtue sometimes and it really paid off for us tonight." Hyde took over the court in the second half and helped the Lady Raiders put the dagger in Oklahoma State early on.
As Oklahoma State began to close the gap at 40-36 with 14:14 to go, Hyde hit two consecutive 3-pointers that sparked a 19-0 run by the Lady Raiders over an eight-minute span.
"We picked up our energy," Smalls said. "We encouraged each other. If we did something bad, we were like, `Don't worry about it, shake it off, it's in the past, keep moving on.'"
Tech will try to keep moving on at the tournament when it faces Oklahoma (19-9), the No. 3 seed at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday at Municipal Auditorium. The Lady Raiders beat the Sooners, 61-56, in the regular season finale on Saturday.