AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Women's Basketball team fell to the Texas Tech Lady Raiders, 66-59, in Big 12 action on Wednesday night at the Frank Erwin Center.
The Longhorns' post presence led the team in the game. Freshman center Imani McGee-Stafford tied her career high with 20 points, 14 of which came in the second half. She also grabbed 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season, a figure that ranks third in the Big 12. Sophomore forward Nneka Enemkpali added 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and 8-of-11 from the charity stripe.
Texas Tech (13-4, 3-2 Big 12) broke out of the gates, making 11 of their first 17 shots from the field to take a 27-15 lead. Senior guard Casey Morris scored 15 of Texas Tech's first 23 points, shooting a perfect 5-of-5 from the field, including two three-pointers. The Lady Raiders' defense was able to turn 14 first-half Texas turnovers into 19 points.
The Texas defense turned the tables on the Lady Raiders over the final eight minutes of the first half, forcing Texas Tech to shoot 3-of-12 from the field and holding Morris 0-of-6 during the span. The Longhorns cut the lead to four on a 16-6 run but entered the halftime locker room down eight.
UT strung together several scoring runs but were unable to have the same success on defense. Texas (7-9, 0-5 Big 12) used a 7-0 second-half run to cut the lead to four at 51-47 with nine minutes remaining, but Texas Tech bounced back with a quick three-pointer from Morris and a steal and layup from senior guard Monique Smalls.
With just over five minutes to play in the game, junior guard Chassidy Fussell turned a Texas Tech turnover into a layup to cut the deficit to four at 58-54. After a layup by Texas Tech, junior guard Ashley Roberts hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to three. Roberts then got a steal and McGee-Stafford moved Texas to within one 20-foot jumper for the closest margin since the Longhorns led 7-6 in the opening minutes. However, Texas Tech answered with an offensive rebound and score from Brown to put the lead back at three with 1:13 remaining.
UT couldn't find the basket over the final minute, shooting 0-of-3, and was unable to complete the comeback.
Morris and senior guard Chynna Brown and each scored 20 points for the game to lead the Lady Raiders.
Texas returns to the court on Saturday, Jan. 19 in Norman, Okla., with a Big 12 matchup against Oklahoma. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. Central.