LUBBOCK, Texas – Lady Raider Basketball hit the hardwood to showcase its 2017-18 team as it rolled past St. Edwards, 73-40, in their exhibition game Sunday at United Supermarkets Arena. .
The Lady Raiders held the Hilltoppers to 25.4 percent shooting while senior Brielle Blaire and sophomores Erin Degrate and Brittany Brewer fueled the offense in to the victory. Tech held St. Edwards to just nine points in three of the four quarters, building a 15-point lead at the half and pouring it on in the fourth behind its dominant inside game.
"Exhibitions are for learning and figuring out where you have to be better," head coach Candi Whitakersaid. "We had some people who hadn't played a game in a while. We were excited we could get everybody in and really play as a team. I'm really proud of our stats in the second half as far as assists on goals made and more attempts at the free throw line. I think both of those things are critical for us."
Degrate tallied 10 of her game-high 14 points during the fourth quarter marking an impressive debut for the transfer who sat out the 2016-17 season. Brewer complimented her inside with 13 points and six boards while senior Jada Terry was a force as well with nine points and eight boards. Blaire led Tech from behind the arc, going 2-3 on her way to 12 points and eight rebounds.
Tech led 21-9 after the first quarter behind 50 percent shooting and an active defense that forced seven Hilltopper turnovers. Six Lady Raiders scored in the quarter as Tech built an 11-4 at the first media timeout thanks to threes from junior Recee' Caldwell and Blaire and a three-point play from sophomore Grayson Bright. Freshman Lyndsey Whilby provided a spark off the bench with four points and a rebound in her first action in the Scarlet and Black.
The Lady Raiders extended their lead to 33-18 at the half thanks to another strong defensive effort in the second. Tech limited St. Edwards to 21.4 percent shooting and only three buckets in the second period while outrebounding the HIlltoppers 22-13.
Back-to-back three-point trips down the floor sparked Tech to a 39-22 advantage in the third. Following a HIlltopper miss, Brewer grabbed the board and dished ahead to Caldwell, who led a transition opportunity that would eventually find Blaire in the left corner for her second three of the game. On the next possession, Caldwell found Brewer inside for a traditional three-point play. Minutes later, senior Dayo Olabode went on her own five-point scoring burst later in the stanza, which extended Tech's lead to 20 at 46-36.
Entering the fourth with a 50-31 lead, Tech went to interior game to start the fourth as Terry, Degrate and Brewer combined to score Tech's first 10 points in the frame. Texas Tech finished the game outrebounding the Hilltoppers 50-28 and owning the points in the paint battle, 32-18.
Sunday's matchup marked the only exhibition contest for both teams and the first overall meeting between the two programs.
The Lady Raiders improved to 38-6 all-time in exhibition games.
Texas Tech's starting lineup consisted of Grayson Bright, Recee' Caldwell, Jada Terry, Brittany Brewer and Dayo Olabode.
All three newcomers made an appearance, including transfer Erin Degrate and freshmen Lyndsey Whilbyand Angel Hayden.
The Lady Raiders open their 2017-18 campaign Sat., November 12, against Texas State. Tipoff at United Supermarkets Arena is slated for 2 p.m. The Lady Raiders have won 11 straight home openers dating back to the 2005-06 season. Tech is 12-0 all-time against the Bobcats and 1-0 under head coach Candy Whitaker, including an 81-77 win in 2014.