If the Big 12 women's basketball season goes the way many
expect, it could be Baylor running away with the conference title and almost
the entire remaining 9 teams in the league battling for second.
That's why there is so much emphasis on every game, and why ones
like Saturday's 65-55 loss to Oklahoma hurt so much.
But in the case of the OU game, the hurt doesn't simply come in
the fact THAT they lost, but how. And how the Lady Raiders lost Saturday
makes it an even tougher pill to swallow.
After a first half that mostly went according to plan and Tech
holding a one point lead, they were able to aggressively take the ball at the
Sooners and get to the foul line in the second half, further complicating an
already growing foul situation for Oklahoma along the way. However, there
was one problem.
The Lady Raiders missed 10 of their 12 second
half free throws. The final margin they lost by - 10. Now you can't
necessarily expect they were supposed to make all 12 second half freebies, but
even 8 or 9 and the entire complexion of the end of regulation changes and who
knows what happens from there.
It hurts because the execution of the game plan (other than
leaving Aaryn Ellenberg
open for a couple of late threes), was pretty good.
The Lady Raiders overcame an 8 point deficit in the first half to grab a
29-28 halftime lead and then in the second half trimmed a 12 point deficit down
to a 4 point game at the 4:48 mark after a Chynna Brown 3 pointer made the
score 52-48 OU.
But those missed opportunities at the line and throw in some
other missed chances at points in the paint and the Lady Raiders missed a
Sooner state sweep after winning in Stillwater a week and a half ago. And
now Lady Raider fans can only hope this we won't look back at this loss as one
of those they really needed to get where they want to go.
is a chance for redemption though. It's a trip to Austin for a Texas team
reeling with three straight conference losses (at the time this is written),
and let's hope the seniors on this team will get something there that they
never got in Norman - and that would be a win.
if things go according to pattern in this league, it could come down to free
throws and finishing close shots. Here's to hoping they left those issues north
of the Red River...