Nationally ranked Texas Tech built a 24 point halftime lead on its way to an 81-46 victory over Valparaiso on Wednesday evening in Lubbock, Texas.
The Lady Raiders ranked 11th (USA Today/Coaches) and 12th (AP) in the two recent polls jumped out to an early 23-9 lead and never looked back. Valpo went 6:16 between its first two field goals during the span and never was able to score back-to-back baskets in the first half without the hosts scoring in between.
Texas Tech shot 61.5% (16-for-26) in the opening half and forced 13 Crusader turnovers while building a 44-20 lead at intermission.
The Lady Raiders went to the glass in the second half, grabbing 17 of its 20 offensive rebounds in the second stanza, building a 65-29 lead with 10:51 to play. Valpo made a small run, cutting the deficit to 70-41 at the 4:43 mark after a Devin Reed (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North H.S.) three-pointer, but were unable to get any closer.
Suzie Hammel (Lafayette, Ind./Lebanon H.S.) led the Brown and Gold with 11 points and five rebounds. Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.), Meredith Baugher (Berea, Ohio/Berea H.S.), and Kathryn Knoester (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) all tallied six points each for Valpo.
Jia Perkins led Texas Tech with 18 points, including ten in a six minute span early in the second half. Natalie Ritchie added 11 points, while Cisti Greenwalt added ten points and nine rebounds. Casey Jackson also scored ten while Erin Grant dished out ten assists.
The Crusaders shot just 29.2% (14-48) for the game compared with the Lady Raiders 49.2% (30-61). The hosts outrebounded Valpo 43-23 and forced 23 Crusader turnovers on 13 steals.
Valpo will return to the hardcourt on Saturday afternoon for its home opener against Concordia (Wis.). Tip-off is slated for 2:05 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center.