LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech junior Amber Battle scored 19 points and tacked on eight rebounds and eight assists to lead four Lady Raiders in double figures as Tech took care of Grambling, 86-68 on Saturday at United Spirit Arena.
Tech (3-1) led by as many as 20 during the game and never relinquished the lead following the first basket of the game by Grambling (2-4).
The Lady Raiders opened the game on a 15-4 run with eight points coming from freshman guard Marina Lizarazu – who started her first career game and wasted no time to show why she earned the start. She scored 12 of her 14 points in the first half, including a transition layup where she stole the ball from Grambling’s Tyler Anderson and passed it behind the back to herself for a left-handed, reverse layup.
“That one, coming down the middle where she wrapped it around herself and got it up – that caught me off-guard. Because I can’t do that,” Texas Tech head coach Candi Whitaker said. “So I was pretty impressed with that one.”
Grambling tried to make its own impression and sneak away with the lead in the game. The Lady Tigers would get within two points of Tech five minutes into the second half. They closed the first half with an 11-0 run and then had an 8-2 run in the second half. But Tech once again separated itself and rattled off a 15-3 run of its own, sparked by a three-point play from Battle.
“We just gathered our team and said this is it we have to go on a run now,” Battle said. “So we knew after that play we couldn’t turn back we had to really attack them.”
Battle has scored in double digits in all four games this season and continues to play big on the boards. The 5-foot-9 junior guard came into Saturday’s game as the Big 12 Conference leader with 11 rebounds per game.
Shauntal Nobles and Minta Spears each chipped in 13 points. Spears has scored in double figures in her last three games and leads all freshmen with 15.3 point per game.
The Lady Raiders had another guard, redshirt freshman Ivonne CookTaylor, give some more help in rebounding. She grabbed a career-high 11 in the game to help Tech to a 44-32 advantage off the glass.
“She was in there making plays,” Whitaker said. “Ivonne is really athletic and can jump and did a nice job of getting boards. Eleven boards in 17 minutes is very good.”
Tech will play its first games away from the USA when the team travels to Brooklyn, N.Y., this week to play in the Barclays Center Women’s Invitational. Tech will take on Michigan (3-2) at 9:30 a.m. CT on Nov. 29 and then face either Rutgers or LSU on Nov. 30. Time to be determined.
The Lady Raiders’ next home game will be Wednesday, Dec. 4 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.