BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Texas Tech junior guard Amber Battle scored a career-high 23 points to lead three Lady Raiders in double figures, but Michigan hit 59 percent from the field to get past Tech, 82-71, in the opening game of the Barclays Center Women’s Invitational on Friday.
“This is a very cool tournament, and we were really excited to be able to come to New York and play at Barclays Center,” Texas Tech head coach Candi Whitaker said. “It was a great atmosphere. We’re a young team, still learning defensive transition.”
Tech (3-2) shot 48 percent in the second half and got within 11 points following a 9-0 run led by freshmen Minta Spears and Jasmine Caston’s 3-pointers. But the Lady Raiders could not close the gap completely as Michigan (3-2) used its inside game to score 40 points in the paint.
Caston finished with a career-high 15 points and Spears ended her day with 10.
“Jasmine really stepped up,” Battle said. “It was a nice surprise seeing her step up that big. We are really proud of her and expect to see that the rest of the season.”
Both teams got off to a hot start in the first half, hitting baskets on the first seven attempts total. But two Michigan transition 3-pointers by Paige Rakers allowed Michigan to pull away slowly and eventually lead by 12 at the break, hitting 59.3 percent from the field.
Tech will face the loser of Rutgers and LSU at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday back at the Barclays Center.
“Tomorrow I want to play harder,” Whitaker said. “I think we need to play harder defensively. We need to stick to game plans and carry things over better. And we have to be better at defensive transition.”