LUBBOCK, Texas – Amber Battle notched her first career double-double with a career-high 21 points and 11 rebounds to help give head coach Candi Whitaker her first win at Texas Tech as the Lady Raiders cruised to a 70-48 win over Texas-Pan American on Sunday at United Spirit Arena.
Senior Shauntal Nobles also scored her first double-double of the season and XX of her career with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Whitaker becomes the first former Lady Raider player to win a game as Tech’s head coach as the Lady Raiders won their eighth straight season opener.
“It’s just special,” she said. “It’s just special to be back here in West Texas, to be back at Tech and to be a part of this program.”
Tech (1-0) broke a 12-12 tie nearly midway through the first half with a 9-0 run and would end up outscoring the Lady Broncs 24-6 the rest of the half to lead 36-18 at the break.
Texas-Pan American (1-1) had no answer for Tech’s inside game led by Nobles’ 13 points that gave Tech a 36-14 advantage down low. The physical game in the paint also opened chances for the Lady Raiders to get to the free-throw line. Tech knocked down 28 of 34 shots (82.4 percent).
Those two pieces helped make up for going 0-for-8 behind the 3-point line – not making a 3-point field goal for the first time since Jan. 18, 2012.
“I think that clearly you have to get to the free throw line and you’ve got to get to the paint,” Whitaker said. “Our big focus was to throw it inside, get to the paint, get to the free throw line. I felt like we were a really good shooting team last game, now I’m like 0-8 is not as good. But we’ll continue to get better. We have a young team and there’s going to be a lot of unknowns for me along the way, and I’m hoping I’m pleasantly surprised every game by something I didn’t know before we play. But we did a good job of attacking and getting inside.”
The Lady Raiders now turn their attention to New Mexico (1-0) for a 6:30 p.m. tip on Wednesday. The Lobos are coming off a 69-65 win at home over Louisiana-Monroe. New Mexico beat Tech, 65-61, in Albuquerque last season. This will be the 17th meeting between the two teams with Tech leading the series 13-3.