Kristy Curry wants to keep Monday’s 77-73 loss to Oklahoma in perspective.
Yes, the Lady Raiders lost two straight games to end the regular season, squandering a chance at a second-place finish.
And yes, Texas Tech lost its senior-night game, which commemorated the five players who have been a major part of rebuilding the program.
However, the Tech coach knows there’s still plenty of basketball to be played with a pair of postseason tournaments.
“I don’t want tonight to take away from the big picture, and let’s keep this in perspective,” Curry said Monday night shortly after the loss. “We’re not limping into the postseason, we’re not jogging into the postseason. We have done a great job so far to this point.”
Despite the two-game skid to end the season, the Lady Raiders finish tied for third in the Big 12 Conference regular-season standings.
Tech (21-9, 11-7 in Big 12 play) finished even with Oklahoma, but lost the head-to-head tiebreaker because the Sooners swept the season series between the two teams.
Despite the close losses to end the season (68-62 at Kansas State on Saturday), Tech still managed its highest league finish since the 2004-2005 season when it also tied for third.
Tee Lady Raiders will play fifth-seeded Oklahoma State (20-9, 9-9) at 11 a.m. Saturday in the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Tech swept the Cowgirls this season.
That season marked the last time Tech finished the season ranked in either of the major polls. Tech hasn’t broken into the AP or Coaches poll this season, but that’s just fine for Tech senior Casey Morris.
The Lady Raiders were picked to finish eighth in the league by coaches before the season. Morris, who was disappointed with the loss Monday, and the Lady Raiders hope to continue to exceed expectations when they begin the tournament this weekend.
“A loss is a loss, and we’re not happy how we ended, but we have more basketball to play,” said Morris, one of three Lady Raiders who scored in double digits Monday. “Underestimating us is something that’s been happening for a while, so we’re used to that, and we’ve been proving people wrong since we’ve been here. So we just want to keep on playing and keep on playing strong and make sure we finish like we need to finish.”
All five seniors spoke about how badly they wanted to win Monday night, having spent the past three-plus seasons working toward this moment.
However, Monday’s game actually wasn’t the last game for Morris, Chynna Brown, Mary Bokenkamp, Christine Hyde and Monique Smalls on the United Spirit Arena court.
Lubbock is a host city for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, and the Lady Raiders are all but assured a spot in the big dance.
“Our goal is to make sure these five girls walk out of (United Spirit Arena) with a win in their last game because we’ve got two more,” Curry said, “and we hope our crowd will continue to come out and get those NCAA tournament tickets because we’re going dancing.”
BIG 12 CONFERENCE — WOMEN
Conference All Games
W L Pct. W L Pct.
Baylor 18 0 1.000 29 1 .967
Iowa State 12 6 .667 21 7 .750
Oklahoma 11 7 .611 21 9 .700
Texas Tech 11 7 .611 21 9 .700
Oklahoma State 9 9 .500 20 9 .690
West Virginia 9 9 .500 17 12 .586
Kansas 8 10 .412 16 12 .571
Kansas State 5 13 .277 14 16 .467
Texas 5 13 .278 12 17 .414
TCU 2 16 .111 9 20 .310
Baylor 90, Kansas State 68
Iowa State 73, Oklahoma State 70
Oklahoma 77, Texas Tech 73
Kansas 74, TCU 67
Texas 58, West Virginia 45
End Regular Season
BIG 12 CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
at American Airlines Center, Dallas
Friday’s First Round
Game 1: Kansas State vs. Texas, 6 p.m.
Game 2: Kansas vs. TCU, 2 p.m.
Game: 3 Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State, 11 a.m.
Game 4: Baylor vs. Game 1 winner, 1:30 p.m.
Game 5: Iowa State vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 6: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia, 8:30 p.m.
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 1 p.m.
Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 3:30 p.m.
Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 7 p.m.