Time to fix things before the tournament.
The Texas Tech women’s basketball game was in perfect position Feb. 28.
The Lady Raiders were winners of five of their past six games, fresh off a 61-53 victory against Oklahoma State and tied for second place in the Big 12 Conference standings.
Tech had essentially locked up a bid to the NCAA Tournament and was full of momentum heading down the stretch.
Fast forward 10 days, and the Lady Raiders were losers of three close games in a row, ending the regular season and Big 12 tournament on sour notes.
“I think the thing about it is you played three straight teams that are possibly tournament teams,” Tech coach Kristy Curry said Saturday after the loss. “And we’ve got to do a better job, and little things make a big difference and I feel like there are a few little things that we got to fix. At this point in time of the year, we all got to show up and do our job.”
Although Tech lost three in a row to end the season, it has nearly two weeks to fix those trouble spots.
In the past three games, consistent shooting, free-throw percentage, turnovers and rebounding have all been areas that have cropped up. During Tech’s first 28 games, the Lady Raiders had been strong enough to escape with victories when only one of the three went wrong.
In Tech’s 59-54 loss to Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament, the Lady Raiders struggled in all four of the above areas. Tech shot 34 percent from the field, 61.9 percent from the line, turned the ball over 21 times and allowed 18 offensive rebounds.
Despite hanging around all game, the result of the quartet of problem spots was a loss.
Lady Raider Chynna Brown, who had an uncharacteristically poor offensive game in the loss, said the team won’t easily forget the three straight losses. But she knows she personally won’t harp on it.
“If we get in the gym and we know how good we can be and how good we are and just be ready to go and just work on our game these next two weeks that we have until the NCAA tournament, ... then we’ll be ready for the NCAA tournament,” Brown said.
The Lady Raiders will almost assuredly play March 23 in the first round of the tourney in United Spirit Arena, so Tech does have time to fix the mistakes.
Despite the three-game losing streak, Tech’s longest of the year, Curry kept her positive outlook for the next week of practice, showing eagerness in taking time to improve her team’s play.
Still, she was not pleased with some of the numbers that have cropped up in the past three games.
“Obviously the numbers don’t lie. There are a couple of us who aren’t doing our job lately,” Curry said, “and we just need to continuously improve and get better in practice. And that’s my job is to continually put them in a position to get better. You can’t play for them, though.”