Lady Raiders look for steady improvement in weekend tournament
Nov 23, 2012 (Menafn - Lubbock Avalanche-Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Kristy Curry looks at this weekend and knows its a good way for the Lady Raiders to keep improving despite playing against lesser opponents.
The Texas Tech women's basketball team hosts three games in as many days in the Basketball Travelers Invitational, beginning with a 6 p.m. game today against Southern Utah.
The Lady Raiders (2-1) also play Nicholls State at noon Saturday and against New Orleans at 2 p.m. Sunday, all inside United Spirit Arena.
Curry said this weekend presents a way to get her players more minutes as some of them work through injuries and early season struggles.
"It's good to be at home and have an opportunity to play back-to-back-to-back," Curry said. "You'd much rather be playing than practicing. It's a chance for us to see different combinations and get an opportunity to get better with each day."
Jackie Patterson sat out last game with a strained shoulder, and Kellyn Schneider is still recovering from an offseason injury, so Curry hopes to get them back in the swing of things as they prepare for three tough non-conference games in December and the rigors of a Big 12 Conference slate in January.
Playing three teams in three days means Tech has little time to switch focus after each clash, so the Lady Raiders playing their brand of basketball is key.
Southern Utah (1-1) will give Tech its biggest tempo test of the season, as the Thunderbirds average 74 shots per game.
Curry wants her team to control the tempo of the game while hammering out some of its rough spots.
Guard Chynna Brown said her coach has been harping on rebounding in the last few days of practice, and the Lady Raiders should have ample opportunity to rebound if the Thunderbirds chuck up 70-plus shots.
The Lady Raiders have been out-rebounded in each of their first three games.
"I think they take almost 70 shots a game," Brown said. "I don't know if all of those are going in, but that's a lot of shots that's being taken. Mainly them taking all those shots, you know we have to rebound. That's all coach has been talking about is boxing out, checking our man and going to rebound. So we'll let then take those shots, and most of all try to rebound and defend."
Tech was in the midst of a shooting slump to start the season, but seemed to get out of it in the second half of its 61-41 win against Lipscomb on Saturday.
Still, the Lady Raiders have only scored 61 points in each of their first three games.
Tech did a good job of getting open against Lipscomb, the shots just weren't falling the first half.
The Lady Raiders can also try to get shooters Casey Morris and Brown back into a rhythm with the weekend tournament.
"We just have to stay focused and know that there's a tournament and come out ready to play in every game," Morris said, "and we can't look at our opponents and think less of them. We have to come out like we're playing a big team each game and just show what we're made of.
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