LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Chesley Dabbs carried Texas Tech with her
offense in the first half. Her defense was stellar all game.
Dabbs scored 15 of her 21 points the first 20 minutes and shut
down high-scoring Nebraska guard Kiera Hardy for long stretches to
lead Texas Tech (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) to its eighth straight win, 68-58 on Wednesday
The Lady Raiders (14-2, 5-0 Big 12) made their final eight free
throws to hand Nebraska its first home loss in 10 games.
Texas Tech entered the game outscoring teams by an average of 28
points and built a double-digit lead early in the second half. But
Nebraska (11-6, 3-2), which knocked off then-No. 2 Baylor in triple
overtime a week ago, drew within two with 3:20 left.
"We knew that this was going to be a difficult place to come
try get a win because we knew what they've accomplished this
season," Texas Tech coach Marsha Sharp said. "We held off a lot
of challenges and we really made some plays when we had to."
Whenever the Huskers looked as if they would take the lead,
Texas Tech responded with a key basket, often by Erin Grant, who
had 11 of her 16 points in the second half.
"It talks about how mentally tough [our players] are and how
passionate they are about winning," Sharp said.
Nebraska's Hardy made just 6-of-17 shots and finished with 15
points, 13 under her Big 12-leading average in conference games.
"She's got a good step-back shot that's deadly," Dabbs said.
"But we played team defense. I knew that all my teammates had my
back if she went to the lane."
LaToya Davis added 13 points and 11 rebounds and Alesha
Robertson finished with 11 points for Tech. Cisti Greenwalt had a
game-high 12 rebounds.
Hardy hit a jump shot to trim Texas Tech's lead to 57-55. The
Lady Raiders pulled away on Robertson's jumper and free throws by
Grant and Davis.
Robertson's 3-pointer with 7:58 left in the first half broke a
17-17 tie and started a 17-8 run that gave the Lady Raiders a 34-25
Hardy, averaging 27.8 points through four conference games, made
a 3-pointer to open the game and then missed 7-of-8 shots before
regaining her touch in the second half.
Dabbs made 7-of-12 shots in the first half, but just important,
she frustrated Hardy.
"Chesley had a very difficult job tonight to try to control
her," Sharp said. "We weren't interested in trying to keep [Hardy] from scoring because she's a great player. We did want to limit the number of points she had.
"To hold her to 15 in a game as up and down as much as that one
was a great thing."
LaToya Howell, held scoreless in the first half, scored eight
points to provide some offensive spark during the Huskers'
But when the Huskers needed Hardy the most, she couldn't
deliver. She missed the front end of a one-and-one when the Huskers
had a chance to tie with under five minutes left, and she missed
two other shots when the Huskers were within four points.
"They played me more physical, and that got me a little off
track," Hardy said. "That's OK. I'm going to rebound from this."