4:30 PM ET, November 27, 2005
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- All Candice Wiggins needed at halftime was a little inspiration and a reminder from a teammate about her role as a leader for Stanford."Hearing that really helped me," said Wiggins, who scored 17 of her 18 points in the second half to lift the Cardinal (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) past Texas Tech 66-63 on Sunday, handing the Lady Raiders (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) their third straight loss."Candice came out and showed great resilience," Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said. "She brought us great energy and other people fed off her energy."Brooke Smith scored 21 points to lead the Cardinal.Tech's LaToya Davis had a chance to tie it at 64 with 2.2 seconds remaining but missed the first of two free throws. On Davis' second attempt, Erin Grant got the rebound and was fouled with 1.6 seconds remaining.She, too, missed the first and tried to bounce the second off the backboard so Tech could get the rebound but it went in to leave the Cardinal ahead 64-63.Wiggins sank two free throws to seal the win.Tech coach Marsha Sharp said poor perimeter shooting by Alesha Robertson, Erin Grant and Judith Smith made it tough for the Lady Raiders. The trio was 4-of-27 from the field."If you have that wide-open look you have to knock it down," Sharp said. "Stanford had a couple of individuals who stepped up at the end and made some big plays. We just weren't able to answer, most of that at the free throw line."Stanford (3-1) used a 9-0 run capped by a layup by Wiggins to take a 43-41 lead with 13:31 remaining. Tech rallied and briefly retook the lead 51-50 on a layup by Davis.Kristen Newlin added 11 points and 17 rebounds for the Cardinal."I don't think it was an "A' game for either team," VanDerveer said. "It was kind of one of those heavyweight battles, it was a little bit ugly but a great early-season game."Freshman LaVonda Henderson scored a career-high 16 points -- 11 in the first half -- to lead the Red Raiders (1-4). Davis got her third double-double of the year, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds.Tech was coming off back-to-back road losses to unranked Rice and Mississippi, dropping the games by a total of six points. Rice beat the Lady Raiders 73-70 on Monday; Mississippi won 72-69 on Wednesday."I hope we're growing up and playing in some situations where we're getting better as a group and learning some lessons that won't surprise us when we get to Big 12," Sharp said.The loss gives Tech its worst start since the 1978-79 season under coach Gay Benson. That year, the Lady Raiders won their opener, but dropped their next seven games.The last time Texas Tech lost three straight was in the middle of the 2001-02 season.Tech closed the half on a 7-0 run in the final 1:21 to lead 33-26.