8:00 PM ET, January 7, 2006
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Success from the free throw line was the difference for Texas Tech as it evened its conference record in a season of struggling."The fact that we were 15-of-18 from the free-throw line as a team tonight was probably the biggest factor in the game," Lady Raiders coach Marsha Sharp said following her team edging past Texas A&M 56-55 on Saturday night.Tech was perfect -- 13-of-13 -- from the free throw line until LaToya Davis missed one with 2:22 remaining in the game. She notched her eighth double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds.The loss snapped a 10-game win streak for the Aggies, the second longest in school history.Tech lead by as much as 11 points midway in the second half before the Aggies used a 8-2 run to pull within 54-52 with 2:38 remaining.Alesha Robertson sealed the win with two free throws with 5.8 seconds remaining to put the Lady Raiders (6-7, 1-1 Big 12) up 56-52. A'Quonesia Franklin hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer that left the Aggies one point shy of pushing it into overtime.Tech's defense, which held the Aggies to 33 percent from the field, was tough, A&M coach Gary Blair said."We lost the game by our shooting and Tech's defense," he said. "I probably should have started the press a little bit earlier, but maybe that was so much of my respect for (Erin) Grant. I didn't want her to beat us going long."The win for Tech wasn't always pretty. Tech had a season-high 22 turnovers and A&M (12-3, 1-1) took advantage, scoring 17 points off of them. The Aggies took the ball away from Tech another 13 times."We've struggled at times but we're trying to get a win anyway we can," said Grant, who finished with 13 points. "For us, a win is a win."LaVonda Henderson scored nine points for Tech, which hasn't started a season 6-7 since the 1987-88 season. Tech's seven losses are one less than they had all last season when they finished 24-8."It was a big win for us, certainly in our position right now," Sharp said. "It's going to be an interesting conference race as always and tonight gave us a chance to stay in the middle of it."Takia Starks scored 14 points, and Danielle Gant and Morenike Atunrase each added nine.The loss was the 25th straight for the Aggies in Lubbock.