By Jerry Briggs
Special to The JB Replay
Winning three of four games by double-digit proportions, the undefeated Texas Tech Lady Raiders haven’t been seriously challenged as they prepare to play a fifth straight home game in Lubbock, this one against the upstart UTSA Roadrunners tonight.
Tipoff between Tech (4-0) and UTSA (3-1) is set for 6 p.m.
In winning a couple of games by more than 40 points, another by 17 and one by seven, Jasmine Shavers, Bailey Maupin, Jordyn Merritt and Co. have been on cruise control since they played their first game on Nov. 7.
Sure, the Lady Raiders have yet to play a fellow Power 5 opponent, but their efficiency has been scary.
Coach Krista Gerlich’s team has averaged almost 80 points, and three of her starters — Shavers, Kilah Freelon and Ashley Chevalier — are shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
Despite the Lady Raiders’ high level of play, the Roadrunners are coming in with a solid base of confidence stemming from three straight victories, including two straight on the road.
Guards Sidney Love and Kyra White lead the Roadrunners. UTSA also has some size in Elyssa Coleman and Idara Udo to match up. White averages 37 minutes per game and contributes heavily on both ends of the floor. Love is coming off a career-high 26-point outing Saturday at UT Arlington.
One of the keys could be forward Maya Linton, who is fast improving on her game. Linton, a 6-foot sophomore, is known as a defensive stopper. But she also has started to look more at the basket and only two nights ago had 14 points and 10 rebounds against the Lady Mavs.
If the Roadrunners win tonight, it would be a major accomplishment from a historical perspective. The UTSA women’s basketball program hasn’t won a game against a P5 conference opponent since 2010 when it defeated Kansas State, 72-55.
Since then, the Roadrunners have lost 20 in a row to teams from the five major revenue-producing conferences. Under coach Karen Aston, in her third year at UTSA, the Roadrunners are 0-5 against the so-called power programs, including 0-1 this year following a 70-55 loss at Arizona State on opening night.
Texas Tech 4-0
UTSA at Sam Houston State, Saturday, 4 p.m.
Texas Tech season review
All games at home in Lubbock
Nov 7 – UT Rio Grande Valley, W, 95-53. Jasmine Shavers produces career-tying 26 points, seven rebounds.
Nov 10 – Tarleton, W, 70-63. Jordyn Merritt has 18 points, two three-pointers.
Nov 13 – Lamar, W, 61-44. Jasmine Shavers, 16 points.
Nov 17 – Texas A&M-Commerce, W, 91-45. Tech surges to 29-0 lead and cruises; Kilah Freelon, 14 points, 11 rebounds.