No. 9 Texas A&,M 69, Texas Tech 54
Danielle Adams was so focused on improving her conditioning and shedding extra pounds she was working out up to three times a day in the fall.
Her hard work was evident on Saturday when she played a season-high 35 minutes and had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks in No. 9 Texas A&M's 69-54 win over Texas Tech.
Adams is the 10th player in Big 12 history to record a triple-double and the second at Texas A&M. Her 10 blocks are a school record and her performance came in her first start in a conference game.
``That's the first one of my career so I was pretty excited about it,'' Adams said. ``I was surprised when they said it. I thought I lacked in blocks.''
She joined Toccara Williams as the only player in school history to record a triple-double. Williams had 13 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in a game in 2002.
The win puts the Aggies back on track after last week's defeat at No. 13 Oklahoma and is Texas Tech's second straight loss.
Adams has dropped 34 pounds from her 6-foot-1 frame since August to get down to 256 pounds.
``I didn't even know I played 35 minutes,'' she said. ``I've just been conditioning hard and working hard and getting extra running in. I feel a lot better. Everybody was encouraging me to lose weight and I've just been getting in here and doing extra work.''
Texas A&M (15-2, 3-1) jumped out to an early lead and never trailed in this one. Texas Tech (13-5, 1-3) cut its deficit to seven points several times in the second half, but couldn't get any closer.
The last time Texas Tech got within seven, A&M went on a 10-3 run to push the lead to 65-51 and put the game out of reach with less than four minutes remaining.
The Lady Raiders didn't have an answer for the 6-foot-1 Adams on Saturday and last year's junior college player of the year was simply too strong for Texas Tech to contend with.
``She's just a big kid,'' Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry said. ``It's hard when you're that big to get around and defend. Not only can she hurt you down low she can face up.''
One of her blocks came after she hustled to her feet after being knocked to the ground by a Lady Raider seconds earlier and she also had a pair of steals.
``I was pretty proud of myself after that block,'' she said. ``I thought I wasn't going to get back up in enough time to get back in the play.''
Texas A&M coach Gary Blair is proud of the work Adams has put in since joining his team.
``She is just a good kid, down to earth,'' Blair said. ``It's a shame she was not a D-I player to start with. She signed with Missouri, didn't have the grades. But now she gets a chance to be something special. She's pretty special for us right now.''
Tanisha Smith added 13 points for A&M and Tyra White added 11.
The Aggies fought off several comeback attempts by Texas Tech. The Lady Raiders closed the gap to seven points with about 12 minutes remaining before Texas A&M went on a five-point run capped by a steal and 3-point play by Adams that made it 52-40.
Texas Tech's Jordan Murphree, who entered the game averaging 13 points, had four fouls by halftime and finished with no points. Kierra Mallard had nine points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Raiders and Tilmila Martin had eight points.
The Aggies jumped out to a 10-0 lead before Texas Tech finally got going and score five straight points. The Lady Raiders cut the lead to 20-16 after four straight free throws with about eight minutes remaining in the first half. Texas A&M responded with eight straight points to extend its lead and was up 37-28 at halftime.
Curry received a technical early in the first half for arguing a foul call.
``I think if you come in here and you're passive, your kids are going to be passive,'' she said. ``You've got to come out and you've got to be aggressive. I guess I thought it was a block and they thought it was a charge. But I can't comment on the officiating.''