The No. 19 women’s basketball team opened their season this past Friday with a 63-30 victory over Winthrop in the first round of the 2009 Women’s Preseason National Invitational Tournament. Tech was eliminated in the second round, though, falling 70-64 to Oklahoma State.
The game against Winthrop at Alexander Memorial Coliseum kicked off the WNIT. The Jackets struck first, getting their first bucket on a jumper from junior guard Deja Foster.
Winthrop took the lead on a three-pointer, but that would be their last lead of the game, as Tech answered with a jumper from sophomore guard Mo Bennett and pulled away.
Midway through the first half, a steal and layup by Bennett increased Tech’s lead to 10, and they continued to build upon this double-digit margin throughout the game.
Bennett shot nine-for-15 from the floor and posted a team-high and career-high 21 points. She also registered seven rebounds and eight steals.
By the end of the first half, Tech had pushed the score to 36-12, holding Winthrop to two points in the final 11 minutes of the half. 26 of Tech’s 36 points came in the paint.
The Jackets picked up where they left off in the second half, putting up 10 more points in just five minutes and increasing their lead to 29. Tech’s bench saw significant playing time in the second, accounting for 19 of Tech’s 27 second-half points. Sophomore center LaQuananisha Adams finished with 10 points, and sophomore forward Chelsea Regins posted eight points while also recording seven rebounds.
Winthrop’s 18 points in the second half was not enough to overcome Tech’s early lead, and the Jackets advanced onward.
For the second round of the WNIT, Tech traveled to Stillwater, Okla. to face Oklahoma State. Tech scored first on a layup by Sasha Goodlett, but a quick OSU three-pointer gave the Cowboys the advantage. This would be the only lead change in the game.
Tech was able to hold the margin to single digits until late in the half, when Oklahoma State went up by 11. OSU kept the Jackets at arm’s length in the second half, as two Cowboys had double-doubles en route to the 70-64 win that eliminated the Jackets.