Vivian Gray made her return for Texas Tech on Friday night, leading the way with 16 points and the Lady Raiders needed overtime to defeat Lamar, 72-68, on Friday.
Gray, Texas Tech’s leading scorer from a year ago, missed the first two games of the season due to a foot injury. With Gray out of the lineup, the Lady Raiders won both of their games.
The Lady Raiders (3-0) are still without transfer Bre’Amber Scott, who is also out with an injury.
However, the evening wasn’t without potential consequence. Gray went up for a rebound with 6.9 seconds left in overtime, with Texas Tech up six points, and rolled her right ankle. She needed some help getting around before she shot her free throws, as she was fouled on the play. She left the game after shooting the free throws.
Gray did not start, but she ended up playing starter’s minutes in the contest, which came down to the wire and Gray had a hand in it.
Gray’s fallaway jumper with 15.1 seconds left cut Lamar’s lead to one point. Texas Tech had to commit three fouls to get Lamar in the bonus and finally sent Malay McQueen to the free-throw line, where she missed the first and made the second to push the Cardinals’ lead to 62-60 with four seconds left.
Tech took its final time out and advanced the ball to their side of the court. Tech inbounded the ball to Gray on the block and she dribbled around the defender for the layup and the tie to send the game to overtime, 62-62.
Gray led the way in overtime, too, helping the Lady Raiders to a 7-0 run to start overtime, including a pair of free throws and a beautiful step-back jumper off the block.
Gray played 29 minutes, with five rebounds, one assists and two steals.
Rhyle McKinney scored 14 points for Texas Tech while Bryn Gerlich added 10 points.
Last season Gray earned an All-American nod (honorable mention) and an All-Big 12 First Team nod for the third time in as many seasons. She averaged 19.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.6 blocked shots and 1.4 steals per game, and was the only player among the Power 5 conferences to average at least 19 points, eight rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
Texas Tech led by as much as 18 points early in the game but fell behind by as much as seven points in the second half, due in part to the fact that Lamar made 13 3-pointers.
The Lady Raiders are back in action on Monday at home against Texas State.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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