PULLMAN, Wash. – Savanna Jones' first career three-point game helped Texas Tech begin its weekend at the Cougar Classic with a 3-1 win over Loyola Marymount Friday evening.
"We're certainly happy to get the win on the road here," said head coach Tom Stone. "It's a neutral site environment, so we had to create our own excitement and enthusiasm."
Approaching the half hour mark, Gabbie Puente dished a pass to Jordie Harr at the top of the box. The redshirt junior received it as she smoothly rolled past a Lion defender, then ripped it over the keeper's head for a highlight reel top-shelf score.
Tech has scored within the first half hour in all but one of their wins this season.
"We got that goal from Jordie and I think we went into the half thinking that things were going to settle down," said Stone. "That's where credit goes to our opponent tonight, because LMU had a really ferocious second half effort and put us under the gun."
With the Lions adding pressure and determined to even the game, Kirsten Davis stepped up to create room for the Red Raiders. She doubled the lead in the 54th minute, accepting a pass in the box from Savanna Jones. Davis touched it off her chest before chipping it into the back corner to make it 2-1.
"If you play it anywhere in her general area, she's going to get to it," said Jones, whose assist on the goal was her first of the year. "That's why I love playing with her. I got it around my defender, and she took the touch and scored."
Davis's goal marked her seventh in seven games to start the season, extending her record of the fastest scoring start in program history. She eclipsed that record Sunday against Arkansas State, becoming the first Red Raider to score six times through six games.
The goal upped the LMU desperation to get back into the game, which they did in the 69th minute. The Lions spoiled the shutout on a cross from the right side, which came off the head of an attacker and beat keeper Marissa Zucchetto at close range.
Tech fended off the Lions into the final 10 minutes of play, where Jones tallied one for herself to put the game away. She did so after receiving a well-place pass from Jayne Lydiatt. She took a touch and calmly placed it in the far corner for the 84th-minute dagger.
"It was 2-1 and getting to be a really physical game," Jones recalled of the lead-up to her goal. "The game totally changed after they scored, but we didn't let it affect us. Jayne played a really good ball to me, and I saw where the keeper was going got it by her."
Following a strong win against a feisty LMU squad, Stone praised his group for the all-around effort from starters and bench players alike.
"What I'm probably most happy with is how many players came off the bench and played well," he said. "We just got so many contributions from so deep on our bench, and quite frankly we don't win the game without those contributions. That's a team win today for sure."
Tech's second tilt of the Cougar Classic is set for Sunday, when they will take on UC Irvine at 12:30 p.m. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.