WBB: #15 Lady Red Raiders vs. the Illinois Fighting Illini 1pm Sat. Dec 17th at the United Center in Chicago

The #15/#20 Lady Red Raiders play the Illinois Fighting Illini in Chicago, IL on Saturday afternoon, Dec.17, 2011 at 1pm CST at the United Center. This will be the first meeting between these two teams. In games against Big Ten Conference opponents, the Lady Raiders hold a record of 10-5.

Tech has 8 wins so far this season. Tech is coming off a great win over UT-Arlington and prior to that contest, a massive win against the then ranked #16 Penn State Nittany Lions. The Illinois Fighting Illini have had a few very close losses this season and have 2 road wins coming into this contest with Texas Tech. The Lady Fighting Illini beat Illinois State and prior to that game had a win over Clemson.

What's at Stake: If Tech pulls out a win it will keep them undefeated and give them a 9-0 record The Lady Fighting Illini are looking for their 5th win of the season.

Current record: Tech's current season record is 8-0, 0-0 Big 12. Illinois' current season record is 4-5, 0-0 Big 10.

Rankings: The Red Raiders are 15 in this week's Associated Press poll and 20th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll.

Players to watch:

Texas Tech: Junior Forward Kierra Mallard is averaging a double-double with 14.9 points and 10.5 rebounds/game and has 18 blocks. Sophomore Guard Casey Morris averaged 10.9 points per game and 4.3 rebounds/game. Junior Christine Hyde is averaging 9.0 points and 5.3 rebounds/game. Sophomore Guard Monique Smalls is averaging 8.1 points and 3.5 rebounds and 4 blocks/game and has 31 steals. Sophomore Kelsi Baker averages 8.5 points and 5 rebounds/game.

Illinois Fighting Illini: Junior Forward Karisma Penn is 2nd in the Big 10 in blocked shots averaging 2.4 per game. She averages 14.8 points per game and 7.9 rebounds. Sophomore Forward Kersten Magrum averages 11.7 points per game and 7.2 rebounds and hits her free-throws 85% of the time. Amber Moore has hit 19 threes this season and averages 9.3 points per game.

Previously Play: The Lady Red Raiders had a hard fought win over the 16th ranked Penn State Lady Lions on Dec. 3rd and a win over UT-Arlington on Dec 7th ( 88-48). The Lady Fighting Illini are coming off two road wins. They beat Clemson 61-50 on Dc. 1st and they won at Illinois State on Dec 7th (66-56).

Coaches: Kristy Curry is coaching her 6th season at Tech. (96-73). Jolette Law is entering her 5th season with the Lady Illinois Fighting Illini (60-78).

Last year: The Lady Red Raiders finished the 2010-11 season 22-11, 8-8 with a tie for 6th place in the Big12. Tech returns 11 players (3 Starters) from last year's team and welcomed 2 newcomers. The Lady Fighting Illini finished the 2010-11 season 9-23, 2-14 and finished in 11th place in the Big 10 Conference. The Illinois Lady Fighting Illini returned 10 Starters and 5 Newcomers.

Gametracker: www.texastech.com

Streaming video: www.texastech.com/allaccess (~ $10/month)

Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network - 97.3 FM (Lubbock) and on WDWS-AM 1400 (Chicago)

TV: Big Ten Network

Game Thread: Will be posted at 12:30pm Dec. 17, 2011

Other Notes:

Junior guard Casey Morris scored a career-high 24 points and had a career-high six 3-pointers to lead Texas Tech on Wednesday, Dec. 7th . Morris beat her previous high of 23 points in last season's loss against Texas A&M on Feb. 5, She hit five 3-pointers twice last season at home against Sam Houston State (Nov. 28, 2010) and Oklahoma State (Feb. 26). She's set five career-highs this season for points, 3-pointers, rebounds, assists and steals.

Tech is one of three Big 12 Conference teams that remain undefeated (Baylor, Oklahoma State) and nationally there are only 15 teams in Division 1 Women's Basketball that are undefeated this season.

Kristy Curry is also now six wins away from her 100th win at Texas Tech, second only to hall of fame coach Marsha Sharp.

The Lady Raiders are outscoring opponents 143-53 in the first eight minutes of the game through eight games this season with 32 steals while forcing 49 turnovers.

The Lady Red Raiders hold the lead in the Big 12 and are 4th nationally with 16 steals per game this season. The Lady Raiders have 18 or more steals against four opponents this season (UTA, Texas State, UMKC and New Mexico).

Texas Tech is second in the Big 12 in scoring margin (30.6) and 5th overall in the country. The Lady Raiders are also 2nd in the conference in scoring with 83 points per game which is 8th best in the country.

Texas Tech won its 800th game in program history on Nov. 26, against Central Arkansas becoming just the 15th Division I program to reach the milestone, joining Conference members Texas and Kansas State.

PROBABLE STARTERS
TEXAS TECH LADY RAIDERS (6-0)
NO. NAME HT P YR STATS
23 Monique Smalls 5-6 G JR 8.1 pts/game
15 Casey Morris 5-9 G JR 10.9 pts/game
5 Christine Hyde 5-10 G JR 9.0 pts/game
20 Kierra Mallard 6-3 F SR 14.9 pts/game
41 Kelsi Baker 6-1 F SO 8.5 pts/game
ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (4-5)
NO. NAME HT P YR STATS
42 Amber Moore 5-11 G SO 9.3 pts/game
22 Ivory Crawford 5-10 G FR 4.8 pts/game
12 Lydia McCully 5-9 G SR 5.0 pts/game
44 Kersten Magrum 6-1 F SO 11.7 pts/game
00 Karisma Penn 6-2 F JR 14.8 pts/game

*****************************************************

The Four Factors to Winning Illinois Texas Tech
Shooting eFG% 0.353 0.377
Ball Handling TO% 0.204 0.248
Off rebounding OR% 0.401 0.504
Shooting FTs FT Rate 0.638 0.676

*****************************************************

Scoring Offense W-L Pts Avg/G
Texas Tech 9-0 664 83
Illinois 4-5 555 61.7
Scoring Defense W-L Pts Avg/G
Texas Tech 9-0 419 52.4
Illinois 4-5 563 62.6
Scoring Margin Off Def Margin
Texas Tech 83 52.4 +30.6
Illinois 61.7 62.6 -.09
Free Throw % FT Made FT Attempts Pct.
Texas Tech 142 210 0.676
Illinois 120 188 0.638
Field Goal % FG FG A Pct.
Texas Tech 240 554 0.433
Illinois 203 507 0.4
Field Goal % Defense FG FGA Pct.
Texas Tech 144 438 0.329
Illinois 207 531 0.391
3-Point FG % FG FGA Pct.
Texas Tech 42 138 0.304
Illinois 29 108 0.269
3-Point FG % Defense FG FGA Pct.
Texas Tech 25 106 0.236
Illinois 42 145 0.29
Rebounding Offense Reb Avg/G
Texas Tech 403 50.4
Illinois 361 40.1
Rebounding Defense Reb Avg/G
Texas Tech 257 32.1
Illinois 338 37.6
Blocked Shots Blocks Avg/G
Texas Tech 42 5.25
Illinois 48 5.3
Assists No. Avg/G
Texas Tech 139 17.38
Illinois 107 11.9
Steals No. Avg/G
Texas Tech 128 16
Illinois 68 7.6
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