WBB: #15 Texas Tech vs. Western Kentucky on Wednesday at the USA

In the final home game of 2011, the #15/#18 Lady Red Raiders play the Western Kentucky Lady Toppers in Lubbock on Wednesday night, Dec. 21, 2011 at 7pm CST at the USA. This will be the seventh meeting between these two teams with each team having 3 wins in the series.

Tech has 9 wins so far this season. Tech is coming off a win over the Illinois Lady Fighting Illini and prior to that contest, a win over UT-Arlington and a massive win against the then ranked #16 Penn State Nittany Lions. The Western Kentucky Lady Toppers have struggled this season and have split their last 4 games with wins at home but losses on the road. At home, WKU beat Louisiana Tech (69-54), lost at Tennessee Tech (59-69), lost at Illinois State (45-71) and then won at home against Florida International (65-48).

What's at Stake: If Tech pulls out a win it will keep them undefeated and give them a 10-0 record and a one game lead in the series with the Lady Toppers. Western Kentucky is looking for their 4th win of the season and another win in the series with Tech. The Lady Toppers are also trying to get a road win, something that has eluded them so far this season.

Current record: Tech's current season record is 9-0, 0-0 Big 12. Western Kentucky's current season record is 3-8, 1-0 Sun Belt.

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 pts/game 16 3-ptrs and 4.3 rebounds/game and has 24 steals. Junior Christine Hyde is averaging 9.0 points and 5.3 rebounds/game and has 9 steals. Sophomore Guard Monique Smalls is averaging 8.1 points and 3.5 rebounds and 4 blocks/game and has 31 steals. Smalls is number one in the Big12 in assist/turnover ratio at 5.88. Sophomore Kelsi Baker averages 8.5 points and 5 rebounds/game and has 8 steals.

Western Kentucky Lady Toppers: Freshman Forward Chasity Gooch averages 6.9 points and 6.2 rebounds/game. Senior Forward LaTeira Owens averages10.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game and has 13 steals. Senior Guard Vanessa Obafemi averages 6.5 pts/game, hits over 75% of FT and has 9 steals. Sophomore Chaney Means averages 4.3 pts/game, is almost perfect from the FT line and has 14 steals. Senior Center Jasmine Johnson averages 5.1 pointsand 5.6 rebounds/game and makes over 75% of FT and has 13 blocks.

Previously Play: The Lady Red Raiders had a slightly messy win over the Lady Fighting Illini on Dec. 17th (70-64) and a win over UT-Arlington on Dec 7th (88-48). The WKU Lady Toppers are coming off a 10 day break. They won their last game on Dec. 11th against Florida International (65-48) at home and a loss in an away game to Illinois State on Dec. 9th (45-71).

Coaches: Kristy Curry is coaching her 6th season at Tech. (97-73). Mary Taylor Cowles is entering her 10th season with the WKU Lady Toppers (193-106).

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 Toppers finished the 2010-11 season 15-17, 9-7 and finished in 3rd place in the Eastern Division of the Sun Belt Conference. The WKU Lady Toppers returned 3 Starters, 8 Letterwinners and 7 Newcomers.

Gametracker: www.texastech.com

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

Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network - 97.3 FM (Lubbock)

Game Thread: Game Thread at 6:30pm on Wed., Dec 21, 2011

Other Notes:

Junior guard Christine Hyde tied a career-high with 18 points to lead Texas Tech in its 70-64 win over Illinois on Saturday. Hyde was 6-of-10 from the field and tied a career-high with three 3-pointers.

Kierra Mallard scored 12 points and had 10 rebounds against Illinois for her fourth double-double of the season and 20th of her career

Tech is one of three Big 12 Conference teams that remain undefeated (Baylor, Oklahoma State) and nationally there are only 8 teams in Division 1 Women's Basketball that are undefeated this season. The Big 12 is the only league with more than one undefeated team. The Big 12 claims the best win percentage (.645) of the six BCS leagues in competition against each other.

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

TTU is now 805-373, good for 14th all-time in NCAA women's basketball wins.

Tech has a 15-game non-conference winning streak and has not lost a regular season, nonconference game since at Penn State last season (Dec. 5, 2010).

The Lady Red Raiders hold the lead in the Big 12 and are 4th nationally with 15.8 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 (27.9) and 5th overall in the country. The Lady Raiders are also 2nd in the conference in scoring with 81.6 points per game which is 8th best in the country.

The Lady Raiders are leading the Big 12 Conference in rebounding defense (32.8) and are second in rebounding offense (49.3). They also lead the conference in rebounding margin (+16.6) which is also fifth-best among all NCAA Division I teams. Kierra Mallard (4.0 offensive rebs/game), Shauntal Nobles (3.9) and Kelsi Baker (2.9) are in the Top 15 in the Big 12 for offensive rebounds per game.

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.

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PROBABLE STARTERS
TEXAS TECH LADY RAIDERS (6-0)
NO. NAME HT P YR STATS
23 Monique Smalls 5-6 G JR 8.4 pts/game
15 Casey Morris 5-9 G JR 10.9 pts/game
5 Christine Hyde 5-10 G JR 1.0 pts/game
20 Kierra Mallard 6-3 F SR 14.6 pts/game
41 Kelsi Baker 6-1 F SO 8.7 pts/game
WESTERN KENTUCKY (3-8)
NO. NAME HT P YR STATS
30 Chasity Gooch 6-0 F FR 6.9 pts/game
31 LaTeira Owens 6-1 F SR 14.8 pts/game
33 Vanessa Obafemi 5-10 G SR 6.5 pts/game
2 Chaney Means 5-8 G SO 4.3 pts/game
55 Jasmine Johnson 6-3 C SR 5.1 pts/game

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The Four Factors to Winning WKU Texas Tech
Shooting eFG% 0.339 0.375
Ball Handling TO% 0.22 0.51
Off rebounding OR% 0.429 0.52
Shooting FTs FT Rate 0.582 0.68

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Scoring Offense W-L Pts Avg/G
Texas Tech 9-0 734 81.6
WKU 3-8 633 57.5
Scoring Defense W-L Pts Avg/G
Texas Tech 9-0 483 53.7
WKU 3-8 747 67.9
Scoring Margin Off Def Margin
Texas Tech 81.6 53.7 +27.9
WKU 57.5 67.9 -10.4
Free Throw % FT Made FT Attempts Pct.
Texas Tech 168 247 0.68
WKU 121 208 0.582
Field Goal % FG FG A Pct.
Texas Tech 260 602 0.432
WKU 233 627 0.372
Field Goal % Defense FG FGA Pct.
Texas Tech 165 499 0.331
WKU 273 668 0.409
3-Point FG % FG FGA Pct.
Texas Tech 46 152 0.303
WKU 46 127 0.362
3-Point FG % Defense FG FGA Pct.
Texas Tech 28 116 0.241
WKU 75 205 0.366
Rebounding Offense Reb Avg/G
Texas Tech 444 49.3
WKU 472 42.9
Rebounding Defense Reb Avg/G
Texas Tech 295 32.8
WKU 393 35.7
Blocked Shots Blocks Avg/G
Texas Tech 46 5.11
WKU 38 3.5
Assists No. Avg/G
Texas Tech 152 16.89
WKU 133 12.1
Steals No. Avg/G
Texas Tech 142 15.78
WKU 71 6.5
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