Lady Raiders battle the #1 Bears

WBB Smalls v BU Sims and Hayden

Lady Raiders vs. #1 Baylor Bears – Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 7pm CST

Still not ranked, the Lady Raiders (16-4, 6-2) have not received any respect from the national media or coaches. These Ladies have continued to fight and play hard and in doing so are in sole possession of the 2nd Place spot in the Big12 Standings. Tech has won the last 4 games, of which two were road games. The Lady Raiders will go up against their nemesis the Baylor Bears (18-1, 8-0) tonight in Lubbock at the USA at 7pm CST. There is no love lost between these two teams. Just a reminder, in March of 2010, Baylor's Brittney Griner punched Texas Tech's Jordan Barncastle in the face in a very physical game. Tensions and fan passion have been high in every game they have played since. This will be the last game Griner will play in Lubbock, unless the Bears play in the Regional games that the USA will host for the NCAA Tourney this year.

Texas Tech is the last Big12 team to defeat the Baylor Bears, but that feat was 2 years ago in Feb 2011. These two teams will be meeting for the 76th time with Tech leading the series 47-28. If there ever was a game that will push this team to its ultimate play and one in which they need to be perfect, this is the one. The odds are against beating Baylor tonight and Texas Tech was picked to finish in 9th place this season, but the Lady Raiders have not listened to the naysayers, they have defeated six of the other Big 12 teams and the two losses were in close games against #21 Oklahoma in Norman and #24 Iowa State at the USA.

The Lady Raiders played the TCU Horned Frogs last Sunday and pulled out the win with a final score of 53-42. The Lady Raiders played slightly messy in sections of this game. The 1st half saw the worst action from this team but they were able to take the lead right before the half and never gave the lead up. The 2nd half the Lady Raiders went on an 11-2 run that started and ended with two Casey Morris 3-Point shots. Tech had one of their lower FG% marks, a mere 33.3%, in this game but was able to score when they needed to. Tech made 25 points off the 23 turnovers and they completed seven 3-Pt attempts.

As noted above, the Lady Raiders are going to have to play their best game almost to perfection to beat the Bears. Tech will have to play a controlled and focused game. They will need to do their best on going to the inside to score against Baylor's Center Griner and the Forward Brooklyn Pope. If at all possible, Tech will need to make their shots count from the outside and possibly beyond the 3-pt arc. Tech has done tremendously well in improving on their Free-throw shots this year and in many games have been over 87% completion at the FT line. They average 68% which is one area they have the advantage over Baylor with a FT% of 65%. The Lady Raiders have also improved their 3-Pt completions making them count over 1/3 of the time. A lot of Tech's opponents have height advantage but the Lady Raiders have fought and won most of the rebound battles and have continually attacked the basket and the boards. Tech has outrebounded five of its eight Big12 opponents this season and had 20 offensive boards and 50 rebounds total against TCU, which is the best mark for offensive rebounds in conference play for Tech this season. Tech is a very good defensive team and if they can play at their best and work cohesively as a team and get into a rhythm like they have, then they have a shot at getting the upset win.

Texas Tech is finally getting a little love and is receiving votes but is not yet ranked. I have said it before I really don't care if we are ranked I just want s to win and continue to improve and grow the program. The Lady Raiders lead the Big 12 Conference in total steals with 232 in 20 games (11.60 per game). The Lady Raiders lead the Big 12 and are #15 in the Nation with a +5.90 turnover margin. The Lady Raiders have dominated their opponents by outscoring them an average of 13.1pts per game. Tech's FT% is currently 67.9%. Coach Kristy Curry is in her 7th season and her current record at Texas Tech is 125-91.

The Baylor Bears have not lost a Big12 Conference game in 36 straight games. They are currently ranked number one in the country and they have the number one player, Griner. The Baylor Center scores 21.5 points and averages 8.1 Rebounds/ game. Griner needs just three points to become the Big12's all-time scoring leader and recently eclipsed the NCAA career block record (665), men or women. Griner already owns the NCAA record for career dunks (11). Junior Point Guard Odyssey Sims, averages 12.5 points and 5.5 assists per game and has a 85.7% FT%. Another player to watch is Forward Brooklyn Pope with 11.1 points and 6.3 Rebounds per game.

The Baylor Bears' Head Coach, Kim Mulkey is in her 13th season with Baylor. Her career record is 356-80. 2012 She was the 2012 National Coach of the Year. In just 12 seasons as Baylor's head coach, she attained 300 career victories and ranks No. 4 among the nation's winningest active Division I head coaches (.811) and No. 5 all-time by percentage. Mulkey is a former Olympic Gold medalist and has twice guided the Lady Bear basketball program to the NCAA National Championship (2005 and 2012).

The Starting Lineups:

Texas Tech

G Monique Smalls Averages 8.4 Pts and has 40 Steals

G Casey Morris Averages 12.0 Pts and has a 78.3% FT%

G Chynna Brown Averages 11.7 Pts and 5.5 Rebounds/game

F Christine Hyde Averages 10.1 Pts and 5.7 Rebounds/game

F Kelsi Baker Averages 9.9 Pts and 5.3 Rebounds/game

Baylor

G Odyssey Sims Averages 12.5 Pts and has a 85.7% FT%

G Jordan Madden Averages 8.4 Pts and 4.1 Rebounds/game

C Brittney Griner Averages 21.5 Pts and 8.1 Rebounds/game

F Kimetria Hayden Averages 7.4 Pts and has a 72.1% FT%

F Brooklyn Pope Averages 11.1 Pts and 6.3 Rebounds/game

Notes:

Texas Tech senior Chynna Brown scored 23 points in Sunday's win and had 12 rebounds for her first career double-double. Brown has scored in double figures in eight of the last nine games - three times scoring 20 or more - and is averaging 16.1 points per game in Big 12 Conference play (4th in Big 12). She also hit a career-high five, 3-pointers. She has 913 career points

The Baylor Bears are one of 12 teams, and one of only three women's teams, selected to wear the new Nike Hyper Elite Road Jersey and Nike Hyper Elite Shorts. Baylor will debut its uniform at Texas Tech on Wednesday. The uniforms offer lightweight performance through sustainable materials. A logo inspired by each team's home court appears on the jersey's center chest, a piece of "home away from home," while the back nameplate features iconic references to the team's mascot and home crowd.

....

To watch and listen to the game go to TexastechTV (http://www.texastech.com/allaccess/)

The game can be heard on the radio 93.7 FM (Lubbock and on the Texas Tech Sports Network (www.TexasTech.com)

Live stats will be available on Gametracker at www. www.texastech.com/game

Gamethread goes up at 6:45pm CST

Stats Texas Tech NCAA Rank Baylor NCAA Rank
Scoring 66.5 91st 81.2 3rd
Defensive Scoring 53.4 34th 53.2 33rd
Scoring Margin 13.1 30th 28 2nd
Field Goal % 40.90% 88th 50.80% 1st
3-Point Field Goal % 33.60% 52nd 35.00% NR
Free Throw % 67.90% 190th 65.40% 256th
Rebounds Per Game 37.6 215th 43.8 22nd
Rebound Margin 3.2 97th 10.4 9th
Assists Per Game 10.9 273rd 21.3 1st
Turnovers Per Game 14.9 46th 13.4 10th
Steals Per Game 11.6 34th 10 97th
Turnover Margin 5.9 14th 4.7 38th
Blocks per Game 2.3 297th 6.2 6th

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