Lady Raiders vs. #25 Oklahoma Sooners

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo

Lady Raiders take on #25 Oklahoma Sooners tonight

Go Lady Raiders!!!

RAIDER !!!!    POWER !!!!

Game: Lady Raiders vs. #25/22 Oklahoma Sooners

Date: Thursday, January 2, 2014

Time: 6:30pm CST

Location: "The USA" Lubbock, TX

Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network (97.3 FM Lubbock)

Gametracker: www.texastech.com/gametracker

Streaming video: www.texastech.com/allaccess

Listen: www.texastech.com/allaccess

......

The Lady Raiders (6-5, 0-0) take on the #25/22 Oklahoma Sooners (9-4, 0-0) tonight at the USA in Lubbock, TX at 6:30pm CST. This is the kick-off game for the Big12 Conference.  OU was picked to finish in 1st place in the pre-conference poll and Tech was picked to finish 9th. This game will be the 49th time Tech and OU have played. The series is in OU's favor at 26-22. The Sooners have had Tech's number in the past few years. Most of the games have been tight but the Lady Raiders have fallen short to OU, losing in the final seconds in many of the games.

The Lady Raiders had a pretty good pre-conference round of games. Probably the highlight games for this team were the wins over the New Mexico Lobos and the Florida Atlantic Owls. The team worked on all cylinders in those two games.  The Lady Raiders played a number of Div 1 basketball schools, Michigan, Rutgers, Grambling State, Arizona and Arizona State, and while Tech lost to these teams they played hard and took home some good experience to use in the next few months.  The Lady Raiders also stayed healthy in the pre-conference games and I hope that trend continues through-out the season.

One of the improving trends for this Lady Raiders team is they have finally improved their Free-throws and are averaging 75.6% completions. They have also been strong in Blocked Shots averaging 3.9 per game. But they are falling short on FGs and 3-Ptrs with only 40% and 29.6% respectively.  The Lady Raiders have to get better at protecting the ball as they are averaging over 18 turnovers.

The Lady Raiders will need to be great on the boards and make the points on the inside if they are to win this game. Texas Tech needs to break their pattern of coming out slow and not get behind the Sooners. The Lady Raiders will have to play a tightly controlled game and play their best defense if they are to knock the Sooners down. Tech needs to play a fast up-tempo game and focus on their FGs and make them count.

While Oklahoma was chosen to win the Big12 Conference in the pre-season poll and are ranked #25/22 in the national polls, they do not have a perfect record in pre-conference play. But that being said, those losses came from Louisville, UCLA, Duke and Marist. So the only true upset is Marist and the Louisville game went into over-time with the Sooners coming up short.  The Sooners are led by Senior Guard Aaryn Ellenberg, who scores over 18 ppg and averages 4.6 rebounds and has 24 steals.  Junior Guard Sharane Campbell averages over 13 ppg and 4.4 rpg.  Senior Center Nicole Griffin is their strongest rebounder with an average of 5.9 rpg and averages 11.6 ppg and has 21 blocks this season. Senior Guard Morgan Hook adds 10.7 ppg and is a great 3-Point shooter.  While OU may have a height advantage on Texas Tech, Griffin is 6'6", they have not been consistent on the boards.

The Sooners' Head Coach, Sherri Coale is in her 18th season with Oklahoma. Her career record is 390-183 and with Oklahoma. During Coale's reign at OU, she has won four Big12 Coach of the Year awards. Sherri Coale and the Sooners lead all coaches and teams in Big12 Conference wins and winning percentage. In the 15 years since the Big12 was formed, the Sooners lead with 179-97 regular-season wins (.649) in conference play.

The Starting Lineups:

Texas Tech

G - Minta Spears , RS Freshman, 5-10, 11.6 PPG and 3.3 RPG and 81.8 FT%

G - Audrisa Harrison Junior Transfer, 5-10, 5.4 PPG and 6 RPG and 80.5 FT%

G - Amber Battle, Junior, 5-9, 18.3 PPG and 9.3 RPG and 75.5 FT%

C - Shauntal Nobles, 6-3, RS Senior 6.5 PPG and 6.4 RPG and 65.6 FT%

G - Marina Lizarazu , 5-8, Freshman, 6.5 PPG and 1.9 RPG and 66.7 FT%

Oklahoma

G - Morgan Hook, Senior Guard, 5-10, 10.7 PPG and 3.7 RPG and 84.6 FT%

G - Aaryn Ellenberg, Senior Guard, 5-7, 18.3 PPG and 4.6 RPG and 81 FT%

G - Gioya Carter, Freshman Guard, 5-9,  6.4 PPG and 3.8 RPG and 64.8 FT%

G - Sharane Campbell, Junior Guard, 5-10, 13.4 PPG and 4.4 RPG and 84.8 FT%

G - Nicole Griffin, Senior Center, 6.6, 11.6 PPG and 5.9 RPG and 70.7 FT%

Notes:

Texas Tech is 34th in NCAA Division I and 2nd in the Big 12 Conference with an 74.6 free throw percentage (173 of 232).

Texas Tech is 5th in the Big 12 Conference with 3.9 blocks per game.

Amber Battle is tied for the lead in the Big 12 Conference with four double-doubles this season. She is third in the Big 12 Conference in scoring with 18.4 points per game. Battle leads the Big 12 Conference in rebounding at 9.3 rebounds per game and she leads the Big 12 Conference in defensive rebounds with 7.0 per game.

Minta Spears is 19th overall and 3rd among freshmen in the Big 12 Conference in scoring with 11.6 points per game. She leads the Big 12 Conference in minutes played with 36.5 minutes per game.

Marina Lizarazu is 8th overall and 2nd among freshmen in the Big 12 Conference in assists with 3.9 per game.

Haley Schneider is 5th in the Big 12 Conference in blocked shots with 1.6 per game and 18 total this season.

The Big 12 begins conference play on Thursday with all 10 teams in action after wrapping up the majority of non-league play with an 89-27 record (.767). The lone non-conference game remaining is top-ranked Connecticut at Baylor on Jan. 13.

Every Big 12 team has completed the non-conference portion of its schedule with a winning record for the seventh consecutive season.

The Big 12 has won 22 of its last 26 games with four teams finishing non-conference play with 10-or-more victories.

...

To 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) and Sooner Radio network (KOKC 1520 AM/KREF 1400 AM)

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

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