The Lady Raiders (1-0, 0-0) take on the New Mexico Lobos (1-0, 0-0) tonight in Albuquerque. The game will be played at "The Pit" at 8pm CST. This game has become a yearly battle between these two teams. Texas Tech leads the series 13-2. Both teams have one win under their belts.
Coach Kristy Curry is starting her 7th season as the head coach of the Lady Raiders. Her current record is 110-87. Coach Curry is just 11 games short of having 300 wins in her career. Her total win/loss record is 289-138.
The Lady Raiders have been hit by the injury/sick bug early this season. Minta Spears has a torn ACL and will be out for the season. Ivonne Cook-Taylor suffered a season ending knee injury in preseason. Shauntal Nobles is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with an illness last week.
The strengths for this Lady Raiders team are in their scoring, rebounding, turnovers and steals. Tech scores an average of 67 points per game and they out score their opponents an average of 7.5 points. The Lady Raiders average 41 rebounds per game which is 6 more than their opponents. The Defense for this squad is excellent. They average 10.5 Steals and 5.4 Blocks per game.
The Lady Raiders need to improve on their 3-Point shots and at the Free-Throw line. Tech only averages 31.5% of their 3-Pt attempts and their FT percentage is only 66.7%.
The Lobos' Head Coach, Yvonne Sanchez, begins her 2nd season with New Mexico. She was an Assistant Coach for the NM program for 11 years and took the reins as Head Coach in 2011. Sanchez's record is 12-20.
The Lobos' stats are somewhat skewed due to the fact that they almost could not muster up a full team last season between injuries and academic losses. Coach Sanchez called it the "Band-Aid-and-a-prayer" season of 2011-12. In a number of the games they had to utilize UNM student body and Lobo Volleyball players to fill in the holes. They would take time-outs to rest the players instead of sending in substitutions.
The Lobos average 54 points per game and do not have strong rebounding stats but they are 68% from the FT line and average 6.5 Steals per game. The other advantage the Lobos have over the Lady Raiders is height. Three of their starters are 6.0' tall and they have a couple bench players that are 6.2' that could see some action.
By chance there are two former Lady Raiders on the Lobo team: Sophomore Guard Antiesha Brown, will not be eligible to play until Dec 18th so she will not compete against her former teammates and Junior Point-Guard Ebony Walker has red shirted this season
The Starting Lineups:
- G Monique Smalls Averages 8.5 pts and averages 3 Steals per game
- G Chynna Brown Averages 8.7 pts and 4.5 Rebounds per game
- G Casey Morris Averages 10 pts/game and is 83% from the FT line
- F Jackie Patterson Averages 12 pts/game and brings height at 6-1' tall
- F Kelsi Baker Averages 5.7 pts/game and is a strong 3-Pt shooter
- G Sara Halasz Averages 7.8 pts/game and is a strong rebounder
- G Caroline Durbin Averages 8.1 pts/game and is a strong 3-Pt shooter
- G Bryce Owens Averages 9pts/game and she is quick in her game play
- F Chinyere Nnaji Averages 3 pts/game and brings height at 6-0' tall
- F Jourdan Erskine Averages 4.1 pts and 6.1 Rebounds per game
Three of the senior guards could reach the 1,000 career point mark this season. Casey Morris has 875 pts; Monique Smalls has 706 pts and Chynna Brown has 690 pts.
Monique Smalls is trying to become only the 2nd Lady Raider to have started in every game all four seasons of her career. She has started all 102 of 102 games at Texas Tech.
Live stats will be available on Gametracker at TexasTech.com.
Game Thread goes up at 7:45 CST (I will not be able to monitor the game tonight but let's cheer the Ladies on to victory)