The Lady Raiders play the Kansas Jayhawks in Lubbock on Tuesday Feb 21, 2012 at 7pm CST at the USA. This will be the 19th meeting between these two teams. Tech leads the series 14-4. Tech has won 12 of the last 13 meetings. They lost to Kansas in Lawrence on Jan 25, 2012 but have beaten Kansas in Lubbock every time since Dec 1978.
Tech enters the game after a loss to Baylor in Waco on Saturday, Feb 18th. The Lady Raiders fought hard in a hostile arena but came up short against the Bears. The Jayhawks are having their own troubles at the end of the season. They are coming off a loss to Missouri on Saturday, Feb 18, 2012. Kansas lost their leading scorer to an ACL injury on Feb 12, 2012 and has lost all three games since that incident.
What's at Stake: Tech is trying to hold the record of beating Kansas every game played in Lubbock since Dec 1978. Tech is trying to be one of the top 6 six teams in the Big 12 to get a first-round bye in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Championship. Currently they are tied for 7th with Oklahoma State and Texas in the Big 12 standings. Secondly, every victory is needed if Tech is to get into the NCAA Tournament. The Kansas Jayhawks are trying to end their 3-game slide and hold their 6th place spot in the Big 12 standings.
Comments: Tech needs to end the 2-game slump and beat Kansas. Tech has beaten Kansas every game played in Lubbock since 1978 and they need to hold that record. I am very proud of this team and how they played in this game. They were in a very hostile environment (Baylor sold out the arena) and they came so close to pulling out the win and the biggest upset of the season. I am hoping that the Lady Raiders can play like this the rest of the season and win their remaining 4 conference games and win in the Big 12 tourney and get invited to the NCAA Tourney. Call it moral victories but the Lady Raiders are the only Big 12 team to keep the final margin against Baylor to under 10 points. Tech held Baylor to a season low of only 56 points. With only 4 more games on the schedule before the Big 12 Tournament, Tech needs this win tonight. With the Longhorns playing Baylor and then Oklahoma and the OSU Cowgirls playing the Kansas State and then Iowa State, Tech has a chance to tie for the 6th spot in the Big 12 standings with Kansas. Tech would earn the 6th spot over Kansas based on a better overall record and higher RPI ranking. The Lady Raiders need to bounce back hard and strong with this game and set the tone for the rest of the season. Tech has a higher Scoring Margin than Kansas and has made more offensive rebounds and Tech leads the conference in Steals. With the loss of Kansas leading scorer and the Jayhawks struggling down the stretch in conference play, I believe Tech can and will win this game.
More after the Jump ...
Current record: Tech's current season record is 17-9, 5-9 Big 12. Kansas' current season record is 17-9, 6-8 Big12.
Rankings: Neither is ranked. Kansas is currently in 6th place and Tech is tied with Texas and OSU for the 7th place in the Big 12 Standings.
Players to watch:
Tech: Senior Forward Kierra Mallard is averaging 11.7 pts and 8.2 rebounds/game and has 50 blocks and 36 steals; Junior Guard Casey Morris averages 9.2 points per game and 3.7 rebounds/game and has 52 steals and has a 87 FT%; Junior Christine Hyde is averaging 8.4 points and 3.8 rebounds/game and has 27 steals; Junior Guard Monique Smalls is averaging 8.2 points and 3.5 rebounds and has 70 steals; Sophomore Kelsi Baker averages 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds/game and has 9 blocks and 17 steals; Sophomore Forward Shauntal Nobles is averaging 6.5 pts and 5.1 rebounds/game and has 20 blocks and 20 steals; Junior Guard Chynna Brown is averaging 8.8 pts and 4.1 rebounds/game and has 21 steals; Senior Forward Jordan Barncastle averages 5.2 pts/game and completes 79.3% FTs and has 12 steals and 6 blocks.
Kansas: Junior Guard Angel Goodrich is averaging 12.5 pts and 3.7 rebounds/game and has 13 blocks and 72 steals; Freshman Guard Natalie Knight averages 5 pts and 2.8 rebounds/game and has 35 steals; Sophomore Guard CeCe Harper averages 2.3 pts and 1.8 rebounds/game and has 5 blocks and 26 steals; Freshman Forward Chelsea Gardner averages 2.8 pts and 1.9 rebounds/game; Senior Forward Aishah Sutherland averages 13.7 pts and 9.3 rebounds/game and has 41 blocks and 43 steals.
Previously Play: The Lady Raiders came oh so close to the upset win but came up short to Baylor 56-51 on Saturday, Feb 18, 2012. After starting the game off slow, Tech was ahead at half-time by 5 points (35-30). Tech did not score until 4.5 minutes into the game and had allowed Baylor to put 9 points on the board. But then Tech got Hot and shot triple 3-pt shots to tie the game. Tech went ahead at the 11 minute mark in the 1st half and went on an 18-8 run and stayed ahead of the Bears until the 11 minute mark in the 2nd half. Tech and Baylor over the next 4 minutes exchanged the lead. With a little over 7 minutes left in the game Baylor took the lead for good. Tech kept it within a basket difference but missed a couple of opportunities to tie or go ahead. In one exchange, Tech had three looks at the basket because they got their own rebounds but could not get the ball to fall. There were some bad calls against Tech and a number of calls that were not called on Baylor (specifically Griner). With Baylor's Griner having the height advantage as well as her reach it was difficult for Tech to get baskets on the inside. Tech faded at the end or ran out of steam. The Kansas Jayhawks suffered a loss to Mizzou on Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 despite outscoring the Tigers in the 2nd period. Kansas was behind by 15 points at half-time but rallied in the 2nd and almost pulled out the win. Final score 70-65.
Coaches: Kristy Curry is coaching her 6th season at Tech. (105-82). Bonnie Henrickson is entering her 8th season with the Kansas Jayhawks (134-117).
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 Kanasas Jayhawks finished the 2010-11 season 21-13, 6-10 and finished in 8th place in the Big12. The Lady Jayhawks returned 6 Letterwinners (4 Starters) and have 4 newcomers.
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network 97.3 FM (Lubbock) and Jayhawk Radio Network (KLWN 1320-AM Lawrence and KUDL 1660-AM Kansas City
Gametracker: www.texastech.com/gametracker and www.kuathletics.com/gametracker
Streaming video: www.texastech.com/allaccess/ (~ $10/month)
Game Thread will go up at 6:45pm CST on Wednesday, Feb 21, 2012
Other Notes and Quotes:
The Big 12 is listed first in the Sagarin and Collegiate Basketball News' Women's RPI ratings.
Nine Big 12 teams are over .500 and six have 16 or more wins.
The Big 12 has nine teams in the top 65 of the NCAA RPI.
The Big 12 is the only conference with every team ranked in the top 80 for strength of schedule with nine in the top 33.
Twenty-eight of 60 games in conference play have been decided by single digits, including 17 by five-or-less points.
Head Coach Kristy Curry
"We say `twelve-strong', we talk a lot about being `twelve-strong'. I thought our kids did a nice job. Basketball is a game of runs, and I knew they were going to make a run and it had to be in the first few minutes. They were able to sustain that. It was just whoever came up with runs a little longer and I was proud of our kids for getting back in."
On the game plan...
"Against those guys you try to play the percentages and to get them to play as hard as they can. I thought we played really smart. As far as the execution, we were willing to take shots and make plays."
On out-rebounding Baylor...
"I don't think we're as big as them, you know, I think that rebounding is about heart and going and getting it. So, I'm really proud of our kids for really wanting the basketball."
On what she takes away from the loss...
"Well, you know, it's gut wrenching, it hurts like heck. But, we know there will be more victories. You know, it's like I always say, `close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.' But we certainly played some of our best basketball against those guys and we've got to bottle it up and take that to the next four opportunities that we're blessed with. Hopefully we can end this thing strong."
Junior Guard Casey Morris
On their confidence...
"It's always there, we always think we can beat any team we play against. We know how talented we are, we all know how good we play when we play together as one and it makes you feel entirely strong. So, confidence is there the entire game, we just hooked up a little bit and we couldn't play. But, we're coming right back, we're going to keep on playing."
On what was working...
"I think we were just executing and taking shots when it was open and making good decisions. We outsmarted them in some positions and just played basketball smart."
TEXAS TECH LADY RAIDERS
|TEXAS TECH LADY RAIDERS (17-9, 5-9)|
|Monique Smalls||23||5-6||G||JR||8.0 pts/game|
|Casey Morris||15||5-9||G||JR||9.2 pts/game|
|Chynna Brown||00||5-8||G||JR||8.8 pts/game|
|Jordan Barncastle||1||6-2||F||SR||5.2 pts/game|
|Shauntal Nobles||33||6-3||F||So.||6.4 pts/game|
|KANSAS JAYHAWKS (17-9, 6-8)|
|Angel Goodrich||3||5-4||G||Jr.||12.5 pts/game|
|Natalie Knight||42||5-7||G||Fr.||5.0 pts/game|
|CeCe Harper||24||5-8||G||So.||2.3 pts/game|
|Chelsea Gardner||15||6-3||F||Fr.||2.8 pts/game|
|Aishah Sutherland||11||6-2||F||Sr.||13.7 pts/game|
|Stats at a Glance||Kansas||Tech|
|Points Per Game||69.7||68.1|
|3-Point FG Percentage||33.1||32.2|