The Lady Raiders (21-8, 11-6) will battle the Oklahoma Sooners (20-9, 10-7) tonight at the USA at 7pm CST. The game will be the last Big12 Regular Conference game for this season. The Big12 Tournament starts on Friday, March 8, 2013 in Dallas, TX. The final games being played on Monday night will determine the final placements going into the Big12 Tourney. Tech is currently tied with Iowa State for the 2nd place spot in the Big12 Standings with Oklahoma one game back. If the Lady Raiders win and Iowa State wins their game against Oklahoma State, then Tech gets the 3rd place since the Cyclones won both matches against Tech this season. If Tech falls to the Sooners and Iowa State wins, then Tech gets the 4th spot in the standings. If the Lady Raiders win and Iowa State goes down against the OSU Cowgirls then Tech moves into the 2nd spot and Iowa State moves to 3rd.
This game is so crucial for the Lady Raiders to win. They need to hold on to the 2nd or 3rd place in the standings otherwise they will be placed in the #4 vs #5 game and the winner of that game goes up against Baylor. There have been so many games this season where the Lady Raiders might have started out slow but once they warmed up, they were like a well oiled machine that made very few mistakes and played great defense. In this game against OU, all of the players and especially the Seniors need to be clicking on all cylinders and need to be unstoppable. They will need to stay focused and make all their field-goal attempts count. They will need to stop the proficiency of the Sooners at the 3-Pt range. The Lady Raiders will need to control the game and control the boards. Tech plays a faster tempo game and the Lady Raiders are a better defensive team then the Sooners. While OU may have a height advantage on Texas Tech, the Sooners have been slow on the boards and are on the bottom of the Big12 stats in Rebounds and Steals. If Tech plays the defense they have shown this season and they can shut down OU's 3-pt attempts then they will pull out the win.
On Saturday, the Lady Raiders lost to Kansas State in Manhattan, KS. It was Senior night for the Wildcats and it was the final home game for Guard Brittany Chambers. She scored 31 points of which 15 of the points were from the 3-pt range. Tech did not have a player or a game plan that could contain her. Also, Tech's Casey Morris had her worst game of the season. She scored only 2 points. The Lady Raiders struggled in the first half and at one point were down by 10 points before rallying and going into the half in the lead by one point (31-30). But the 2nd half was all K-State and Chambers. The Lady Raiders just were not their usual selves. They had sloppy ball handling and their focus, when attempting a field-goal, was not there as too many were just poor attempts at the basket. Tech also failed to capitalize on turnovers. Tech scored only 11 points off turnovers compared to K-State's 18 points. K-State won the game 62-68.
In Tech's prior meeting with the Sooners in January in Norman, the game was a tight battle. The Lady Raiders were in the lead by one point at the half (29-28). Tech kept the first few minutes of the 2nd half tight but then went cold and let the Sooners get ahead by 12 points. Tech rallied and got to within five but could not get any closer. In the final minute, Tech forced OU to take foul shots. The Sooners made five of the shots count and the Lady Raiders fell 65-55.
This game will be the 48th time Tech and OU have played. The series is in OU's favor at 25-22. 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. Oklahoma displays one of the nation's most productive offenses. The Sooners are #20 in the NCAA rankings in Scoring Offense (72.6 ppg) and are #12 in 3-Pt field goals per game (8 pg) and #4 in 3-Pt FG% (38.1%). OU players to watch: Senior Forward Joanna McFarland Averages 12.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 70% FG shooting. Junior Guard Aaryn Ellenberg is a 3-Point shot machine. She has made 95 3-Pt shots this season and averages 18.1 points/game and 3.6 Rebounds/game. Junior Center Nicole Griffin finds 75 percent of her points-in-the-paint and averages 11.8 Pts/game. Griffin ranks eighth in the Big12 with 51.4% FG%.
Texas Tech leads the Big 12 Conference in total steals with 303 in 29 games (10.45 per game). The Lady Raiders lead the Big 12 and are #18 in the Nation with a +5.62 turnover margin. Tech's FT% is currently 71.0%. Coach Kristy Curry is in her 7th season and her current record at Texas Tech is 130-95.
The Sooners' Head Coach, Sherri Coale is in her 17th season with Oklahoma. Her career record is 378-176 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 168 regular-season wins (.651) in conference play.
The Starting Lineups:
G__Monique Smalls__Averages 8.4 Pts and has 52 Steals
G__Casey Morris__Averages 12.0 Pts and has a 82.2% FT%
G__Chynna Brown__Averages 13.3 Pts and has 61 Steals
F__Christine Hyde__Averages 9.1 Pts and 5.9 Rebounds/game
F__Kelsi Baker__Averages 10.4 Pts and 5.3 Rebounds/game
G__Aaryn Ellenberg__Averages 18.8 Pts and has a 51.7% 3-Pt%
G__Morgan Hook__Averages 10.5 Pts and has a 81.3% FT%
G__Sharane Campbell__Averages 9.1 Pts and has a 71.8% FT%
F__Joanna McFarland__Averages 8.9 Pts and 10 Rebounds/game
C__Nicole Griffin__Averages 11.8 Pts and 4.9 Rebounds/game
Notes: (taken from the TexasTech.com site)
"CLASS OF 2013 BREAKDOWN"
"Mary Bokenkamp, 5-9, G, Parker, Colorado"
"One of the most reliable 3-point shooters of all-time at Texas Tech, Mary has 63, 3-pointers in her career, playing in 118 games. Bokenkamp was a senior captain this season and was recently named to the Big 12 All-Academic First Team for the third season in a row - one of only five Big 12 players to earn that recognition for the third consecutive season. She will graduate with a degree in biology and plans to go to medical school."
"Chynna Brown, 5-8, G, Dallas, Texas"
"A Senior captain and Texas Tech's leading scorer this season, she is averaging 16.6 points per game in Big 12 play and became the second player this season to eclipse 1,000 points and now has 1,066 for her career. She was named the 2011 Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year and has 142 steals, 164 assists and is the senior leader with 508 rebounds, starting 52 of 126 games at Texas Tech. Chynna will graduate with a degree in criminal justice in May."
"Christine Hyde, 5-10, G, Brampton, Ontario, Canada"
"A regular starter this season, Hyde has tallied 868 points while starting in 69 of 117 games at Texas Tech. She has 111 assists, 477 rebounds, 121 steals and is shooting better than 80 percent from the free-throw line this season, making 246 free throws - the most by any player at Texas Tech over the last four seasons. She will graduate with a degree in human sciences in May."
"Casey Morris, 5-9, G, Bay Area, California"
"A senior captain, Morris eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in January after only three seasons as a Lady Raider, totaling 1,189 points. She is currently ninth all-time at Texas Tech with 209 steals and fourth all-time in 3-pointers made with 184, starting 96 of 97 games coming into today. She was named to the 2011 Big 12 Honorable Mention Team and graduated with a degree in mass communications this past August and is currently working on her master's degree."
"Monique Smalls, 5-6, G, The Woodlands, Texas"
"A senior captain, Smalls entered today on the verge of becoming the third 1,000-point scorer in this senior class with 944 points. She is fourth all-time at Texas Tech in steals with 299 and fourth all-time in assists with 497. She is a two-time Big 12 Honorable Mention Team member and two-time Big 12 All-Defensive Team member. Smalls has started every game since arriving at Tech in 2009 with her 131st consecutive game today - the most by any Lady Raider of all time. She will graduate with a degree in exercise sports sciences in May."
The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest Central (FSCEN) and/or FSPAC (the Austin area reflects FSCEN on TW Ch 432)
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)
Live stats will be available on Gametracker at www.texastech.com/gametracker.
Gamethread goes up at 6:45pm
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