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WBB: Lady Raiders vs. Arizona Wildcats

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WBB: Lady Raiders vs. the Arizona Wildcats tonight at “The USA”

Raider Red
Raider Red
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Go Lady Raiders!!!

RAIDER !!!!   POWER!!!!

Game: Lady Raiders vs.  Arizona Wildcats

Date: Friday, November 21, 2014

Time: 7:00pm CST

Location: "The USA" Lubbock, TX

Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network (97.3 FM Lubbock)  and  KTUC AM (1400 Tucson)

Gametracker: www.texastech.com/gametracker

Streaming video: TexasTechTV.com

Listen: TexasTechTV.com

The Lady Raiders (2-0) had a comeback win over the Texas State Bobcats on Tuesday, Nov 18th. The Lady Raiders did not have a strong 1st half and went into half-time down by 4 points (35-31).

As Head Coach Candi  Whitaker put it "I felt like we weren't guarding them, we weren't tracking them in the zone very well and when we went man we weren't guarding them. We had to try every way possible on on-balls to find a way that works for us better. We changed as they changed their line-up but I thought our defense was very poor, particularly in the first half."

In the 1st half, there were numerous missed layups and jumpers by the Lady Raiders and by the 10 minute mark, Tech was down by 11 points.  But the Lady Raiders gathered themselves and pulled within four points at half. Then a similar situation happened in the 2nd half. Between poor defense, fouls and missed shots, the Lady Raiders found themselves down by 10 points in the first 6 minutes of the 2nd half. The Lady Raiders found their spark and fought back to take the lead with 7 minutes left in the game.  From that point until the final buzzer, the score was a ping-pong match with eight lead changes to accumulate in a tie (66-66) sending the game into Overtime.  In the Overtime period, the Lady Raiders started out strong by getting a momentum changing Steal by Ivonne CookTaylor, who took the ball and scored on a lay-up. The OT period was very tense and the lead changed another four times before the final buzzer giving Tech the win 81-77.

"I think you saw a little bit about what this team is about as far as being able to fight and continue to get back into ball games. We obviously don't want to dig the holes that we did but very proud they found ways to win we had several people step up and make enormous plays at huge times and just got it done. Very, very pleased with a lot of things along those lines.  We've got to fix some interior defense and other things, but huge heart and huge fight with this team.", Coach Whitaker stated in the postgame news conference.

There were a lot of great performances in this game with three players in double-digits:  Kelsi Baker (16 pts), Minta Spears (17 pts) and Rayven Brooks (19 pts) with Ivonne CookTaylor having 9pts. Minta Spears nailed all 4 of her 3-point shots and Rayven Brooks made 3 of the 5 she attempted. There were also  5 Blocks and 3 Steals  in this game.   Dayo Olabode made 10 Rebounds and Baker had 9, plus six other players made at least 2 rebounds each.

All of the improved play and aggressive style and gumption that was lacking last season is a very welcome sight and Amber Battle still is yet to be added to the mix. I am very excited for this team and this program and I think they will surprise many of the teams they will play this season.

Tonight the Lady Raiders play a very athletic Arizona Wildcats (0-1) team at 7pm CST at the United Sprit Arena in Lubbock, TX. The game will be streamed on TexasTechTV and broadcast on the radio 97.3 FM Lubbock and KTUC AM 1400 Tucson.   This will be the 3rd meeting between these two teams with the series tied (1-1).

The Arizona Lady Wildcats are in a similar situation as Texas Tech ....  the Cats were picked to finish last in the Pac-12 Conference preseason poll.  Arizona lost their season opener in a heartbreaker to Bakersfield  (76-72) on Monday, Nov 17th. Arizona has three starters returning and seven letterwinners.  In the last five years, the Lady Wildcats have won their first road game, so let's hope we break that stat tonight.  Arizona is a strong 2nd half team and leads the Pac-12 in offensive rebounding (21 rpg) and are 86.4% accurate from the free-throw line.  The Lady Wildcats are led by Senior Point Guard Candice Warthen, who averages 11.1 ppg and 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Sophomore Forward LaBrittney Jones who is 6'1" tall and scores 14 ppg and gets 13 rebounds. Senior Forward Alli Gloyd is also 6'1" and had to sit out last season due to a torn ACL but can score 11 ppg and retrieve 9 rebounds.  Sophomore Forward Charise Holloway adds to the mix with 12 ppg and 5 rebounds. Junior Guard Keyahndra Cannon can add 8 ppg and is a great team player with an average of 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals per game.

The Starters for tonight's game are:  Sophomore Guard Minta Spears who is averaging 14 ppg and is 80% accurate at the charity stripe;  Junior (transfer) Guard Rayven Brooks had 12.5 points and 3 rebounds and Assists; Freshman Forward Dayo Olabode at 6'2" had 9 points and 10 rebounds and 2 Assists;  Senior Forward Kelsi Baker averages 17 ppg and 7.0 rebounds; and Junior (transfer) Forward Jamie Roe averages 7.5 ppg and 3.5 rebounds.

Keep the wins coming   ..... Wreck'Em !!!!

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

For a fee the game can be viewed via streaming video on TexasTechTV.com

Live stats will be available on Gametracker at TexasTech.com.