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Monday Morning Matador: track and tennis enter the arena

Kicking off our spring semester on a high note, most sports are finding success

We have a lot to catch up on.

Women’s Tennis dominate Orlando Invitational

The Lady Raider Tennis team wrapped up the Orlando Invitational with plenty of ranked wins against NC State and Kansas. On Friday, the tennis team picked up four singles wins behind the veteran arm of senior Lana Rush with newcomers Francesca Sella, Kennedy Bridgforth and Denise-Antonela Stoica. For the doubles, Rush teamed up with Bridgforth to take down a 37th ranked duo. Days two and three saw an escalation in win totals with seven wins on Saturday (4 singles, 3 doubles) and five on Sunday (4 singles, 5 doubles). Their strong showing at the Orlando Invitational further substantiates their preseason no. 18 ranking given to them on January 9th. Up next for the women’s tennis team is SMU on Thursday for the first dual match of the season.

Men’s basketball refuses to lose

After a strong 2-0 start in conference, Texas Tech looked to defend their home court and their undefeated conference record against No. 23 Oklahoma on Tuesday. After starting hot, the Red Raiders stalled and allowed the Sooners to lead at the half 35-31. While the start of the second half seemed more of the same, Brandone Francis provided a spark that sent the Red Raiders with a corner-three. This would help the game end on a 15-8 run behind the efforts Jarret Culver’s 9 points. The defense locked down in the second half by allowing Oklahoma to only net 8 baskets, maintaining their sub-34% FG shooting defense. After winning 66-59, Chris Beard improved to 43-4 at home as the Texas Tech coach.

In Saturday’s matchup, Texas Tech traveled to Austin to take on the Longhorns. It was another slow start as Texas was shooting well above their season average in the first half. Matt Mooney took the lead for the Red Raiders, scoring a season high 22 points. Jarrett Culver also had a good game with 14 points and nine rebounds. The 68-62 victory moves Tech Tech to 4-0 in conference and 15-1 on the season. It is also the fifth time this season (third in conference) that Tech has trailed at the half and comeback to win. Up next the Red Raiders take on the Iowa State Cyclones at home Wednesday.

Corky Classic and a slew of personal records

The season of indoor track has arrived and Texas Tech came off strong as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation. With so many personal records set, we’re going to keep this expedited. Andrew Hudson ran a 6.65 in the 60m, good enough for eighth in program history. Jacolby Shelton was near the mark but missed the top-ten all time with his 6.67 time. The 4x400 relay with Andrew Hudson, Divine Oduduru, Vincet Crisp and Tyreek Mathis won first with a time of 3:07.41. The women’s team also easily took first with a time of 3:36.84 behind the speed of Jadsia Warden, Sara Limp, D’Jenne Egharevba and Damajahnee Birch. The time was the fastest that the women’s 4x400 relay has run since 2014. Odaine Lewis and Charles Brown both excelled in the long jump. Lewis finished first with a near 8 meter jump (7.99), and Brown finished second with a 7.94 meter jump (both considered to be qualifying lengths for the NCAA Championship). Chinne Okoronkwo was exceptionally impressive by her ability to jump into the top-10 of program history in her first meet for Texas Tech. Okoronkwo cleared 14 feet to take seventh place in the program. She also finished second in long jump (6.09m) led by Ivy Walker who lept a career-best 6.18 meters. Up next for the track teams is the Red Raider open which will be held on January 18th.

Lady Raiders looking for answers

Coach Marlene Stollings and the Lady Raiders picked up their first Big 12 win of the season over Kansas. The 69-66 victory came from a dominating offensive performance from Chrislyn Carr’s 21 points (8 rebounds, 4 assists), Erin DeGrate’s 11 points (6 rebounds) and Brittany Brewer’s 10 points. This was the first Big 12 win for the Lady Raiders at home since February 27, 2017 when they took down TCU.

The victory would be short lived, however, when the women’s basketball team lost to Oklahoma State 65-57. In a relative back-and-forth, the game wouldn’t really open up until right before half when Oklahoma State took a 12 point lead. The third period was all Lady Raiders, who outscored Oklahoma State 21-19 to make it a seven-point game going into the fourth. Unfortunately the teams went point-for-point and Oklahoma State was able to hold off the Red Raiders 65-57. The win and loss moves Texas Tech to 10-5 on the season, 1-3 in Big 12 play. Up next is another Big 12 challenge against TCU on Wednesday, tip off is at 6:30pm.

Kerry Cooks joins football staff

Head coach Matt Wells announced Kerry Cooks as the defensive backs coach on Friday. Cooks is coming to Lubbock after being at Oklahoma for the past three seasons and Notre Dame the five before. Outside of being in a BCS National Championship with Notre Dame, Cooks was on staff with the Sooners for their three College Football Playoff semifinal appearances. The hire completes Coach Wells’ staff for the 2019 season.