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Monday Morning Matador: basketball programs, coaching hires and softball rankings

Texas Tech looks to impress in 2019

Welcome to 2019! Six days in and we’ve had a lot of action for the scarlet and black. The Monday Morning Matador is here to give you a brief recap of all the happenings in Texas Tech athletics. Let’s get started.

Lady Raiders have harsh two-game slide

After a four-game win streak, the Lady Raiders lost a heartbreaker to Oklahoma in the Big 12 opener. The first half went completely Texas Tech’s way, having a nine point lead after Chrislyn Carr and Brittany Brewer tore it up from beyond the arch. In the final period, however, Oklahoma managed to stage a substantial rally and beat Tech by 66-61. Carr led the team with 19 points and four assists followed up by Brittany Brewer with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Following the Oklahoma game, Texas Tech dropped another game (this time a little more probable) to No. 7 Baylor, 73-56. Despite taking off to a 10-6 lead, Baylor proved too formidable an opponent and kept Tech on their heels. With six minutes to go the Bears were up by 31 points but the Lady Raiders stayed the course. Texas Tech cut the deficit to 17 with a 19-5 run before time expired. In a two-game slide, Coach Stollings remains all in on this program’s future and has called for student’s to come in full force against Kansas this Wednesday night.

No. 11 Red Raiders on top after beating Mountaineers, Wildcats

After an impressive non-conference run, No. 11 Texas Tech opened up conference play with a historic win at West Virginia. Before Wednesday, the Red Raiders were 0-6 all time in Morgantown. West Virginia managed a 2 point lead in the first half before a brilliant second half showing from Jarrett Culver with 18 points. Matt Mooney and Davide Moretti also managed double-digit points to help lift the Red Raiders to a 62-59 victory over the Mountaineers. Coach Huggins had a few choice words about Texas Tech’s lockerroom dance celebration as well.

The celebration would keep on as the Kansas State Wildcats came to Lubbock for Tech’s first conference home game. In front of a sold-out United Supermarkets Arena the Red Raiders showed out with a 14-0 lead to start the game, holding the Wildcats to 19 points in the first half. The favor would swing Kansas State’s way in the second, however, as their offense rallied to pull within one point. Davide Moretti proved to be the hero of the day after a career-defining 19 points and a highlight worthy steal with 1:34 remaining. The 63-57 win moves Texas Tech to 2-0 in Big 12, 13-1 overall and 9-0 at home this season. Up next they will take on No. 23 Oklahoma Tuesday night, 8pm.

Coach Wells hires Paul Randolph, defensive line

Still filling out his coaching roster, Coach Wells added a seasoned defensive line coach this week: Paul Randolph. Randolph spent the past three seasons with the University of Memphis, but has twenty years of experience at multiple universities like West Virginia, Arizona State and Alabama. Randolph and the new Tech defensive coordinator, Keith Patterson, coached together at Arizona State and will coach again with the Red Raiders. During Randolph’s tenure with Memphis, the Tigers forced 81 turnovers which was good for 4th nationally. Memphis boasted a significant 26 wins in those three seasons.

Softball ranked No. 38 in preseason poll

After its most successful season under Coach Gregory with 30 wins, Texas Tech returns eight starters heading into the 2019 season. College Sports Madness released its 2019 preseason Top 44 Countdown and the Red Raiders were pegged at No. 38. Coach Gregory is looking to have another spectacular season with familiar faces like All-American Jessica Hartwell and missle-armed Erin Edmoundson. There will also be several transfers from division I colleges such as Trenity Edwards from Missouri, Missy Zoch from DePaul and Shelby Henderson from Louisiana-Lafayette. On top of that lineup there will be six touted freshmen beginning their careers as well. Opening day at Rocky Johnson Field is slated for March 1 against North Texas.