Lady Raiders Play at Texas A&M Saturday Afternoon

Katrisa O'Neal needs four steals in Saturday's game against Texas A&M to become Tech's all-time leader.

Katrisa O'Neal needs four steals in Saturday's game against Texas A&M to become Tech's all-time leader.
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Jan. 11, 2001

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Texas A&M Aggies (11-3, 1-2 Big 12) vs.
#9/11 Lady Raiders (12-2, 3-0 Big 12)
January 13, 2001 - 2 p.m.
College Station, Texas - Reed Arena (12,500)

Saturday's Game
No. 9/11 Texas Tech (12-2/3-0) takes on Texas A&M (11-3/1-2) today at 2 p.m. at Reed Arena. It is the 49th meeting between the two teams.

Scouting the Opponent
Texas A&M enters the game with an 11-3 overall record and 1-2 in the Big 12 after losing at Missouri, 69-61, last Wednesday. In that game, senior Jaynetta Saunders scored a game-high 22 points followed by junior LaToya Rose with 15. Freshmen Janae Derrick and Toccara Williams each grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Williams also dished out nine assists.

On the year, Saunders paces the Aggies in scoring with a 20.5 average followed by senior Brandy Jones at 11.7 and junior LaToya Rose at 10.8. Saunders is also the top rebounder, averaging 7.9 boards per outing. Williams has team highs of 96 assists and 58 steals. Saunders is the top shot blocker with 21 blocks. Texas A&M is shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from three-point range and 63 percent from the free throw line.

Peggie Gillom is in her third year at the helm of the Aggies, establishing a career record of 29-39.

Series Record
It is the 49th meeting between Texas Tech and Texas A&M with the Lady Raiders holding a 40-8 advantage over the Aggies. Tech won both of last year's games, 71-49 in College Station Jan. 29 and 58-44 Feb. 12 in Lubbock. The last time A&M was victorious was in a 72-68 triumph on March 9,1996 at the Southwest Conference Tournament in Dallas.

Last Time vs. Texas A&M
Feb. 12, 2000 - Plenette Pierson led three Lady Raiders in double figures with 15 points to give No. 7/9 Texas Tech a 58-44 victory over Texas A&M.

Leading 27-18 at the half, Tech took command for good with a 13-4 burst in the opening minutes of the second half. Pierson did much of the damage, scoring four times inside and adding a free throw that helped push the Lady Raiders to a 40-22 lead with just more that 14 minutes remaining.

But the Lady Raiders had their problems. After Katrisa O'Neal's free throw with 11:41 remaining, Tech went scoreless for more than five minutes, allowing the Aggies to pull within 44-32 on a pair of free throws by Meg Banahan.

A&M's scoring spree got Tech's attention. Pierson, O'Neal and Keitha Dickerson combined to score the Lady Raiders' next 15 points while Tech's defense silenced A&M en route to a 58-37 lead.

A Win Saturday Would...
...give Tech a 13-2 overall record and a 4-0 mark in the Big 12.

...be the ninth straight victory over Texas A&M.

...mark the third time in five seasons that Tech has started off Big 12 play with a 4-0 record. Also did it in 1998 and 1999.

...give Marsha Sharp her 447th career victory.

A Look Ahead
Texas Tech will head to Nebraska Jan. 17 for a 7 p.m. game with the Huskers. The Nebraska game will be televised locally in Lubbock on KCBD Channel 11. The Lady Raiders will return home to face Oklahoma State Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. before heading to Oklahoma on Jan. 28 for a noon game, which will be televised by FOX Sports Net.

Lady Raider Head Coach Marsha Sharp
One of the most respected and well-known coaches in Texas Tech history, head coach Marsha Sharp is 446-136 in her 19th year at the helm of the Lady Raiders. She has led the Lady Raiders to 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 11 consecutive, and six NCAA Sweet 16 and three Elite Eight appearances and the NCAA National Championship in 1993. Sharp has led the Lady Raiders to three-straight Big 12 Conference regular-season titles and two tournament crowns. While in the SWC, coach Sharp and the Lady Raiders never finished below third, they won or shared the last five championships, and they captured three Post-Season Classic titles.

A 1974 graduate of Wayland Baptist University, Sharp was named the National Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994. She also reaped SWC Coach of the Year honors seven times, five consecutively.

The Last Time Out
(AP) - Jia Perkins scored 23 points as No. 11 Texas Tech beat previously unbeaten No. 23 Baylor 84-61 on Wednesday night, the Lady Raiders' 38th straight home victory and 38th consecutive victory over the Lady Bears.

Texas Tech (12-2, 3-0 Big 12) used a 30-9 run to take a 48-22 lead at the half. No. 23 Baylor (13-1, 2-1) shot only 29 percent during the first half, hitting 9-of-31 compared to Tech's 20-of-35.

The Lady Bears shooting vastly improved during the second half and Tech's declined as Sheila Lambert scored 18 of her 25 points. Danielle Crockrom added 15.

Lambert entered the game with a Big 12-best scoring average of 24.5 points. Crockrom was second with a 21.5 average, and topped the conference's rebounders at 12.8.

In last season's regular-season finale, Tech beat Baylor 105-52. The Lady Bears haven't beaten Tech since a 62-56 win in the Southwest Conference tournament on March 11, 1983, and have lost their last 11 games in Lubbock by an average margin of 28 points.

Home Court Streak
Texas Tech has the longest current home-court winning streak in Division I women's basketball. Tech has won 38-straight home games. Kent is in second with 36 with its next home game Jan. 13. Grambling did have the longest home-court winning streak of 68 games but lost to Southern University, 80-70, Jan. 6. Tennessee holds the record for most consecutive home wins with 69. Auburn and Grambling are second with 68 straight home wins.

Team Leaders
Texas Tech is led in scoring by senior Katrisa O'Neal and sophomore Plenette Pierson, who are both averaging 13.1 points per game. Freshman Jia Perkins and junior Amber Tarr are averaging 12.5 and 10.4, respectively. Pierson is the top rebounder as she is averaging 6.9 boards a game followed by junior Tanisha Ellison at 6.8 and freshman Dionne Brown at 5.2. Brown has a team-high 64.6 field goal percentage, while freshman Jolee Ayers is shooting 50 percent and Pierson and junior Candi White at 48.8 percent. Perkins has team highs of 59 assists and 38 steals. Pierson is the top shot blocker with 15 blocks. On the year, the Lady Raiders are shooting 44.8 percent from the field, 41.1 percent from three-point range and 67.7 percent from the free throw line.

NCAA Statistical Leaders
As of Jan. 8, junior Amber Tarr ranks fifth in the country in three-point field goal percentage at 50.9. As a team, the Lady Raiders rank 12th in three-point field goal percentage at 40.5 and 14th in scoring defense at 56.9, scoring margin at 17.5 and won-lost percentage at .846.

Katrisa `O'Steal' Closing in on the Record
Senior Katrisa O'Neal ranks second on Tech's all-time career list for steals with 300. She needs four steals to become the all-time leader at 304 and three steals to tie Camille Franklin for first on the list with 303 steals.

No Stopping Perkins and Ayers
There was no stopping freshmen Jia Perkins and Jolee Ayers against Baylor Jan. 10 as both scored career highs in points in that game. Perkins poured in 23 points in 25 minutes of play, while Ayers added 12 in a season-high 20 minutes.

The Future
In the win over Baylor Jan. 10, the 13,804 fans witnessed what the future holds for the Lady Raiders as the five freshmen combined to score 47 of Tech's 84 points. Jia Perkins led her classmates with a career-high 23 points followed by Jolee Ayers' career-high 12 points. Natalie Ritchie chipped in eight, while Dionne Brown and Casey Jackson each had two points apiece.

Women and Men Both Stop Streaks
Entering the week of Jan. 8, both the Baylor women's and men's basketball teams were undefeated and both suffered their first loss of the year to Texas Tech. The Red Raiders did it first as they put the Bears' win streak to a halt in a 68-58 triumph in Lubbock on Jan. 9. The next night the Lady Raiders finished it as they stopped the Lady Bears' 13-game winning streak with an 84-61 victory also in Lubbock.

Another Double-Double for Pierson
Sophomore Plenette Pierson recorded her second double-double of the season a she scored 14 points and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds against Baylor Jan. 10.

Largest Crowd of the Season
On Jan. 10, 13,804 fans were in attendance for Tech's 84-61 victory over Baylor, which was the largest crowd at United Spirit Arena this season and the sixth largest attendance since the USA opened last season.

"T-Bird" Flies High
Junior Tanisha Ellison was flying high in the win at Oklahoma State Jan. 6 as she recorded a career-high 15 rebounds in 34 minutes of play. Her previous career high was 11, which she had done three times in her career at Texas Tech.

Spark Plug = O'Neal
Senior Katrisa O'Neal was the spark plug that the Lady Raiders needed to defeat Oklahoma State Jan. 6. After the Lady Raider shot just 28.6 percent in the first half, O'Neal came out in the second half and hit 7-of-8 shots from the field and 3-of-5 from the line en route to a game-high 23 points. O'Neal finished the game 9-of-13 from the field and 3-for-5 from the charity stripe.

Tarr at Home in Gallagher-Iba
Junior Amber Tarr likes the confines of Gallagher-Iba Arena on the campus of Oklahoma State as she finished with another fine performance there for the second-straight year. On Jan. 6, Tarr hit 4-of-6 three-pointers and went 5-for-9 from the field and 3-for-5 from the free throw line to score 17 points in 32 minutes. Last year, she scored a then career-high 22 points and sank a career-high six three-point baskets.

Wake-up Call
Texas Tech got the wake-up call it needed to win at Oklahoma State Jan. 6. The Lady Raiders were down seven points at the half after shooting just 28.6 percent from the field, hitting 8-of-28 shots. But in the second half, Tech got back on track as it shot 76.2 percent from the field, connecting on 16-of-21 shot attempts.

First Big 12 Opener at Home
For the first time in the five-year history of Big 12 women's basketball, the Lady Raiders, who are now 4-1 in Big 12 openers, opened the Big 12 season at home as they defeated Missouri 82-64 Jan. 3. Tech won at Baylor, 75-58, Jan. 4, 1997, then it was a victory at Missouri, 79-65, Jan. 4, 1998, and another win at Baylor, 51-49, Jan. 2, 1999, before losing at Iowa State, 62-37, Jan. 2, 2000.

No Place Like Home
Texas Tech has won 33-straight Big 12 games dating back to Jan. 15, 1997. The last time and only time the Lady Raiders have lost a Big 12 contest at home was on Jan. 8, 1997 to Oklahoma State, 78-56.

Ellison Has Elite Outing
Junior Tanisha Ellison was hard to stop in Tech's 82-64 win over Missouri Jan. 6. The center from Houston recorded her second career double-double and first of the season with a career-high 15 points and matching her then career-high 11 rebounds. Ellison also added a career-high four steals. She was 4-for-4 from the field and 7-for-8 from the free throw line in 32 minutes of play.

Five in Double Digits
In Tech's win over Missouri Jan. 3, the Lady Raiders had five players score in double figures led by junior Amber Tarr with 16 points. Junior Tanisha Ellison added 15 points followed by freshman Jia Perkins with 14 and senior Katrisa O'Neal and sophomore Plenette Pierson with 10 points apiece.

Season High from the Charity Stripe
Texas Tech shot a season-high 83.3 percent from the free throw line against Missouri Jan. 3. The Lady Raiders made a season-high 25 free throws on 30 attempts.

Career High Boards for Tarr
Junior Amber Tarr grabbed a career-high eight rebounds in Tech's win at Rice Dec. 28. Her previous high was six against North Carolina State earlier this season.

Block Buster
Sophomore Plenette Pierson tied her career high of three blocks against Rice Dec. 28 as it marked the fourth time in her career that she has recorded three blocks in a game. She also tied her career-high three assists.

Sinking the Three
Junior Candi White sank a career-high three three-point baskets as she went 3-for-3 from three-point range against Rice Dec. 28.

Double Pleasure for Perkins
Freshman Jia Perkins recorded her first career double-double as she scored 15 points and matched her career high of 10 assists against USC Dec. 22. Perkins was one rebound short of a triple-double as she tallied a career-high nine boards.

Tarr Lights It Up
Junior Amber Tarr lit up the United Spirit Arena against Southeastern Louisiana Dec. 19 as she poured in a career-high 25 points while tying her career high of six three-point baskets in 33 minutes of action.

No Silent Night
In Tech's win over Southeastern Louisiana Dec. 19, the Lady Raiders had several players making noise as they set career highs. Career highs in scoring were set by junior Amber Tarr with 25 points followed by freshman Natalie Ritchie with 10, sophomore Alison Cudnoski with nine and freshman Jolee Ayers with six points. Junior Candi White tied her career high of 10 points. Another notable career high set was Ayers' seven rebounds.

Tech vs. the Top 25
Texas Tech is 3-1 against teams ranked in the top 25 after beating No. 13 Oregon, 79-75 OT, Dec. 13. The Lady Raiders were also victorious over No. 8 Penn State and No. 16 Southwest Missouri State, while losing to No. 19 North Carolina State.

Tech Allows Second Lowest Points
Texas Tech's 72-30 win over Southwest Texas Nov. 25 marked the second lowest points allowed in the history of Lady Raider basketball. The fewest points Tech has ever allowed was 26 at McMurray on Feb. 24, 1978 in an 84-26 victory. The third fewest points allowed was 31 at TCU, Feb. 25, 1985 as Tech was victorious 65-31.

Lady Raiders in the Polls
Since January 20, 1992, the Lady Raiders have been ranked in the Top 25 in Associated Press and/or the USA Today poll a total of 164 weeks. That includes the Jan. 8 rankings of ninth by USA Today/ESPN poll and 11th by the AP.

Did You Know...
...that Tech has two players whose fathers played in the NFL - freshman Jia Perkins' dad, Johnny Perkins, played for the New York Giants and freshman Jolee Ayers' dad, the late John Ayers, played for the San Francisco 49ers.

...that Tech has signed four players to National Letters of Intent to play at Texas Tech next year: Jametra Clark (Hale Center), La'Tosha Daniels (Fort Worth), Cisti Greenwalt (Clovis, N.M.) and Kari Jo Simmons (Lubbock).

...that all 12 players hail from the state of Texas.




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