Lady Raiders Head To Lincoln To Take On Nebraska

Plenette Pierson and the Lady Raiders look to maintain their spot atop the Big 12 with a win over Nebraska Wednesday night.

Plenette Pierson and the Lady Raiders look to maintain their spot atop the Big 12 with a win over Nebraska Wednesday night.
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Jan. 15, 2001

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Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-7, 1-2 Big 12) vs.
#9 Lady Raiders (13-2, 4-0 Big 12)
January 17, 2001 - Lincoln, Neb. - 7:05 p.m.
Television - Locally on KCBD Channel 11
Devaney Center (13,500)

Tonight's Game
No. 9/11 Texas Tech (13-2/4-0) takes on Nebraska (9-7/1-2) today at 7:05 p.m. The game will be televised in Lincoln and locally in Lubbock on KCBD Channel 11. It is the eighth meeting between the two teams.

Scouting the Opponent
Nebraska enters the game with a 9-7 overall record and 1-2 in the Big 12 after losing at Iowa State, 89-46, last Saturday. In that game, senior Casey Leonhardt and sophomore Stephanie Jones led the Huskers with nine points each followed by freshman Greichaly Cepero with eight. Sophomore Margaret Richards had a team-high six rebounds, while sophomore Isha Kelley had four assists.

On the year, Leonhardt paces the Huskers in scoring with a 13.0 average followed by freshman Shannon Howell at 8.6. Leonhardt is also the top rebounder, grabbing 6.0 boards per outing. Kelley has a team-high 55 assists, while senior Monique Whitfield has a team-high 19 steals. Leonhardt is the top shot blocker with 28 blocks.

Paul Sanderford is in his fourth season at the helm of the Huskers, establishing a record of 71-42. He is in his 19th season at a head coach with an overall record of 436-162.

Series Record
It is the eight meeting between Texas Tech and Nebraska with Tech holding a 5-2 advantage. The Lady Raiders won last year's game, 66-62, in Lubbock Feb. 16. Tech has won the last four games. The last time the Huskers were victorious was Feb. 9, 1997 in a 62-57 triumph in Lincoln, Neb.

Last Time vs. Texas A&M
Feb. 16, 2000 - Aleah Johnson scored 18 points and Keitha Dickerson had 12 points and 15 rebounds in leading No. 12 Texas Tech to a 66-62 victory over Nebraska.

Plenette Pierson and Katrisa O'Neal each added 10 points for the Lady Raiders.

Each team shot 40.7 percent in a game that was tied eight times, the last at 57-all with 3:51 left. At halftime, the Cornhuskers trailed by one point, 29-28.

Charlie Rogers led Nebraska with 14 points and Nicole Kubik added 13.

A Win Tonight Would...
...give Tech a 14-2 overall record and a 5-0 mark in the Big 12.

...be the fifth straight victory over Nebraska.

...the fifth straight win for the Lady Raiders.

...mark the third time in five seasons that Tech has started off Big 12 play with a 5-0 record. Also did it in 1998 and 1999.

...give Marsha Sharp her 448th career victory.

A Look Ahead
Texas Tech will return home to face Oklahoma State Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. before heading to Oklahoma on Jan. 28 for a noon game, which will be televised by FOX Sports Net. The Lady Raiders will then host Kansas State Jan. 31 and Texas A&M Feb. 3 both at 7 p.m.

Lady Raider Head Coach Marsha Sharp
One of the most respected and well-known coaches in Texas Tech history, head coach Marsha Sharp is 447-136 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) - Amber Tarr scored 21 points and Plenette Pierson had 20 points and 12 rebounds as No. 11 Texas Tech beat Texas A&M 85-78 on Saturday.

Texas Tech (13-2, 4-0 Big 12) opened the second half with a 20-6 run to take a 56-44 lead.

A&M pulled within four points, but freshman Jia Perkins hit a 3-pointer with 51 seconds to play and just a second left on the shot clock to give Texas Tech a seven-point lead.

Jaynetta Saunders had a career-high 34 points for Texas A&M (11-4, 1-3). Brandy Jones added 18 points, and Janae Derrick had 10.

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 sophomore Plenette Pierson, who is both averaging 13.6 points per game. Senior Katrisa O'Neal is averaging 12.9 points a game, while freshman Jia Perkins and junior Amber Tarr are averaging 12.4 and 11.1, respectively. Pierson is the top rebounder as she is averaging 7.2 boards a game followed by junior Tanisha Ellison at 6.9 and freshman Dionne Brown at 4.7. Brown has a team-high 63.3 field goal percentage, while freshman Jolee Ayers is shooting 51.2 percent and Pierson at 49 percent. Perkins has team highs of 66 assists and 38 steals. Pierson is the top shot blocker with 18 blocks. On the year, the Lady Raiders are shooting 45.3 percent from the field, 41.2 percent from three-point range and 67.3 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 302. She needs two steals to become the all-time leader at 304 and one steal to tie Camille Franklin for first on the list with 303 steals.

Back-to-Back Double-Doubles for Pierson
Sophomore Plenette Pierson recorded back-to-back double-doubles in the Lady Raiders' wins over Baylor Jan. 10 and Texas A&M Jan. 13. Against Baylor, she had 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds and at Texas A&M she scored 20 points and grabbed another 12 rebounds. Pierson now has three double-doubles on the year.

Five Again in Double Digits
In the win at Texas A&M Jan. 13, the Lady Raiders had five players score in double figures. Junior Amber Tarr led the way with 21 points followed by sophomore Plenette Pierson with 20. Freshman Jia Perkins added 11 and senior Katrisa O'Neal and junior Tanisha Ellison each had 10. The same five players also scored in double digits in the win over Missouri Jan. 3.

First Afternoon Victory
Texas Tech got its first afternoon victory of the season with the win at Texas A&M Jan. 13, which tipped-off at 2 p.m. The Lady Raiders had lost their previous two afternoon contests: vs. North Carolina State Dec. 9 at 2:30 p.m. in Austin, Texas and at Santa Clara on Dec. 30 at 4 p.m. CST.

Block Buster
Sophomore Plenette Pierson tied her career high of three blocks at Texas A&M Jan. 13 as it marked the fifth time in her career that she has recorded three blocks in a game. She also tied her career-high three assists.

Season High Assists
Texas Tech tallied a season-high 27 assists in the win over Texas A&M Jan. 13. Senior Katrisa O'Neal led the team in assists with a season-high eight. Tech's 52.5 percent from the field just missed tying its season-high of 52.7 percent which it shot against Southwest Missouri State Nov. 25.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 165 weeks. That includes the Jan. 15 rankings of ninth by USA Today/ESPN poll and ninth 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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