Lady Raiders Square Off With Oklahoma State Cowgirls

Plenette Pierson hopes to continue her double digit scoring against the Cowgirls.

Plenette Pierson hopes to continue her double digit scoring against the Cowgirls.
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Jan. 19, 2001

Oklahoma State Cowgirls (9-7, 1-4 Big 12)
#9 Texas Tech Lady Raiders (14-2, 5-0 Big 12)
January 21, 2001 * Lubbock, Texas * 2 p.m.
United Spirit Arena (15,050)

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Today's Game
No. 9 Texas Tech (14-2/5-0) takes on Oklahoma State (9-7/1-4) today at 2 p.m. It will be the 23rd meeting between the two teams.

Scouting the Opponent
Oklahoma State enters the game with a 9-7 overall record and 1-4 in the Big 12 after beating Kansas, 61-53, last Wednesday. In that game, junior Kara Faulk led the Cowgirls with 17 points followed by junior Jessica Spinner with 11 points. Freshman Trisha Skibbe had a game-high 16 rebounds, while sophomore Shelby Hutchens dished out five assists. On the year, Faulk paces the Cowgirls in scoring with a 9.9 average followed by Spinner at 8.4 and junior Jessica Bates at 8.1. Faulk is also the top rebounder, grabbing 7.2 boards per outing. Hutchens has team highs of 45 assists and 22 steals. OSU is shooting 36.7 percent from the field, 28.3 percent from three-point range and 68.1 percent from the free throw line. Dick Halterman is in his 18th season at the helm of the Cowgirls, establishing a record of 310-210. He is also in his 27th year as a head coach with a record of 559-244. Series Record Texas Tech holds a 12-10 advantage over Oklahoma State after winning the first game this year, 67-55, Jan. 6 in Stillwater, Okla. The last time OSU was victorious was Jan. 8, 1997 in a 78-56 triumph in Lubbock. It was the last time the Lady Raiders lost a Big 12 game at home.

Last Time vs. Oklahoma State
Jan. 6, 2001 - Katrisa O'Neal scored a game-high 23 points as the No. 12 Lady Raiders beat Oklahoma State 67-55 in Stillwater, Okla. The lady Raiders shot 49 percent overall and 76.2 percent in the second half, while the Cowgirls shot just 32.7 percent for the game. Texas Tech charged to an 11-2 lead early in the first half. Oklahoma State tied the game at 19 and took its first lead on a steal and layup by Machell Roberts, who finished with 13 points. Oklahoma State capitalized on 12 Texas Tech turnovers and shot 10-for-15 from the line on the way to a 29-22 halftime lead. Texas Tech scored the first seven points of the second half, tying the game at 29 with 15:39. The Lady Raiders took the lead for good, 45-44, with 9:15 remaining and closed out the victory with a 22-11 run.

A Win Today Would...
...give Tech a 15-2 overall record and a 6-0 mark in the Big 12. ...be the 10th straight victory over Oklahoma State. ...the sixth straight win for the Lady Raiders. ...mark the second time in five seasons that Tech has started off Big 12 play with a 6-0 record. Also did it in 1999. ...give Marsha Sharp her 449th career victory.

A Look Ahead
Texas Tech will head 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. After that, Tech will travel to Baylor for a game on Feb. 7 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 448-136 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 18 points, and No. 9 Texas Tech took advantage of 33 turnovers in a 66-50 victory over Nebraska on Wednesday night. Plenette Pierson scored 16 and Katrisa O'Neal added 10 points for the Lady Raiders (14-2, 5-0 Big 12), who have won five straight and nine of 10. Nebraska (9-8, 1-3) was still reeling from its worse loss ever, an 89-46 blowout at No. 7 Iowa State on Saturday, and it showed early. The Huskers had 18 turnovers by halftime and tied the season high they set in losses to Creighton and Auburn. Greichaly Cepero, Margaret Richards and Steph Jones scored nine points each to lead Nebraska. Jones also had nine rebounds, and Cepero finished with eight before fouling out with 6:33 left. Tech didn't shoot particularly well, going 22-for-64 from the field, but the turnovers were too much for Nebraska to overcome. The Raiders scored 29 points off turnovers. Tarr made a 3-pointer and Tanisha Ellison hit a pair of jumpers as Tech opened the second half with a 9-2 run to go up 44-26. Nebraska used an 8-0 run, getting four points from Mitchell, to cut the lead to 56-40, but that was as close as it got. The Huskers stayed in it early in the first half despite eight turnovers in the first 10 minutes. Nebraska's zone forced Tech to the outside, where the Raiders were just 7-for-20 to start the game. After Nebraska's Monique Whitfield tied it at 17-all with a jump shot in the lane, the Huskers turned the ball over on eight of their next nine possessions, allowing Tech to go on a 14-0 run. Pierson had seven points during the run, which started on a three-point play off a missed free throw. Steph Jones' short jumper with 3:25 left before halftime ended a 5-minute, 39-second scoreless drought for Nebraska.

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 has also won 38 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 averaging 13.8 points per game. Senior Katrisa O'Neal is averaging 12.8 points a game, while freshman Jia Perkins and junior Amber Tarr are averaging 12.0 and 11.5, respectively. Pierson is the top rebounder as she is averaging 7.3 boards a game followed by junior Tanisha Ellison at 6.9. Freshman Dionne Brown has a team-high 62.0 field goal percentage, while freshman Jolee Ayers is shooting 48.9 percent and Pierson at 48.4 percent. Perkins has team highs of 67 assists and 42 steals. Pierson is the top shot blocker with 20 blocks. On the year, the Lady Raiders are shooting 44.6 percent from the field, 40.1 percent from three-point range and 67.4 percent from the free throw line.

NCAA Statistical Leaders
As of Jan. 15, junior Amber Tarr ranks seventh in the country in three-point field goal percentage at 49.3. As a team, the Lady Raiders rank 10th in won-lost percentage at .867, 14th in scoring margin at 17.1 and 15th in scoring defense at 58.6.

Katrisa `O'Steal' Breaks Record
Senior Katrisa O'Neal is now Texas Tech's all-time career leader in steals with 309. She matched her career high of seven steals in the win at Nebraska Jan. 17 to surpass Camille Franklin's 303 steals to become the all-time leader.

Season High Steals
Texas Tech snatched a season-high 19 steals in the win at Nebraska Jan. 17. The school record for most steals in a game is 47 against Central State Oklahoma on Jan. 18, 1980.

Perkins Named Big 12 Rookie of the Week
Freshman Jia Perkins was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week Jan. 15 for her performances from Jan. 8-14. On the week, she averaged 17 points and seven rebounds, while shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 75 percent from three-point range and 91.7 percent from the free throw line. She also scored a career-high 23 points vs. Baylor Jan. 10.

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.

Tech vs. the Top 25
Texas Tech is 4-1 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 and No. 23 Baylor, 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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