Lady Raiders Travel To Oklahoma To Take On Sooners

Plenette Pierson leads the Lady Raiders with an average of 13.4 points per game.

Plenette Pierson leads the Lady Raiders with an average of 13.4 points per game.
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Jan. 25, 2001

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#8/9 Texas Tech Lady Raiders (15-2, 6-0 Big 12)
#12/13 Oklahoma Sooners (14-4, 5-1 Big 12)

January 28, 2001 * Norman, Okla. * Noon
Television - Fox Sports Net
Lloyd Noble Center (11,100)

Today's Game
No. 8/9 Texas Tech (15-2/6-0) takes on No. 12/13 Oklahoma (14-4/5-1) today at noon on Fox Sports Net. It will be the 21st meeting between the two teams.

Scouting the Opponent
Oklahoma enters the game with a 14-4 overall record and 5-1 in the Big 12 after winning at Kansas, 88-64, last Wednesday. In that game, junior LaNeishea Caufield had a game-high 20 points, while junior Stacey Dales added 12 points and junior Rosalind Ross finished with 10. Sophomore Caton Hill grabbed six rebounds and senior Sunny Hardeman dished out seven assists. Caufield also recorded five steals.

On the year, Caufield paces the Sooners in scoring with a 16.6 average followed by Dales at 16.1 and Hill at 12.3. Hill is the top rebounder, grabbing 8.7 boards per outing. Dales has a team-high 133 assists, while Caufield leads the Sooners in steals with 80. Junior Jennifer Cunningham is the top shot blocker with 25 blocks. The Sooners are shooting 48.3 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from three-point range and 73.4 percent from the free throw line.

Sherri Coale is in her fifth season at the helm of the Sooners, establishing a record of 67-67.

Series Record
Texas Tech holds a 17-3 advantage over Oklahoma after each team won on its home court last year. In the first meeting last season, OU was victorious, 82-76, Jan. 8. Tech then won at home, 86-81, Feb. 19. The Lady Raiders own a 7-3 record in Norman.

Last Time vs. Oklahoma
Feb. 19, 2000 - Keitha Dickerson scored 23 points in leading No. 12 Texas Tech to an 86-81 victory over No. 20 Oklahoma.

Tech had seven free throws during the final minute as foul trouble caused the Sooners to lose Caton Hill four minutes after losing Phylesha Whaley.

Tech led 36-29 at halftime but Oklahoma used 21-8 run early in the second half to get even at 50-50. Stacey Dales' basket put the Sooners ahead 52-50 with 14:08 to play.

Thirty seconds later, Dickerson tied the game with a field goal, and Aleah Johnson made a free throw moments later to put the Lady Raiders ahead for good.

Plenette Pierson contributed 18 points for Tech and Johnson, Melinda Schmucker-Pharies and Katrisa O'Neal each contributed 12.

LaNeishea Caufield led the Sooners with 29. Stacey Dales added 22 and Whaley 18.

A Look Ahead
Texas Tech will host Kansas State Jan. 31 and Texas A&M Feb. 3 both at 7 p.m. The Lady Raiders will then travel to Baylor for a game on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. before returning home on Feb. 10 to take on Texas at 5 p.m. on espn2.

Lady Raider Head Coach Marsha Sharp
One of the most respected and well-known coaches in Texas Tech history, head coach Marsha Sharp is 449-136 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) - Texas Tech's freshmen got plenty of playing time Sunday, thanks to a dominating defensive performance in the first 20 minutes.

The ninth-ranked Lady Raiders held Oklahoma State to just eight points in the first half en route to winning 82-29, Texas Tech's nation-leading 39th straight home victory.

Tech coach Marsha Sharp liberally used her reserves, including six first-year players.

There was one down point Sunday for Tech - starter Amber Tarr dislocated her knee cap early in the game. She has averaged 11.5 points this season.

The Lady Raiders limited Oklahoma State to 8-of-45 shooting from the floor, and forced 26 turnovers that led to 28 points. Texas Tech also outrebounded Oklahoma State 51-31.

But Tech (15-2, 6-0 Big 12) led 45-8 at halftime, the lowest point total ever for a Lady Raiders' opponent at the half. Katrisa O'Neal outscored Oklahoma State by herself with 10 points by the break. Freshman Jia Perkins led Tech with 19 points overall.

The Cowgirls (9-8, 1-5) were led by Jessica Spinner's nine points.

Texas Tech led 12-0 after 5 1/2 minutes, when Oklahoma State's Shelby Hutchens finally broke the drought. Then, after a 3-pointer by Oklahoma State's Kara Faulk with 13:27 left in the half, Tech closed the period with a 27-1 run. It took until 16:28 of the second half for Oklahoma State to hit double digits - a 3-pointer by Spinner prompted Tech's student section to chant "double digits" and wave red and white balloons.

It was Oklahoma State's first basket since a free throw with 8:49 left in the first half.

With just more than eight minutes left, Tech padded its lead to 47 points. That's when the Lady Raiders' freshmen took the court.

Home Court Streak
Texas Tech has the second longest current home-court winning streak in Division I women's basketball. Tech has won 39-straight home games will play again in Lubbock on Jan. 31. Kent is in first with 40 wins and will play at home again Feb. 8. 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 13.4 points per game. Senior Katrisa O'Neal is averaging 12.6 points a game, while freshman Jia Perkins and junior Amber Tarr are averaging 12.4 and 10.9, respectively. Pierson is the top rebounder as she is averaging 7.2 boards a game followed by junior Tanisha Ellison at 6.8. Freshman Dionne Brown has a team-high 61.1 field goal percentage, while Ellison is shooting 48.6 percent and Pierson at 48.5 percent. Perkins has team highs of 71 assists and 45 steals. Pierson is the top shot blocker with 21 blocks. On the year, the Lady Raiders are shooting 44.7 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 67.9 percent from the free throw line.

NCAA Statistical Leaders
As of Jan. 22, junior Amber Tarr ranks sixth in the country in three-point field goal percentage at 48.1. As a team, the Lady Raiders rank fifth in scoring defense at 56.4, seventh in won-lost percentage at .882, ninth in scoring margin at 19.2 and 15th in three-point field goal percentage at 39.0

Katrisa `O'Steal' Breaks Record
Senior Katrisa O'Neal is now Texas Tech's all-time career leader in steals with 312. 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.

Twice at 6-0
For the second time in Big 12 history, the Lady Raiders have started off the conference season with a 6-0 record. Tech also started 1999 6-0 in league play.

Second Lowest Point Allowed
In Texas Tech's 82-29 win over Oklahoma State Jan. 21, the 29 points allowed marked the second-lowest points allowed in school history and the lowest ever in the Marsha Sharp era. The lowest points ever given up by Tech is 26 by McMurry on Feb. 24, 1978.

51 Boards
The Lady Raiders' 51 rebounds against Oklahoma State Jan. 21 matched their season high. Tech also recorded 51 boards against Baylor Jan. 10.

Tarr Sidelined
Junior Amber Tarr will be sidelined 2-4 weeks after dislocating her patella in her left leg against Oklahoma State Jan. 21.

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.

No Place Like Home
Texas Tech has won 34-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.

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 166 weeks. That includes the Jan. 22 rankings of eighth 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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