Redshirt Freshmen Look to Help Tech Out at Baylor

Minta Spears scored 16 points for Texas Tech on Saturday vs. No. 17 Iowa State.

Jan. 28, 2014

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LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech redshirt freshmen Minta Spears and Ivonne CookTaylor have had an interesting college career so far - to say the least.

Both recruited in last season's class and both the only two leftover from the 2011 signing class. And both had to endure missing their first season at Tech after each tore their anterior crucial ligaments in their knees last year.

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Texas Tech (18-7, 8-5 Big 12) jumped out to a quick lead but couldn't hold off No. 1 Baylor (23-1, 13-0) who won their 35th straight conference game.

CookTaylor went down with a torn ACL during the first week of preseason workouts while Spears suffered hers in the final minutes of Tech's opening season win on the road at Arizona State on Nov. 11, 2012.

Now, they've got one more thing to share - responsibility as scorers for Tech.

The two redshirt freshmen played a vital role in Saturday's game vs. No. 17 Iowa State and will look to do the same again on Wednesday when the Lady Raiders face off against No. 7 Baylor at 7 p.m. at the Ferrell Center in Waco.

This will be the fourth-straight top-25 matchup for Tech and fifth overall this season.

Spears and CookTaylor were the answer to head coach Candi Whitaker's request last week that the team needed to find a No. 2 player to help out leading scorer Amber Battle.

"It was great to see multiple scorers step up," Whitaker said. "We've been missing that. It's hard to win Big 12 games if you don't have at least three scorers, so that was a big improvement."

Spears and CookTaylor each accounted for 16 points on Saturday to go with Battle's game-high 24. Those 56 points were 73.7 percent of the scoring done vs. the Cyclones.

That's a total the two freshmen hope to continue more consistently the rest of the season after averaging a combined 9.4 points per Big 12 game heading into Saturday's contest.

"Ivonne and I kind of consider ourselves opposite twins," Spears said. "I tore my right (ACL) and she tore her left (ACL). We went through rehab together, we were roomates and it's pretty awesome to see her come out like she did. It was just a great feeling."

Tech's game at Baylor will be broadcast on FOX Sports Southwest Plus (Suddenlink 81, 281 HD; U-Verse 757, 1757 HD). Tech returns home on Saturday to take on Kansas at 4 p.m. following the men's basketball game against TCU at 12:45 p.m.




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