Lady Raiders Square Off With Texas A&M Saturday At The United Spirit Arena

Senior Katrisa O'Neal is now Texas Tech's all-time career leader in steals with 319.

Senior Katrisa O'Neal is now Texas Tech's all-time career leader in steals with 319.
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Feb. 2, 2001

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Tonight's Game
No. 9/12 Texas Tech (16-3/7-1) takes on Texas A&M (12-7/2-6) tonight at 7 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena. It will be the 50th meeting between the two teams.

Scouting the Opponent
Texas A&M enters the game with a 12-7 overall record and a 2-56 mark in Big 12 play after losing to Oklahoma, 93-70, last Wednesday. In that game, freshman Toccara Williams had a team-high 20 points, while senior Jaynetta Saunders added 19 and senior Brandy Jones had 11. Sophomore Lynn Classen finished with nine rebounds and Williams added five assists.

On the year, Saunders paces the Aggies in scoring with a 23.2 average followed by Jones at 12.1. Saunders is the top rebounder, grabbing 7.6 boards per outing. Williams has team highs of 133 assists and 76 steals. Classen is the top shot blocker with 29 blocks. The Aggies are shooting 42.4 percent from the field, 34.6 percent from three-point range and 65.5 percent from the free throw line.

Peggie Gillom is in her third year at the helm of the Aggies, establishing a career record of 30-43.

Series Record
It is the 50th meeting between Texas Tech and Texas A&M with the Lady Raiders holding a 41-8 advantage over the Aggies after winning the first game this year, 85-78, Jan. 13 in College Station. 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
Jan. 13, 2001 - 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.

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.

A Look Ahead
Texas Tech will 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. Tech then travels to Kansas for a game on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. and returns home Feb. 17 against Oklahoma at 1 p.m. on 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 450-137 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 27 points, including six 3-pointers, to lead No. 12 Texas Tech to a 72-41 victory over Kansas State on Wednesday.

Tech's Natalie Ritchie added another 10 points for the Lady Raiders, including two 3-pointers.

The Lady Raiders (16-3, 7-1 Big 12) came out strong during the first half, leading by 28 points at intermission, 49-21.

Perkins hit three of her 3-pointers by the 12:15 mark, allowing the Lady Raiders to take a 20-4 lead. They held the Wildcats (11-8, 1-7) to four points until a technical foul was assessed Texas Tech coach Marsha Sharp for questioning a foul called on Plenette Pierson and then throwing her arms up in disgust at the referee.

Kansas State's Kristin Rethman hit the two free throws before the Lady Raiders went on a 24-10 run to lead the Wildcats 46-15 with 1:52 left in the half.

Nicole Ohlde scored 15 points to lead Kansas State, which suffered its fifth straight loss to the Lady Raiders.

Home Court Streak
Texas Tech is tied for the longest current home-court winning streak in Division I women's basketball. Tech has won 40-straight home games will play again in Lubbock on Feb. 3. Kent also has 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 freshman Jia Perkins, who is averaging 13.3 points per game. Sophomore Plenette Pierson is averaging 12.8 points a game, while senior Katrisa O'Neal and junior Amber Tarr are averaging 12.2 and 10.9, respectively. Pierson is the top rebounder as she is averaging 7.5 boards a game followed by junior Tanisha Ellison at 6.6. Freshman Dionne Brown has a team-high 62.1 field goal percentage, while Ellison and freshman Jolee Ayers are both shooting 49.3 percent. Perkins has team highs of 74 assists and 50 steals. Pierson is the top shot blocker with 23 blocks. On the year, the Lady Raiders are shooting 44.3 percent from the field, 40.3 percent from three-point range and 67.5 percent from the free throw line.

NCAA Statistical Leaders
As of games through Jan. 29, junior Amber Tarr ranks fourth in the country in three-point field goal percentage at 48.1. As a team, the Lady Raiders rank 12th in scoring defense at 57.9, 12th in scoring margin at 17.1, 15th in won-lost percentage at .833 and 16th in three-point field goal percentage at 38.7.

No. 450
Head coach Marsha Sharp recorded her 450th career victory with a 72-41 win over Kansas State on Jan. 31.

Perkins Pours in Career High
Freshman Jia Perkins poured in a career-high 27 points as she sank a career-high six three-point baskets in the Tech's 72-41 triumph over Kansas State Jan. 31. Perkins' previous career high was 23 points which she had against Baylor on Jan. 10.

The Future's So Bright You Gotta Wear
The freshman did it again for the Lady Raiders as four of five freshman combined for 52 of Tech's 72 points against Kansas State Jan. 31. Jia Perkins led the way with 27 points followed by Natalie Ritchie with 10, Jolee Ayers with eight and Dionne Brown with seven.

Big Boards for Ayers
Freshman Jolee Ayers pulled down a career-high nine rebounds in Tech's win over Kansas State Jan. 31. Her previous career high was seven which she had done twice this season.

Katrisa O'Steal' Breaks Record
Senior Katrisa O'Neal is now Texas Tech's all-time career leader in steals with 319. 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.

Giving Up Points
Oklahoma's 84 points in Texas Tech's 84-66 loss at OU Jan. 28, marks the most points the Lady Raiders have given up in a loss since the 85-64 defeat to Old Dominion Nov. 21, 1998.

Ritchie Scores Career High
Freshman Natalie Ritchie came off the bench at Oklahoma on Jan. 28 to score a career-high 15 points in 12 minutes of play. Ritchie also nailed a career-high three three-point baskets.

Another Double-Double for Pierson
Sophomore Plenette Pierson recorded her fourth double-double of the season as she scored 12 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds at Oklahoma Jan. 28.

White Snatches Four
Junior Candi White snatched a career-high four steals in the Lady Raiders' loss at Oklahoma Jan. 28.

Twice at 6-0
For the second time in Big 12 history, the Lady Raiders started off the conference season with a 6-0 record before losing its first conference game at Oklahoma on Jan. 28. 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.

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.

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.

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 35-straight home 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 now 4-2 against teams ranked in the top 25 after losing at No. 12 Oklahoma Jan. 28. The Lady Raiders were victorious over No. 8 Penn State, No. 16 Southwest Missouri State, No. 13 Oregon 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 167 weeks. That includes the Jan. 29 rankings of ninth by USA Today/ESPN poll and 12th 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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