Lady Raiders Head To Austin To Face Longhorns

Plenette Pierson is averaging 14.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game this season, both team bests.

Plenette Pierson is averaging 14.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game this season, both team bests.
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Feb. 22, 2001

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#13/15 Lady Raiders (20-5, 11-3 Big 12) vs.
#21/22 Texas Longhorns (19-9, 7-7 Big 12)
February 24, 2001 - Austin, Texas - 1 p.m.
Fox Sports Net - Frank Erwin Center (16,175)

Saturday's Game
No. 13/15 Texas Tech (20-5/11-3) takes on No. 21/22 Texas (19-9/7-7) Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Frank Erwin Center. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net. It is the 62nd meeting between the two schools.

Scouting the Opponent
Texas enters the game with a 19-9 overall record and 7-7 in the Big 12 after losing at Iowa State, 87-47, last Tuesday. In that game, freshman Stacy Stephens scored a team-high 12 points, while freshman Kaira White and junior Kenya Larkin each added 10. Stephens also grabbed six rebounds and senior JoRuth Woods dished out eight assists.

On the year, Stephens paces the Longhorns in scoring with an 11.0 average followed by JoRuth Woods at 10.3. Stephens is also the top rebounder, grabbing 9.1 boards per outing. Larkin has team highs of 94 assists and 51 steals. Junior Tracy Cook is the top shot blocker with 29 blocks. On the year, the Longhorns are shooting 40.4 percent from the field, 32.1 percent from three-point range and 64.5 percent from the free throw line.

Jody Conradt is in her 25th year at the helm of the Longhorns, establishing a record of 648-182. She is in her 32nd year has a head coach with a 765-244 overall record.

Series Record
It is the 62nd meeting between Texas Tech and Texas as Tech with Texas holding a 46-15 advantage. Texas won the first game this year, 63-57, in Lubbock Feb. 10. Tech won two of three games last year: 73-44 in Lubbock on Feb. 3 and then again, 91-85, in double overtime in Austin Feb. 23 before losing to UT, 68-50, in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, Mo., on March 9. The Lady Raiders are 4-19 in Austin.

Last Time vs. Texas
Feb. 10, 2001 - JoRuth Woods and Kenya Larkin each scored 15 points to lead No. 21 Texas to a 63-57 win over No. 11 Texas Tech, halting the Lady Raiders' home winning streak at 41.

Texas charged to an early lead and led by five at halftime.

Tech closed within one point, 42-41, with 10:16 to play. Texas countered with a 12-2 run for its biggest lead of the game, 54-43, with 6:21 to play.

Amber Tarr hit a 3-pointer for the Lady Raiders, sparking an 11-5 run that rallied Tech to within two points, 59-57, with one minute remaining.

Tarr missed a 3-pointer in the final minute, Tech was forced to foul, and Texas hit four of six free throws to secure the win.

Tai Dillard scored 14 points for Texas, while Stacy Stephens added 12.

Tech was led by Tarr's 15 points. Jia Perkins added 14.

It was Texas' first win in Lubbock since a 76-75 victory over Tech on Jan. 20, 1993.

A Win Today Would...
...give Tech a 21-5 overall record and a 12-3 mark in the Big 12.
...give Tech's its first win on Fox Sports Net this season.
...give Tech its second-straight win in Austin against Texas.
...give Marsha Sharp her 455th career victory.

A Look Ahead
Texas Tech will wrap up the regular season by hosting Iowa State on Feb. 28 at 8:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Net. The Lady Raiders will then play in the Big 12 Conference Tournament March 6-10 in Kansas City, Mo.

Lady Raider Head Coach Marsha Sharp
One of the most respected and well-known coaches in Texas Tech history, head coach Marsha Sharp is 454-139 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) - Plenette Pierson had a game-high 25 points and 13 rebounds as No. 15 Texas Tech erased a 12-point second half deficit to beat No. 16 Colorado 68-61 Wednesday night.

Jia Perkins was 11-for-13 from the free throw line and added 17 points for Texas Tech (20-5, 11-3 Big 12), which beat Colorado (19-6, 10-4) for the sixth consecutive time.

Jenny Roulier led Colorado with 21 points. Britt Hartshorn had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Mandy Nightingale added 12 points.

Colorado went up 40-28 early in the second half on a 3-pointer and layup by Roulier. Texas Tech responded with a 20-6 run to go up 48-46.

Natalie Ritchie's 3-pointer with 1:31 put Texas Tech up 59-56. Ritchie hit two free throws and Perkins made four down the stretch for the Lady Raiders.

Team Leaders
Texas Tech is led in scoring by sophomore Plenette Pierson, who is averaging 14.1 points a game. Freshman Jia Perkins is averaging 12.8 points, while senior Katrisa O'Neal and junior Amber Tarr are averaging 11.0 and 10.0 points, respectively. Pierson is the top rebounder as she is averaging 7.6 boards a game followed by junior Tanisha Ellison at 6.4. Freshman Dionne Brown has a team-high 51.9 field goal percentage, while Ellison is shooting and freshman Jolee Ayers are both shooting 50 percent. Perkins has a team high of 93 assists and O'Neal has a team-high 67 steals. Pierson is the top shot blocker with 34 blocks. On the year, the Lady Raiders are shooting 43 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from three-point range and 69.7 percent from the free throw line.

NCAA Statistical Leaders
As of games through Feb. 19, junior Amber Tarr ranks 27th in the country in three-point field goal percentage at 42.6. As a team, the Lady Raiders rank 13th in scoring margin at 14.8 and 13th in scoring defense at 58.6.

12th-Straight 20-Win Season
The win at Colorado Feb. 21 marked the 12th-straight 20-win season for the Lady Raiders and the 16th time in the 19 years under head coach Marsha Sharp.

Block Buster = Pierson
Sophomore Plenette Pierson tallied a career-high five blocks in the win at Colorado Feb. 21. Her previous career high was three, which she had done five times in her career, including three times this season.

Sixth Double-Double for Pierson
Sophomore Plenette Pierson got her sixth double-double of the season at Colorado Feb. 21 as she poured in a game-high 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 33 minutes of play.

Another Season High From the Charity Stripe
Texas Tech shot a new season-high from the free throw line at Colorado Feb. 21. The Lady Raiders shot 87.9 percent, connecting on 29 of 33 attempts. Sophomore Plenette Pierson and freshman Jia Perkins both went 11-of-13 from the free throw line.

Season Low From the Field
The Lady Raiders shot a season-low 31.7 percent from the field in the win at Colorado Feb. 21. Tech went 19-of-60 on the night.

Pierson Improves at Free Throw Line
Sophomore Plenette Pierson has been making a big improvement at the free throw line from the beginning of the season until now. In the first five games of the season, Pierson shot 63.4 percent, hitting 26 of 41 attempts, but in the last five games, she has connected on 28 of 32 attempts for an 87.5 percent.

Ayers Gets First Career Double-Double and Career High Boards
Freshman Jolee Ayers recorded her first career double-double as she had 15 points and a career-high 11 rebounds against Oklahoma Feb. 17. Ayers' previous career high in rebounds was nine against Kansas State.

White Gets Four Steals Against OU, Again
Junior Candi White matched her career-high four steals against Oklahoma Feb. 17 it marked the second time in her career she has snatched four steals in a game with the other time coming at Oklahoma Jan. 28.

First Time in 10 Years
Texas Tech's two-straight home losses against Texas Feb. 10 and Oklahoma Feb. 17 marked the first time in 10 years the Lady Raiders have lost back-to-back home games. The last time Tech lost two home games in row came in 1991 with losses to Arkansas, 64-62, Jan. 12 and to Texas, 66-63, Jan. 23.

First Win in Lawrence
Texas Tech's 49-45 win over Kansas Feb. 14 marked the first time the Lady Raiders had won in Lawrence, Kan. Tech is now 4-3 against the Jayhawks and 1-2 in Lawrence.

Streak Stopped
Texas Tech's 41-game home court winning streak came to a halt as the Lady Raiders lost at home against Texas, 63-57, Feb. 10. It also marked their first loss in the United Spirit Arena since it opened in Nov. 1999.

Second Big 12 Loss at Home
The Lady Raiders suffered their second ever Big 12 loss at home against Texas Feb. 10. The only other Big 12 game Tech has lost in Lubbock was against Oklahoma State, 78-56, Jan. 8, 1997.

Largest Crowd of the Season
Texas Tech had 14,852 fans in attendance for the game against Texas Feb. 10. It was the largest home crowd of the season and the third largest crowd ever at the United Spirit Arena.

TV Jinx?
Texas Tech is 1-4 this year for games played on television. The only win came at Nebraska in which the game was broadcasted in Lincoln, Neb. and Lubbock by NETV. Tech has lost three games on Fox Sports Net: vs. NC State in Austin, Texas Dec. 9, at Oklahoma Jan. 28 and at home against Oklahoma Feb. 17. The Lady Raiders' other television loss came on espn2 against Texas Feb. 10. Two of the remaining three regular-season games will be broadcasted by Fox Sports Net (at Texas Feb. 24 and Iowa State Feb. 28).

Perkins Named Big 12 Rookie of the Week, Again
Freshman Jia Perkins was named the Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week Feb. 5. In the week prior, she averaged 23.5 points and 3.5 rebounds. She scored a career-high 27 points against Kansas State Jan. 31 and then poured in 20 points against Texas A&M Feb. 3. On the week, she shot 64.2 percent from the field, 66.7 percent from three-point range and 83.3 percent from the free throw line. Perkins was also named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week Jan. 15.

Fifth Double-Double for Pierson
Sophomore Plenette Pierson recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 25 points and 14 rebounds against Texas A&M Feb. 3. It was her second double-double in three games and her second double-double against Texas A&M this year.

Jackson, Ayers Step It Up
Freshmen Casey Jackson and Jolee Ayers each scored a career-high 17 points in the victory over Texas A&M Feb. 3. Jackson also played a career-high 30 minutes.

Underclassmen Lead the Way
In the win over Texas A&M Feb. 3, sophomore Plenette Pierson and the five freshmen, Jolee Ayers, Dionne Brown, Casey Jackson, Jia Perkins and Natalie Ritchie combined to scored 83 of the 92 points Tech scored in the game. Pierson led the way with 25 followed by Perkins with 20 and Ayers and Jackson with 17 apiece.

Season High Shooting
Texas Tech's 53.2 field goal percent against Texas A&M Feb. 3 marked a season high for the Lady Raiders. Tech went 33-of-62 from the field. The Lady Raiders also made a season-high 26 free throws.

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...
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 336. 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.

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.

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.

Tech vs. the Top 25
Texas Tech is now 5-4 against teams ranked in the top 25 after beating No. 16 Colorado Feb. 21. 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, twice to No. 12/10 Oklahoma (Jan. 28/Feb. 17) and No. 20 Texas.

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 170 weeks. That includes the Feb. 19 rankings of 13th by USA Today/ESPN poll and 15th 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 all 12 players hail from the state of Texas.




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