Texas Tech Faces Iowa State

Plenette Pierson and the rest of the Lady Raiders take on Iowa State Wednesday.

Plenette Pierson and the rest of the Lady Raiders take on Iowa State Wednesday.
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Feb. 26, 2001

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#13/14 Texas Tech Lady Raiders (21-5, 12-3 Big 12) vs. #9/10 Iowa State Cyclones (22-4, 12-3 Big 12)
February 28, 2001 * Lubbock, Texas * 8:30 p.m.
* Fox Sports Net *
United Spirit Arena (15,050)

Tonight's Game
No. 13/14 Texas Tech (21-5/12-3) takes on No. 9/10 Iowa State (22-4/12-3) tonight at 8:30 p.m. at United Spirit Arena in the final regular-season game. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net. It is sixth meeting between the two schools.

Scouting the Opponent
Iowa State enters the game with a 22-4 overall record and 12-3 in the Big 12 after beating Texas A&M, 82-61, last Saturday. In that game, junior Angie Welle had team highs of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Megan Taylor poured in 15 points and sophomore Lindsey Wilson added 13. Senior Erica Haugen dished out five assists.

On the year, Welle paces the Cyclones in scoring with an 18.2 average followed by Wilson at 14.8, Taylor at 14.4 and junior Tracy Gahan at 12.3. Welle is the top rebounder, grabbing 10.2 boards per game. Wilson has a team-high 140 assists, while Haugen has a team-high 31 steals. Welle is also the top shot blocker with 32 blocks on the year. ISU is shooting 49.4 percent from the field, 41.9 percent from three-point range and 74.4 percent from the free throw line.

Bill Fennelly is in his sixth year at the helm of the Cyclones, establishing a record of 133-48. He is also in his 13th season as a head coach with a 299-101 record.

Series Record
It is the sixth meeting between the two schools with Texas Tech holding a 3-2 advantage. Iowa State won last year's game, 62-37, in Ames on Jan. 2. The last time Tech won was in a 73-59 triumph in the championship game of the Big 12 Tournament March 6, 1999. The Lady Raiders are 2-0 against ISU in Lubbock.

Last Time vs. Iowa State
Jan. 2, 2000 - Angie Welle has 18 points and 13 rebounds as No. 14 Iowa State held sixth-ranked Texas Tech to its second-lowest point total in program history in a 62-37 victory.

Tech thrived on defense this season and held Iowa State 21 points below its scoring average while forcing 25 turnovers in the Big 12 opener. But 23.8 percent shooting doomed the Lady Raiders to their worst loss since Tennessee beat them 81-44 Nov. 27, 1995.

Unable to get the ball inside, Tech was relegated to casting up outside shots that did not fall. Melinda Pharies missed her first 10 shots and finished 1-for-13. Tech's other starting guard, Katrisa O'Neal, was 4-for-18 and the Lady Raiders went 3-for-21 on 3-pointers.

O'Neal led Tech with 11 points and Keitha Dickerson scored 10. Freshman center Plenette Pierson, leading the Lady Raiders with a 14.6 scoring average, got only one shot and went scoreless.

The game was an ideal opener to Big 12 play, matching two-time defending champion Tech against this season's favorite. But Tech missed its first five shots, Iowa State jumped to a 10-1 lead and the Cyclones were in control throughout.

Iowa State closed the first half with a 9-2 run to go up 33-20, and stretched the lead to 45-22 early in the second half with a 10-0 burst highlighted by a four-point play by Frese, who was slapped in the wrist by O'Neal as she sank a 3-pointer and then made the free throw.

Tech had just one field goal to show for the first 7:43 of the second half, then scored seven straight points to cut the lead to 45-29 as Iowa State went scoreless for five minutes. But the Lady Raiders made only three more baskets the rest of the game.

A Win Tonight Would...
...give Tech a 22-5 overall record and a 13-3 mark in the Big 12.

...give Tech's its second win on Fox Sports Net this season.

...give Tech a 3-0 record against Iowa State in Lubbock.

...give Marsha Sharp her 456th career victory.

A Look Ahead
The Lady Raiders will 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 455-139 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 24 points and 12 rebounds as No. 15 Texas Tech avenged a stunning home loss two weeks ago with a 76-60 win Saturday over No. 22 Texas.

Pierson, who scored just four points when the Longhorns ended Tech's 41-game home winning streak with a 63-57 upset in Lubbock, was 9-of-19 from the floor on Saturday.

Natalie Ritchie added 14 points for Texas Tech (21-5, 12-3 Big 12), including a critical four-point play when she was fouled on a 3-pointer. The play broke a 44-44 tie with 12:49 to play and Tech steadily pulled away.

Kenya Larkin led Texas (19-10, 7-8) with 15 points, 14 in the first half.

Neither team led by more than six points for the first 30 minutes before consecutive baskets by Pierson sparked a 14-7 Tech run that made it 65-54 with 3:29 to play.

Texas outrebounded the Lady Raiders 45-37. Tech made up for the difference with 6-of-11 shooting from 3-point range and allowed Texas just two attempts from beyond the arc.

Tech's defense, which allowed Larkin to finish several first-half fast breaks with pull-up jumpers, held the Longhorns point guard to 0-of-6 shooting in the second half.

Jia Perkins scored 13 points for Tech and Jolee Ayers added 10 on 5-of-5 shooting. Stacy Stephens had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Texas.

Team Leaders
Texas Tech is led in scoring by sophomore Plenette Pierson, who is averaging 14.5 points a game. Freshman Jia Perkins is averaging 12.8 points, while senior Katrisa O'Neal and junior Amber Tarr are averaging 10.8 and 9.7 points, respectively. Pierson is the top rebounder as she is averaging 7.8 boards a game followed by junior Tanisha Ellison at 6.2. Freshman Jolee Ayers has a team-high 5.25 field goal percentage, while Ellison and freshman Dionne Brown are both shooting 50 percent. Perkins has team highs of 97 assists and 70 steals. Pierson is the top shot blocker with 35 blocks. On the year, the Lady Raiders are shooting 43.2 percent from the field, 35.2 percent from three-point range and 69 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.

Tech Tops Schools With Winning Conference Records
Texas Tech ranks first among schools with winning (over .500) conference records in 11 or more consecutive seasons (active streaks only). Tech leads the way with 19-straight years of having a winning record in conference play, which includes the 2000-01 season. Second is Notre Dame with 18 years followed by Virginia and Western Kentucky with 17 years.

Sophomore Plenette Pierson was named the Big 12 Player of the Week as she averaged 24.5 points and 12.5 rebounds to lead Texas Tech to two road victories over Top 25 teams last week. She recorded back-to-back double-doubles as she poured in 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds at #16 Colorado and then numbered 24 points and 12 rebounds at #21 Texas. At Colorado, she also had a career-high five blocks, while hitting 11-of-13 free throw attempts in 33 minutes of play. On the week Pierson shot 44.4 percent from the field (16-of-36) and 77.3 percent from the free throw line (17-of-22).

Back-to-Back Double-Doubles for Pierson
Sophomore Plenette Pierson got her sixth and seventh double-doubles of the season in back-to-back games at Colorado Feb. 21 and at Texas Feb. 24. At Colorado, she poured in a game-high 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 33 minutes of play and at Texas she scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in 32 minutes of action.

Off the Bench
Freshmen Natalie Ritchie, Jia Perkins and Jolee Ayers all came off the bench to score in double figures in the win at Texas Feb. 24. Ritchie poured in 14 points, tying a career-high three three-pointers, in 30 minutes, while Perkins added 13 points in 37 minutes and Ayers finished with 10 points in 24 minutes. Freshman Dionne Brown added three points to as Tech's bench scored 40 of its 76 points.

First Win on Fox Sports Net
Texas Tech finally got its first win Fox Sports Net this season with the 76-60 victory at Texas Feb. 24. Tech is 2-4 this year for games played on television. The first 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 before winning at Texas. The Lady Raiders' other television loss came on espn2 against Texas Feb. 10.

Brown Blocks High
Freshman Dionne Brown recorded a career-high three blocks in the win at Texas Feb. 24. Her previous high was two, which she had done three times this season.

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.

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 six five games of the season, Pierson shot 65.1 percent, hitting 28 of 43 attempts, but in the last six games, she has connected on 34 of 41 attempts for an 82.9 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.

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.

Katrisa `O'Steal' Breaks Record
Senior Katrisa O'Neal is now Texas Tech's all-time career leader in steals with 337. 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.

Tech vs. the Top 25
Texas Tech is now 6-4 against teams ranked in the top 25 after beating No. 21 Texas Feb. 24. The Lady Raiders were victorious over No. 8 Penn State, No. 16 Southwest Missouri State, No. 13 Oregon, No. 23 Baylor and No. 16 Colorado, while losing to No. 19 North Carolina State, twice to No. 12/10 Oklahoma (Jan. 28/Feb. 17) and No. 20 Texas (Feb. 10).

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 171 weeks. That includes the Feb. 26 rankings of 13th by USA Today/ESPN poll and 14th 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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