Lady Raiders Head West to Face St. John's in NCAA First Round

California native Casey Morris returns to her home state for NCAA First and Second Rounds in Stanford, Calif.

California native Casey Morris returns to her home state for NCAA First and Second Rounds in Stanford, Calif.
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March 15, 2011

NCAA First Round Game Notes | Tournament Central

2011 NCAA Championship
No. 8 Seed Texas Tech (22-10) vs. No. 9 Seed St. John's (21-10)
First Round • Saturday, March 19 • Stanford, Calif.
Maples Pavilion (7,392) • 3 p.m. CDT • ESPN2

The Game
Texas Tech (22-10) is returning to the NCAA Championship after a five-year hiatus. The Lady Raiders are the No. 8 seed in the Spokane Region and face No. 9 seed St. John's (21-10) in the first round on Sat., March 19, at 3 p.m. CDT on ESPN2 in Stanford, Calif.. The winner will advance to the second round and will play the winner of the No. 1 seed and second-ranked Stanford versus No. 16 seed UC Davis on Mon., March 21, at 8:30 p.m. CDT.

On the Air
The game is being televised on ESPN2 as Dave Pasch (play-by-play) and Mary Murphy (color analyst) call the game. The game can be heard on the radio on the Texas Tech Sports Network as Steve Strain (play-by-play) calls the game. The game can also be heard on the internet at TexasTech.com through RaiderVision All Access.

The Lady Raiders
Texas Tech is 22-10 overall and finished sixth in the Big 12 with an 8-8 record. In its last game, Tech lost to No. 21/20 Oklahoma, 71-69, in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Mo.. On the year, junior Kierra Mallard paces the team in scoring with a 12.1 average followed by senior Teena Wickett at 9.8 and sophomore Casey Morris at 9.8. Mallard is averaging a team-best 7.2 rebounds per outing, while Wickett is averaging 6.0. Wickett is shooting 51 percent from the field. Morris is shooting 36 percent from behind the arc, and sophomore Chynna Brown has a team-best 88.1 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore Monique Smalls has team highs of 117 assists and 85 steals. Mallard is the top shot blocker with 60 blocks. The Lady Raiders are averaging 65.9 points per game, while allowing their opponents 57.0 points per contest. Tech is shooting 42 percent from the field, 35.2 percent from three-point range and 68.6 percent from the charity stripe.

Curry in the NCAA Championship
Kristy Curry is making her eighth appearance in the NCAA Championship as a head coach. Curry posts a 15-7 record in the championship. The seven previous appearances came when she was head coach at Purdue.
Curry's Year-by-Year NCAA Appearances
2000 - Second Round
2001 - Runner-Up
2002 - Second Round
2003 - Elite Eight
2004 - Sweet 16
2005 - Second Round
2006 - Sweet 16

The Opponent
St. John's enters the championship with a 21-10 overall record and finished the Big East tied for seventh with a 9-7 mark. On the year, sophomore Shenneika Smith leads the Red Storm in scoring with a 12.8 average followed by junior Da'Shena Stevens at 12.1. Stevens is also the top rebounder, grabbing 6.5 boards per contest. Sophomore Nadirah McKenith has team highs of 121 assists and 69 steals. Smith is the top shot blocker with 23 blocks. St. John's is scoring 63.3 points per game while allowing its opponents 57.2. The Red Storm is shooting 41.7 percent from the field, 34.6 percent from the three-point arc and 65.5 percent from the free throw line.

The Series
Saturday's game is the first meeting between Texas Tech and St. John's.

Common Opponents
Texas Tech and St. John's had just two common opponents in 2010-11 as both teams battled Kansas State and Pittsburgh. The Red Storm fell to the Wildcats, 64-53, on Nov. 13, in Manhattan, Kan., while the Lady Raiders defeated K-State, 68-66, in double overtime on Jan. 15 in Lubbock. Both teams defeated Pitt as Tech won 78-65 on Dec. 19 in Las Vegas, and St. John's won 72-63 on Feb. 26 in Queens, N.Y.

The Coaches
Texas Tech head coach Kristy Curry is in her fifth season at the helm of the Lady Raiders. Curry has compiled a record of 88-72 at Tech and a career record of 267-123 in 12 years. Kim Barnes Arico is in her ninth year as head coach at St. John's with a record of 151-123. She is also in her 15th year as a head coach with a career record of 245-195.

The Last Time Out
(AP) - Oklahoma hung on against Texas Tech, reaching the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament with some payback in mind. Danielle Robinson scored 19 points and Carlee Roethlisberger added 18 to lead No. 21 Oklahoma to a 71-69 victory. But, the third-seeded Sooners barely made it to the semifinals. Leading by two in the final seconds, the Sooners defended a drive by Chynna Brown and came away with the ball to preserve the win. Through two rounds, the tournament has gone exactly according to form, with the higher-seeded team winning each game. But the Sooners gave coach Sherri Coale more than a few anxious moments. The Lady Raiders were down 71-66 when Casey Morris hit a 3-pointer at the 46-second mark. The Sooners had a chance to seal the game when Aaryn Ellenberg came up with a steal, but Ellenberg missed an open transition layup. That gave the Lady Raiders one final chance to tie or win the game on their final possession, but the Sooners' defense held firm. Texas Tech scored just three points over the final 5:24 after taking a 66-64 lead. The big offensive night by Roethlisberger as a scoring complement to the dynamic Robinson gives Oklahoma optimism heading into the semifinals. Whitney Hand played a solid all-around game for the Sooners with eight rebounds and seven assists, while Nicole Griffin had 11 rebounds. The Sooners were 0-2 against A&M during the regular season, but the game in Norman was just a two-point loss. Monique Smalls scored 15 points to lead the Lady Raiders, who'll turn their attention to the NCAA tournament.

Big 12 Postseason Honors
Texas Tech had four players reap Big 12 postseason honors led by sophomore Chynna Brown who was named the conference's Sixth Man of the Year, an honored she shared with Texas A&M's Maryann Baker. Junior Kierra Mallard was selected All-Big 12 second team, while senior Teena Wickett and sophomore Casey Morris were named honorable mention. Sophomore Monique Smalls was named to the All-Defensive Team.

Dallas Morning News Coach of the Year
Head coach Kristy Curry was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year by the Dallas Morning News. The Lady Raiders finished sixth in the Big 12 after being predicted to finish 10th in the preseason poll by the league coaches.

Academic All-Big 12
Three Lady Raiders earned Academic All-Big 12 honors as junior Jordan Barncastle and sophomore Mary Bokenkamp were named to the first team, while redshirt freshman Shauntal Nobles was named to the second team. It is the second honor for Barncastle and the first for both Bokenkamp and Nobles.

In the NCAA RPI (rate percentage index) as of games through March 13, Texas Tech is ranked 28th.

New Website Unveiled
The women's basketball program unveiled a new fan website on Jan. 4 - www.goladyraiders.com. Fans can keep up with the Lady Raiders on this new and exciting website that features the past and the present of Lady Raider basketball. The website is an interactive site that provides video, information and a more inside look at the Texas Tech women's basketball program. Content will be updated throughout the season to keep fans up-to-date on the Lady Raiders.

NCAA Stats
As of games through March 13, sophomore Monique Smalls ranks 37th in steals per game at 2.7, and junior Kierra Mallard is 45th in blocked shots at 1.9, among all Division I players. Texas Tech ranks 34th in three-point field goals percentage at 35.2, 42nd in rebound margin at 4.6, 43rd in steals at 10.4, and 50th in scoring margin at 8.9, among all Division I teams.

Most Wins Under Curry
With its win over Oklahoma State on Feb. 26, Texas Tech got its first 20 win season under head coach Kristy Curry and its first since the 2004-05 season when it went 24-8 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Best Conference Finish Under Curry
Texas Tech finished sixth in the Big 12 this year after being predicted to finish 10th in the preseason coaches poll. The Lady Raiders finished with an 8-8 record. It is the highest finish and best league record under head coach Kristy Curry. Tech went 9-7 in 2006, prior to Curry's arrival. The last time Tech finished 8-8 in the Big 12 was in 2002 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, losing to Oklahoma, 72-62, who went on to play in the national championship game that year.

Ball Snatchers
Texas Tech has tallied 333 steals in its 32 games for an average of 10.4 steals per game, which ranks second in the Big 12. Tech had a season-high 18 steals versus Missouri as senior Teena Wickett tallied a career-high six steals in that game.

Opponents Points Per Game
Texas Tech has held its opponents to 57 points per game. Only 12 opponents have scored 60 or more points, including seven over 70 points, while Mississippi Valley State scored only 28 points. Tech has held three of its opponents to under 40 points and five to under 50 points, including three Big 12 opponents, Colorado (44), Baylor (45) and Oklahoma State (48).

Mallard Reaches 1,000 Points
Junior Kierra Mallard became just the 28th player in Texas Tech history to score 1,000 points. Mallard scored 10 points against Oklahoma to reach the plateau. She currently has 1,024 career points, which stands 26th all-time.

Mallard Cracks Top 10 in Blocks
Junior Kierra Mallard cracked the top 10 in career blocks this season and currently stands in fifth all-time with 151 blocks. Standing in fourth place is Stacey Siebert (1986-90) with 154. Mallard recorded a career-high seven blocks at Oklahoma.

Smalls Starting Streak
Sophomore Monique Smalls got her 65th-straight start versus Oklahoma (3/9). The Woodlands, Texas, native was the only player to start all 33 games in 2009-10.

Best Start Since 2003-04
Texas Tech started the season 16-1, which was its best start since the 2003-04 season when it went 17-1 to start the year. That season the Lady Raiders finished 25-8 and lost in the second round of the NCAA Championship to Louisiana Tech in Missoula, Mont. It is the first time Tech has started Big 12 play 3-0 under Kristy Curry.

Third Top 25 Win
Texas Tech got its third top 25 win as it beat then No. 18/17 Oklahoma, 61-56, on March 5. The Lady Raiders upset then No. 20/23 Iowa State on Feb. 16 and then No. 1/1 Baylor on Feb. 19.

Career-High Points for Smalls, Again
For the fourth-straight game and the sixth time in seven games, sophomore Monique Smalls scored in double figures as she tied her career-high 15 points in the loss to then No. 21/20 Oklahoma in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship. The night before in the win over Oklahoma State in the first round of the championship she scored 15 points to set a new career high. She has scored in double figures in 10 games this season.

Double-Digit Rebounding for Wickett
Senior Teena Wickett picked up her fourth double-digit rebounding game of the season and just her second one against a Big 12 opponent as she had 11 boards against then No. 21/20 Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship. Wickett grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds against Kansas State in the third Big 12 game of the year.

Doing Dishes
Sophomore Chynna Brown dished out four assists against then No. 21/20 Oklahoma in the conference tournament to match her career high. She also had four against Charleston Southern earlier this season and once during her freshman year.

Four is Enough
This time around having four players in double figures was enough to get Texas Tech the win over Oklahoma State in Kansas City. Along with sophomore Monique Smalls' team-high 15 points, junior Kierra Mallard and sophomore Chynna Brown both finished with 13 points, while sophomore Christine Hyde chipped in 12. The win advanced Tech to its first Big 12 quarterfinal game since 2006.

Hyde Nails Career-High Threes
Sophomore Christine Hyde hit three huge three-pointers for the Lady Raiders against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship. Those three threes marked a new career high for her. Hyde's previous career high was one three-pointer on seven occasions.

Morris Dishes Out, Again
Sophomore Casey Morris dished out five assists versus Oklahoma State (3/8) to tie her career high. She has tallied five assists eight times in her career, all coming this season.

Smalls Leads Tech over OU
Sophomore Monique Smalls scored a team-high 13 points against then No. 18/17 Oklahoma for her fourth-straight game of double-digit scoring.

Four Starters in Double Figures at Texas
Texas Tech had four starters score in double figures but it wasn't enough as the Lady Raiders suffered a 24-point loss at Texas. Senior Teena Wickett led Tech with 14 points followed by junior Kierra Mallard and sophomore Monique Smalls with 11 apiece and sophomore Casey Morris with 10.

Morris Leads Tech Over OSU
Sophomore Casey Morris led Tech with 17 points en route to beating Oklahoma State. All of Morris' made field goals came from behind the three-point arc as she tied her career high of five three-pointers and her other two points came from the charity stripe. Morris also tied her career high of four steals against the Cowgirls. Senior Teena Wickett also scored in double figures with 11 points.

Mallard Ties Career-High Assists
Junior Kierra Mallard tied her career-high four assists against Oklahoma State. Mallard has had four three times, twice this year.

Three in Double Figures at Texas A&M
Texas Tech had three players score in double figures at then No. 5/5 Texas A&M led by sophomore Chynna Brown with 15 and followed by senior Teena Wickett with 11 and sophomore Monique Smalls with 10.

Smalls Ties Career-High Steals
Sophomore Monique Smalls tied her career-high six steals at then No. 5/5 Texas A&M. She has had six steals twice this season and four times in her career.

Big 12 Player of the Week
Junior Kierra Mallard was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week on Feb. 21, as she averaged 14.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in helping Texas Tech to back-to-back top 25 wins over then No. 20/23 Iowa State and then No. 1/1 Baylor.

Beating No. 1
The win over No. 1/1 Baylor was the first time Texas Tech had beaten a No. 1 team since defeating No. 1 Texas, 62-49, on Feb. 22, 2004, in Lubbock. Tech was ranked No. 9 in that game. The victory also marked the first win over a top five team since beating No. 5 Baylor, 64-62, on Jan. 15, 2006, in Lubbock.

Back-to-Back Top 25 Wins
Texas Tech got back-to-back wins over top 25 teams. First the Lady Raiders beat then No. 20/23 Iowa State, 61-50, and then upset then No. 1/1 Baylor, 56-45. It marked the first back-to-back wins over top 25 teams since last year when beating No. 13/11 Texas A&M and No. 15/14 Oklahoma State.

In the Win Over Baylor
Against the Lady Bears, sophomore Casey Morris led Texas Tech with 13 points while sophomore Monique Smalls had 11 points and junior Kierra Mallard chipped in 10 points. Sophomore Christine Hyde grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds as well. Tech held Baylor to its lowest scoring output of the season (45 points) and its worst shooting percentage of the year (25.9).s

Season-High Attendance
Texas Tech recorded its largest crowd of the season with 10,201 fans in attendance at the game against Baylor.

First Top 25 Win
Texas Tech got its first top 25 win of the season as it upset No. 20/23 Iowa State, 61-50, in Lubbock. Junior Kierra Mallard led the way with 19 points, all coming in the first half, followed by sophomore Christine Hyde, who tied her career high of 16 points and sophomore Casey Morris with 11 points. It was the first top 25 win since beating then No. 15/14 Oklahoma State, 65-57, on Feb. 13, 2010, in Lubbock.

Smalls Ties Career-High Assists
Sophomore Monique Smalls dished out eight assists versus Iowa State, tying her career high. Smalls has now had eight assists four times in her career.

Hyde Matches Career-High Points
Sophomore Christine Hyde matched her career high of 16 points against Iowa State. Hyde also scored 16 points last year against Houston in the Postseason WNIT.

Tech Gets Win at Colorado
Texas Tech snapped a six-game losing skid with a 28-point win at Colorado. Sophomore Casey Morris led the way with 19 points - her 14th double-digit scoring output this season. Sophomore Christine Hyde and junior Kierra Mallard added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Opponent High Turnovers
In the win at Colorado, Tech forced the Buffaloes to commit 28 turnovers, which was an opponent season high. The Lady Raiders converted 32 points off of those 28 turnovers as well.

Fifty Percent from the Field
The Lady Raiders shot 56 percent from the field (28-50) at Colorado, their highest field goal percentage during Big 12 play this year. It was their fifth time to shoot 50 percent or better this season.

Too Many Turnovers
The Lady Raiders had a season-high 27 turnovers at Oklahoma State, which surpassed their previous season high of 25 set at Oklahoma.

Twenty Points for Mallard
Junior Kierra Mallard had her fourth 20-point output as she scored 20 points at Oklahoma State. Sixteen of those 20 points came in the second half.

Brown Back to Double Digits
Sophomore Chynna Brown got back into double-digit scoring as she chipped in 16 points at Oklahoma State. Brown had scored in doubles figures in five-straight games starting with Missouri but only had four points in each of the two games (at Nebraska, Texas) prior to Oklahoma State. She has now scored in double digits eight times this season, all coming in the last 12 games.

Career High for Morris
Sophomore Casey Morris scored a career-high 23 points in the loss to then No. 6/6 Texas A&M. Morris surpassed her previous career high of 20 points, which she set during her freshman year at California.

Another Double-Digit Effort for Wickett
Senior Teena Wickett picked up her fourth-straight game of double-figure scoring as she finished with 15 points against A&M.

Season Low Turnovers
Texas Tech committed just seven turnovers in the loss to Texas, which was a season low for the Lady Raiders. Their previous season low was 10 against Samford and UTSA.

Four in Double Figures, Again
Texas Tech again had four players score in double figures, this time against Texas. Sophomore Casey Morris led the way with 13 points followed by junior Kierra Mallard with 12 and senior Teena Wickett and sophomore Chynna Brown both added 10 points.

Another Double-Figure Output for Brown
Sophomore Chynna Brown had her third and fourth-consecutive double-figure scoring games as she poured in 17 points at then No. 14/13 Oklahoma and then had 12 points at No. 1/1 Baylor.

Four in Double Digits at Baylor
The Lady Raiders had four players in double figures at Baylor. Sophomore Christine Hyde came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points, while sophomore Chynna Brown and senior Teena Wickett both had 12 points and junior Mallard finished with 11. Tech's bench scored 26 of its 51 points as all 26 points came from Hyde and Brown.

Mallard Seeing Double Again
With 21 points and 12 rebounds, junior Kierra Mallard picked up her seventh double-double of the year at Oklahoma. It was her second-straight as well. She now has 16 career double-doubles.

Brown Hits Game Winner
Sophomore Chynna Brown led Texas Tech in scoring against K-State with 13 points. It marked her fourth double-digit scoring effort this season.

Wickett's First Double-Double at Tech
Senior Teena Wickett also recorded a double-double versus K-State with 11 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. The double-double marked the first as a Lady Raider and the sixth of her career. Wickett had five during her freshman year at Pepperdine. It was also her 10th double-digit scoring game of the year.

Career High for Brown
Sophomore Chynna Brown scored a career-high 22 points as she came off the bench and played 28 minutes in the win over Missouri. Brown was 6-for-11 from the field, including 1-for-1 from three-point range, and was a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe. She also tied career highs of eight rebounds and three steals. Brown scored her previous career high of 16 points at Western Kentucky on Dec. 29.

Big 12 Player of the Week
Senior Teena Wickett was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week after recording game highs of 16 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists in Texas Tech's win over California Dec. 20. The four steals tied her career high. Six of her points came from the free throw line where she was a perfect 6-for-6. Wickett saw 33 minutes of action against the Bears.

Shining Stars in Las Vegas
Senior Teena Wickett was named MVP of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic as she averaged 13.5 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 56 percent from the field in Tech's wins over Pittsburgh and California. Sophomores Casey Morris and Chynna Brown were named to the all-tournament team.

Wright to Be Inducted into Hall of Fame
Assistant coach Shereka Wright will be inducted into the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in May 2011. Wright was the USA Today, Gatorade and WBCA Player of the Year as a senior at Copperas Cove High School in 2000. She was also named first team all-state and Miss Basketball in the state of Texas. She finished her high school career with 3,269 points.

Follow the Lady Raiders
All Lady Raider basketball games can be heard live on the Texas Tech Sports Network. TTSN has put together a seven-station network that offers coverage through the state of Texas and in parts of New Mexico. KJTV/KLZK-Lubbock serve as the network flagship stations. Listen to play-by-play by Steve Strain and color commentary by Crystal Boles as they take the court with the Lady Raiders. The following radio stations will air the Lady Raider basketball games this season:
Abilene/Haskell - KVRP 97.1 FMM
Hereford - KPAN 106.3 FM
Hobbs, NM - KHOB 1390 AM
Lamesa - KPET 690 AM
Lubbock - KJTV 950 AM
Lubbock - KLZK 97.3 FM
Plainview - KVOP 1090 AM

Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Texas Tech signed standout guard Amber Battle to a National Letter of Intent to attend Texas Tech in the fall of 2011. The 5-9 Battle hails from Albuquerque, N.M. and averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists as a junior at Cibola High School. Battle is the 13th-ranked guard in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz.com, as well as the No. 76 overall player.




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