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WNIT First Round Preview: Eastern Illinois at Texas Tech

Monique Smalls

Monique Smalls
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Texas Tech takes on Eastern Illinois in the opening round of the WNIT.

March 15, 2012

Texas Tech Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Eastern Illinois Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

2012 WNIT Bracket Get Acrobat Reader

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech head coach Kristy Curry said she knows her team is capable of winning a championship this season.

And now the Lady Raiders will have one final crack at it when they begin their quest for a WNIT title in their first round bout with Eastern Illinois.

"This is a great opportunity for us," Curry said. "It's a chance for us to finish the month of March in a great way and play some games at home."

Tech makes its third consecutive postseason and fourth in five years. The Lady Raiders first appeared in the WNIT in 2008, then again in 2010 before their first trip back to the NCAA Tournament in six years last season.

Although the goal was to make the NCAA Tournament again and try to win the school's second national title, Tech senior forward Jordan Barncastle said there's no let down around the team.

"We've kind of dictated how we want to play this postseason by the way we've come out in practice this week," she said. "Intensity has been great, attitude has been great and we're just ready to take the next opportunity that we have."

The opportunity to play in a postseason tournament means the chance to win more games and gain momentum heading into next season. Barnacastle and Kierra Mallard are the only two seniors leaving the team with four talented freshmen coming to campus in the fall, including Minta Spears - one of the top five scorers in the country, averaging 33.7 points per game.

Tech's last trip to the WNIT ended with some snowy weather and a long bus ride back to Lubbock from Laramie, Wyoming following a 68-57 loss in overtime to Wyoming.

Junior guard Casey Morris, who was not on the ride back because she was sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules, said she doesn't plan on having that same feeling.

"I know how they felt and I don't want to feel the same way," Morris said. "We just want to win and keep on winning and do the best that we can. We plan on winning until we have a championship."

 

2012 Women's National Invitation Tournament

First Round

Eastern Illinois Panthers (22-8) at Texas Tech Lady Raiders (19-13)

When: 7 p.m., Thursday, March 15, 2012

Where: United Spirit Arena, Lubbock, Texas (15,098)

TV: None

Online: TexasTech.com/allaccess

Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network, 97.3 FM (Lubbock)

Play-by-Play: Steve Strain

Analyst: Crystal Boles

 

TEXAS TECH LADY RAIDERS (19-13, 6-12 BIG 12)

Coach: Kristy Curry

Overall: 286-137 (13)

at Tech: 107-86 (6)

vs. EIU: 1-0

at WNIT: 2-2

NO.           NAME                                          HT                               YR             STATS

23              Monique Smalls                           5-6             G               JR          8.7 pts/game

15              Casey Morris                               5-9             G               JR          9.8 pts/game

00              Chynna Brown                             5-8             G               JR          8.7 pts/game

  1              Jordan Barncastle                        6-2             F                SR         5.3 pts/game

33              Shauntal Nobles                           6-3             F                SO         6.3 pts/game

EASTERN ILLINOIS PANTHERS (22-8, 13-3 Ohio Valley Conference)

Coach: Brady Sallee

Overall: 136-109 (8)

at Baylor: 136-109 (8)

vs. Tech: 0-0

at WNIT: 0-1

NO.           NAME                                            HT            P                YR                STATS

  4              Kelsey Wyss                               5-10           G               JR           7.9 pts/game

15              Ta'Kenya Nixon                           5-8             G               JR         16.0 pts/game

33              Sydney Mitchell                           6-1             F                JR         11.2 pts/game

44              Chantelle Pressley                       6-1             F                SR          7.1 pts/game

51              Mariah King                                6-2             F                JR         12.7 pts/game

TEXAS TECH - EASTERN ILLINOIS MATCHUP

This will be the first meeting between the two programs. Texas Tech is making its third appearance overall in the WNIT and third in five years. Tech is 2-2 in the WNIT overall and under Kristy Curry. Eastern Illinois is making its second appearance overall in the WNIT and second in three years. The Panthers are 0-1 in the WNIT.

INSIDE THE MATCHUP VS EASTERN ILLINOIS

- This is the first meeting between the two programs.

- This is the second meeting for Kristy Curry against Eastern Illinois. Purdue beat Eastern Illinois, 89-33, on Nov. 18, 2001.

- Eastern Illinois is 0-1 all-time in the WNIT

                  Year          Result                                                            Round

                  2010          Marquette 85, Eastern Illinois 56                  First Round

- Texas Tech is 2-2 all-time in the WNIT.

                  Year          Result                                                            Round

                  2010          Wyoming 68, Texas Tech 57 (OT)              Second Round

                  2010          Texas Tech 80, Houston 77                          First Round

                  2008          TCU 81, Texas Tech 74                                Second Round

                  2008          Texas Tech 82, Texas State                         First Round

BY THE NUMBERS

                                                             TTU                EIU

Points Per Game...................................66.9 ............ 71.8

Opponents Points Per Game................59.4 ............ 60.6

Scoring Margin.....................................+7.5 ........... +11.2

Field Goal Percentage..........................38.6% ......... 42.5%

3-Point Field Goal Percentage.............31.4% .......... 30.6%

Free Throw Percentage........................67.4% ......... 72.4%

Rebounds Per Game............................41.6 ............ 43.0

Rebound Margin...................................+5.4 ............ +8.1

Assists Per Game.................................12.6 ............ 14.2

Turnovers Per Game............................15.8 ............ 15.8

Steals Per Game..................................10.6 .............. 8.4

Blocks Per Game...................................3.9 .............. 3.5

Field Goal Percentage Defense...........38.7% .......... 37.0%

NO SMALL FEAT

Texas Tech junior guard Monique Smalls now has 135 assists and just 59 turnovers for a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio, leading all Big 12 Conference players and is ninth nationally. She also has a team-leading 87 steals on the year, second in the Big 12 Conference. Smalls has 239 steals for her career and is 5th all-time at Texas Tech. Her 389 assists is now 8th all-time at Texas Tech.

TEXAS TECH STARTERS (GAMES STARTED THIS YEAR)

G Monique Smalls (32), G Casey Morris (32), G Christine Hyde (23), F Kierra Mallard (20), F Kelsi Baker (17), F Shauntal Nobles (14), F Jordan Barncastle (13), Chynna Brown (9).

CAREER HIGHS

Junior guard Monique Smalls tied a career-high with 15 points in the win over Kansas State on Saturday. That's the third time this season and fifth time in her career that she's scored 15 points. Texas Tech is 4-1 when Smalls scores 15 points.

Smalls 15-point Games

Date                            Opponent                                      Result

3/8/11                          Oklahoma State*                           W, 57-48

3/9/11                          Oklahoma*                                    L, 69-71

12/3/11                        Penn State                                    W, 70-66

1/28/12                        Texas                                            W, 75-71

3/3/12                          Kansas State                                 W, 64-63

* Big 12 Championship Games

RUNNING AWAY

Texas Tech trailed Kansas State 33-16 with 6:53 remaining in the first half before going on a run that shifted the game for good. The Lady Raiders went on a 40-11 run over the next 18 minutes into the second half to take 56-44 lead - Tech's largest of the game.

CAUGHT STEALING

Texas Tech leads the Big 12 Conference with 339 steals in 28 games (10.6/game).

LOW RATE

Texas Tech had just seven turnovers against Oklahoma on Feb. 29 - the second time it had seven or fewer turnovers this season (Iowa State on Feb. 12). Tech and had only eight against Missouri (Feb. 5) and Baylor (Jan. 18).

THREES COMPANY

Texas Tech senior forward Jordan Barncastle has 25 total 3-pointers made on the season. Her 69 threes puts her in the top 15 all-time at Texas Tech.

TOUGH ON THE BOARDS

Texas Tech continues to be one of the Big 12 leaders on the boards. Tech leads the conference with 16.3 offensive rebounds per game and is third in conference play with a 69.2 defensive rebound percentage and 39.5 offensive rebound percentage.


 

 

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