State Farm Women's Basketball Tip-Off Classic Set for Nov. 13
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Oct. 14, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 2005 State Farm Women's Tip-Off Classic has all the appearances of being an SEC-Big 12 showdown. . .as well as a preview of the 2005-06 women's collegiate basketball campaign.
Texas Tech and Baylor from the Big 12 Conference will take on LSU and Georgia, respectively, from the Southeastern Conference in this year's Tip-Off Classic, an event that annually features four of the nation's top women's collegiate basketball squads in a season-opening doubleheader.
Defending NCAA national champion Baylor will square off against Georgia in a 1:00 p.m. EST (12:00 noon CST) matchup while Texas Tech will host LSU in a 3:30 p.m. EST (2:30 p.m. CST) contest on Sunday, November 13, at the United Spirit Arena on the Texas Tech campus in Lubbock. Both games will be televised on ESPN2.
"We are so excited about the opportunity to host what we consider the most prestigious preseason event for women's basketball," said Marsha Sharp, entering her 24th season as the Texas Tech head coach. "We think it will be a challenge for us to play LSU, but we are excited to be able to showcase our arena and our fans."
This will be the 13th annual Tip-Off Classic. This also marks the second consecutive year that the event will be played in the Lone Star State. Last year's event was played in Austin at the University of Texas. LSU and Baylor made their first-ever showings in the event with the Lady Tigers nipping the Lady Bears, 71-70, and Texas downing Penn State, 84-69. Baylor avenged that loss later in the season with a 68-57 win over LSU in the semifinals of the NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis.
Texas Tech and Georgia also have previous Tip-Off Classic experience. Texas Tech played in the inaugural Tip-Off Classic in 1993, downing Vanderbilt, 74-67, in Jackson, Tenn. The Lady Raiders also played in the 2001 (lost to Duke, 85-69, in Durham) and 2002 (lost to Louisiana Tech, 85-76, in Knoxville) Tip-Off Classics. Georgia's previous Tip-Off Classic appearance came in 2000 with the Lady Bulldogs falling, 99-70, to the defending national champion Connecticut Huskies in Hartford.
Baylor went 33-3 last year en route to capturing the NCAA title to go along with a Big 12 Conference championship and finished the year on top of the final USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 poll for the 2005 season. Kim Mulkey-Robertson has compiled a 131-38 ledger in five seasons as the Lady Bears' head coach.
Georgia notched a 24-10 record last year, reaching the NCAA's Sweet 16 round and placing 13th in the final USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 poll. Andy Landers joined an elite group of Pat Summitt (Tennessee), Jody Conradt (Texas), C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers), and Sue Gunter (LSU) as a 700-game winner last season and will enter his fourth decade as a women's collegiate basketball coach with an overall mark of 716-220 for 30 seasons, which includes a 634-199 worksheet as head coach of the Lady Bulldogs.
LSU registered a 33-3 mark last year, reached the Final Four for a second straight year, and finished third in the final USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 poll. In her first complete season as the LSU head coach, Pokey Chatman guided the Lady Tigers to their first SEC regular season title and garnered Coach of the Year accolades from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, the Black Coaches Association, and the United States Basketball Writers Association as well as the Victor Award and the Naismith Award.
Texas Tech compiled a 24-8 record last season, making it to the Sweet 16 and placing 12th in the final USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 poll. In 23 seasons at the helm of the Lady Raider program, Marsha Sharp has notched a 557-175 record.
Tickets for the Tip-Off Classic are on sale now and may be ordered online at www.texastech.com or by calling the Texas Tech Ticket Office at (806) 742-TECH [806-742-8324] or toll free at (888) GOBIG12 [888-462-4412]. The Texas Tech Ticket Office is located at the North end of Jones SBC Stadium (4th Street and University Avenue).
The Tip-Off Classic benefits the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Located in Knoxville, Tenn., the Hall of Fame's mission is to "honor the past, celebrate the present, and promote the future" of women's basketball. The Hall also uses the Tip-Off Classic as a platform to announce a new group of inductees each year with the Class of 2006 honorees slated to be introduced in Lubbock.