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Candi Whitaker Era Tips Off Sunday

Nov. 9, 2013

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LUBBOCK, Texas - The Candi Whitaker era in Texas Tech women's basketball officially tips off at 4 p.m. Sunday when the Lady Raiders host Texas-Pan American  at United Spirit Arena.

The game is also the first of six televised games by Texas Tech TV on FOX Sports Southwest.

Tech is coming off a home exhibition win over Angelo State on Monday, dominating the Belles, 73-51. Redshirt freshman Minta Spears hit 6 of 10 from behind the arc and led all scorers with 20 points in her first game back since tearing her ACL in the season opener last year at Arizona State.

"I love Minta's range," Whitaker said when asked about Spears. "It really opens up the floor for us. She has been given the green light and been told to never turn down a shot ...  She's just been a tremendous leader as well for us on the floor."

Junior Amber Battle also showed how her game has matured since last season and being able to grow into a starting role. Battle helped Tech explode in the second half of Monday's matchup by scoring 12 points and 11 rebounds in the second half alone, giving her a total of 17 points and 12 boards in 23 minutes. She averaged just 13 minutes per game last season.

Whitaker said Battle and Spears will have to continue to step up for a team that is fairly inexperienced right now. Six Lady Raiders will make their home, regular season debuts on Sunday, including Spears.

"We just want to continue to see growth every time we step on the floor - whether it's a practice or game," Whitaker said. "We've got to execute better offensively and be better defensively."

Tickets for the game are available. Fans can show their ticket stub from Saturday's football game against Kansas State and receive a $5 ticket to the game. Call (806) 742-8324 or go to


Texas Tech head coach Candi Whitaker will be the sixth different woman to coach the Lady Raiders when the team tips off on Sunday. She will also be the fourth Texas Tech coach to make her debut on the date Nov. 10.

NAME                          DATE   RESULT           SCORE OPPONENT

SUSIE LYNCH              11/18/75         L          40-83   WESTERN TEXAS JC

GAY BENSON              11/10/77         W        85-67   ANGELO STATE

DONNA WICK             11/10/80         W        67-60   WEST TEXAS STATE

MARSHA SHARP         11/19/82         W        78-64   ABILENE CHRISTIAN

KRISTY CURRY                        11/10/06         W        66-58   UTSA

CANDI WHITAKER      11/10/13         ?          ??        TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN


Texas Tech is 27-10 all-time in season openers and 34-3 all-time in home openers. The Lady Raiders have not lost a season opener or home opener since 2005 against LSU (68-76).

DATE               RESULT                                   HOME RESULT (IF FIRST NOT AT HOME)

11-10-06         W, 66-58, Texas-San Antonio

11-9-07           W, 72-57, UCF                                    W, 72-51, IPFW (11-13)

11-14-08         W, 90-55, Idaho

11-14-09         W, 91-52, Sam Houston State

11-12-10         W, 80-53, New Mexico         W, 58-42, Samford (11-15)

11-6-11           W, 69-43, New Mexico

11-11-12         W, 61-49, Arizona State       W, 61-41, Lipscomb (11-18)


Texas Tech enters the 2013-14 season with the second-youngest squad in the Big 12 Conference. The average age of the Lady Raiders is 19 years and 8 months - only one month older than Kansas State's squad.


Redshirt freshman Minta Spears made her first appearance for the Lady Raiders since tearing her ACL in the season opener last year at Arizona State. Spears was 6 of 10 from behind the arc to lead Texas Tech with 20 points in a 73-51 exhibition win over Angelo State.


Texas Tech is not only debuting its new Under Armour uniforms but also a new starting lineup. Texas Tech will not have Monique Smalls in the lineup for the first time in four years. Smalls, Christine Hyde, Casey Morris and Chynna Brown all graduated last season after starting nearly every game for Texas Tech in 2012-13.


Texas Tech will have to go without its only returning starter, Kelsi Baker, who tore her Achilles tendon in preseason workouts back in August. Baker started 31 of 32 games last season for Texas Tech and was the team's returning leader in points (10.7 per game), rebounds (5.6 per game), and minutes played (823 total last season).


Texas Tech continued its streak of finishing in the top 10 in the country for attendance for the 20th season. The Lady Raiders averaged 6,418 fans per home game last season, 8th nationally.


2012-13           18 (14-4)         115,517                      6,418

2011-12           20 (14-6)         133,855                       6,693

2010-11           17 (15-2)         119,731                       7,043

2009-10           19 (14-5)         129,896                       6,837

2008-09           18 (13-5)         154,367                       8,576

2007-08           19 (13-6)         162,552                       8,555

2006-07           14 (9-5)           149,351                       10,668

2005-06           14 (11-3)         167,081                       11,935

2004-05           16 (14-2)         201,621                       12,601

2003-04           17 (16-1)         213,802                       12,577



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