No. 23 Lady Raiders Tip Off Season Saturday

Guard Katrisa O'Neal and the Lady Raiders tip off the season Saturday against LSU in the United Spirit Arena.

Guard Katrisa O'Neal and the Lady Raiders tip off the season Saturday against LSU in the United Spirit Arena.
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Nov. 17, 1999

Secret Four in the Fall Classic
#14/14 Louisiana State Lady Tigers
#23/23 Texas Tech Lady Raiders
November 20, 1999 - Lubbock, Texas - 8:30 p.m.
United Spirit Arena (15,050)

Saturday's Game
Texas Tech will play Louisiana State at 8:30 p.m. in the second game of the Secret Four in the Fall Classic this Saturday, Nov. 20 at the United Spirit Arena. The Lady Raiders are ranked 23rd by the Associated Press and preseason ranked 23rd in the USA Today/ESPN poll. The Lady Tigers are 14th in the AP poll and preseason 14th by USA Today/ESPN. The first game will match-up UCLA and North Carolina. UCLA is ranked third by the AP and preseason fourth by USA Today/ESPN, while North Carolina is eighth in the AP poll and preseason eighth by USA Today/ESPN.

Scouting the Opponents
Louisiana State returns four starters from last year's team that went 22-8 overall and finished second in the SEC with a 10-4 mark, while advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16. Sue Gunter is in her 36th year of coaching and her 18th season at the helm of LSU. Gunter has established a career record of 588-266 and a 322-179 mark at LSU.

The Lady Tigers top returning player is senior forward Katrina Hibbert who averaged a team-high 14.5 points last season, while recording a team-high 142 assists. Also returning is sophomore forward DeTrina White who was second on the team in scoring last year with a 13.1 average. White led the team in rebounding, grabbing 8.2 boards per outing and in blocked shots with 28. Junior guard Marie Ferdinand was fourth last year in scoring with a 12.3 average, while ranking first on the team in steals with 58. The last returning starter is junior forward April Brown who averaged 7.8 points per contest and was second on the team in blocks with 22.

LSU was victorious twice in exhibition games, beating Budapest, 66-50, Nov. 9. Ferdinand led players with 20 points, while Hibbert added 13. For the game, LSU shot 44 percent from the field and 44 percent from the free throw line. Then on Nov. 14, the Lady Tigers defeated the Mississippi All-Stars, 81-66, Nov. 14. Ferdinand again led all players with 21 points, followed by sophomore guard Kisha James with 15, freshman forward Ke-Ke Tardy with 14 and White with 13. Brown had a team-high nine rebounds, while James and Hibbert each had six assists. The Lady Tigers shot 50.8 percent from the field, 83.3 percent from three-point range and 47.6 percent from the line.

Series Records
LSU holds a 7-0 record against the Lady Raiders. Tech is 0-2 against the Lady Tigers under head coach Marsha Sharp. The last time the two teams met was Nov. 27, 1988 at the Western Kentucky Tournament in Bowling Green, Ky. LSU handed the Lady Raiders a 73-46 loss. The only other meeting in the Sharp Era was during the 1984-85 season. LSU beat Tech, 71-67, in the second round of the National Women's Invitational in Amarillo, Texas March 3, 1985.

Probable Starters
Texas Tech Lady Raiders
Head Coach: Marsha Sharp (406-129, 17 yrs.)

Pos.Name (Ht., Yr., Hometown)PPGRPGFG%FT%*
F-15Aleah Johnson (6-1, Sr., Carrollton, Texas)
F-25Keitha Dickerson (6-0, Sr., Elk City, Okla.)
C-54Plenette Pierson (6-1, Fr., Kingwood, Texas)
G-3Melinda Schmucker-Pharies (5-9, Sr., Nazareth, Texas)
G-24Katrisa O'Neal (5-6, Jr., Plainview, Texas)

Top Returning Reserves

G-10Kristi Washington (5-10, Jr., Garland, Texas)
G-32Amber Tarr (6-0, So., Ozona, Texas)
C-34Tanisha Ellison (6-1, So., Houston, Texas)

*1998-99 stats

Louisiana State Lady Tigers
Head Coach: Sue Gunter (588-266, 35 yrs.)

Pos.Name (Ht., Yr., Hometown)PPGRPGFG%FT%*
F-23DeTrina White (5-11, So., Lafayette, La.)
F-40Katrina Hibbert (5-11, Sr., Melbourne, Australia)
C-22April Brown (5-11, Jr., Gulfport, Miss.)
G-3Marie Ferdinand (5-9, Jr., Miami, Fla.)
G-20Kisha James (5-6, So., Pineville, La.)

*1998-99 stats

Season Openers
The Lady Raiders are 16-8 in season openers and 12-5 under coach Marsha Sharp. Last year, Tech defeated Texas-Arlington, 71-47, Nov. 15 in its season opener in Lubbock.

Home Openers
Texas Tech owns a 22-2 in home openers and a 16-1 mark under head coach Marsha Sharp. The Lady Raiders only home-opening loss was a 67-64 defeat to Grambling State Dec. 1, 1989.

A Look Back
The Lady Raiders defeated the Shelen Basketball Club of Russia, 76-49, Nov. 8 in its first exhibition game of the season. The Lady Raiders will play the USA National team on Dec. 5, which is consider an exhibition game.

Texas Tech led by six points at the intermission, 39-33, but stretched out to a 10-point margin by the midway point of the second half. Freshman Plenette Pierson made her Lady Raider debut in style, scoring nine points of her 14 points in the final 20 minutes. Pierson, Keitha Dickerson and Katrisa O'Neal combined for 22 second-half points to lead the Lady Raider charge. O'Neal scored a game-high 21 points, 15 of which came in the first half. Dickerson finished with 15 rebounds and 13 points. Melinda Schmucker-Pharies returned to her role as floor leader as she handed out a game-high seven assists, while adding nine points. Tech shot 37.8 percent from the field and 65.5 percent from the free throw, while hitting just one of nine three-point attempts.

Lady Raider Head Coach Marsha Sharp
One of the most respected and well-known coaches in Texas Tech history, head coach Marsha Sharp is 406-129 in her 18th year at the helm of the Lady Raiders. The 1999 Big 12 Coach of the Year, for the second consecutive year, has led the Lady Raiders to 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 10 consecutive, and five NCAA Sweet 16 appearances and the NCAA National Championship in 1993. 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. Sharp claimed her 400th career victory last season in the 83-71 win at Colorado on Feb. 24, 1999.

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 Lady Raiders - 1999-2000 Outlook
The list of Lady Raider Coach Marsha Sharp's accomplishments is long and impressive: back-to-back Big 12 regular season championships, back-to-back Big 12 Tournament Championships, back-to-back Big 12 Coach of the Year awards, 10-straight NCAA appearances. But, if the Lady Raiders add to their accomplishments in the 1999-2000 season, it will be done by a new group of headliners.

Rene Hanebutt, Cara Gibbs, Julie Lake and Angie Braziel accounted for 48.2 points, 18.1 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game, making up the bulk of the team that Marsha Sharp called one of the all-time favorites to watch play. All is not lost, though, as 1998-99 starters Melinda Schmucker-Pharies and Keitha Dickerson and key role players Katrisa O'Neal, Aleah Johnson and Kristi Washington will look to leave their mark on Lady Raider basketball.

In 1998-99, Schmucker-Pharies tallied 188 assists, second on the all-time Tech list, to lead Texas Tech for the second-straight year. In her career the senior guard from Nazareth has dished out 416 assists and needs 138 in her senior season to become the Lady Raiders' career assists leader.

Schmucker-Pharies was the work horse on the Tech squad in 98-99, leading the team in minutes played with 1,131 in her second-consecutive season to start every game. As a freshman, Schmucker-Pharies averaged 5.9 points per game, then slumped to 3.5 as a sophomore, but matched her freshman scoring average last season.

Dickerson joined Schmucker-Pharies last season as the only non-seniors to start all 34 games for the Raiders. Dickerson, who was second on the team a year ago in rebounds per game at 7.7, enters the 1999-2000 season as Tech's most experienced post player having played in 92 games in her Lady Raider career.

Johnson saw significant action in 1998-99, her first season as a Lady Raider. As a junior, she showed flashes of brilliance, scoring in double figures three times and finishing one rebound shy of a double-double versus UT-San Antonio.

In two seasons O'Neal has gained a reputation as the Lady Raiders Princess of Thieves. O'Neal had 94 takeaways last season, seventh on Tech's all-time single season list, to move her career total to 165. Sharp points to O'Neal, as well as the team's undefeated record when junior guard started games last season, as a player who has earned the opportunity to have a major impact for Texas Tech.

During the recruiting season, Texas Tech netted a pair of high school standouts from the same prep squad. Courtney Pastner earned player of the year for the state of Texas for her senior season, while Kingwood teammate Plenette Pierson was a WBCA All-American selection as a senior in high school.

Six-foot-seven inch center Jamie Nagle from Carthage will become the tallest player to ever wear a Lady Raider uniform. Sharp said her Nagle's size means she has the potential to impact the team from the very first game. Nikki Hendrix, a 6-0 forward from Ardmore, Okla., brings versatility to the three position in the Lady Raider scheme as a big player with play making ability.

A Look Ahead
The Lady Raiders will return to action Tuesday, Nov. 23 as they host Rice at 7 p.m. and then will host Southwest Texas State on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. before traveling to Southern California for a 9 p.m. CST game on Monday, Nov. 29.

Cudnoski Tears ACL
Redshirt freshman Alison Cudnoski has again tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee for the second time in a little over a year. Cudnoski and her doctors, coaches and family are currently weighing her options. Cudnoski sat out last season after tearing the ACL in the same knee in the first practice of the year.

Big 12 Preseason Polls Coaches Poll

School (First-place votes)Total
1.Iowa State (11)121
4.Texas (1)90
5.Texas Tech83
7.Kansas State59
10.Oklahoma State31
12.Texas A&M18

Media Poll

1.Iowa State (12)198
2.Kansas (2)171
3.Nebraska 162
4.Texas (1)155
5. Texas Tech (2)153
7.Kansas State94
11.Oklahoma State52
12.Texas A&M26

Poll Position
The Texas Tech Lady Raiders enter the 1999-2000 season ranked in the top 25 in various polls. The preseason ranks to date are as follows:

Women's Basketball News Service 13th
Athlon's 15th
Associated Press22nd
The Women's Basketball Journal 22nd
USA Today/ESPN 23rd

National Attendance Leaders
Once again, the Lady Raiders were one of the top teams in the nation in attendance figures last year. In 1998-99, Tech averaged 8,051 fans in 14 games at the Coliseum, which set a single-season record.

4.Texas Tech14112,7168.051
5.SW Missouri St.15114,1927,613
6.Ohio State1398,6397,588
8.New Mexico18134,4527,470

1998-99 Season Highs
Points: 34 Braziel vs. TCU 12-9-98
Rebounds: 17 Braziel at Texas A&M 1-13-99
Assists: 13 Schmucker vs. Loyola Marymount 12-22-98
Steals: 9 O'Neal vs. Kansas St. 1-9-99
FG Made: 15 Braziel vs. TCU 12-9-98
FG Attempts: 25 Braziel vs. Texas 2-27-99
25 Braziel vs. NC State 3-15-99
3FG Made: 7 Hanebutt vs. Oklahoma 1-6-99
7 Hanebutt at Nebraska 2-21-99
7 Hanebutt vs. Kansas St. 3-3-99
3FG Attempts: 17 Hanebutt vs. Texas 2-27-99
FT Made: 15 Lake vs. Baylor 1-30-99
FT Attempts: 16 Lake vs. Baylor 1-30-99
Blocks: 6 Braziel vs. New Mexico 12-29-98

1998-99 Game Leaders
Leading Scorer: Braziel 23, Hanebutt 7, Lake 3, Dickerson 1, Gibbs 1
Leading Rebounder: Braziel 22, Dickerson 11, Johnson 3, Hanebutt 2, Gibbs 1, Lake 1, Schmucker 1
Assist Leader: Schmucker 26, Lake 6, Hanebutt 5, O'Neal 4, Dickerson 3, Washington 1
Leading Scorer/Rebounder: Braziel 15, Dickerson 1
Double Figure Scoring: Braziel 32, Hanebutt 25, Dickerson 15, Lake 10, Schmucker 8, O'Neal 5, Gibbs 3 Johnson 3, Washington 3
Double Figure Rebounding: Braziel 12, Dickerson 9, Gibbs 1

Weekly Press Luncheon
Each Monday, starting Nov. 22, Marsha Sharp will conduct a weekly press luncheon in press conference room at the United Spirit Arena. Coach Sharp's press conference will begin promptly at 11 a.m. followed by coach James Dickey's at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will follow in the Athletic Dining Hall.

Big 12 Women's Basketball Teleconferences
Through the work of Premiere Technologies, Inc. the Big 12 will host four regular season women's basketball teleconferences during the season. The briefings will feature seven minutes with each head coach and will take place on selected Tuesdays beginning at 10 a.m. central time.

The Big 12 Tournament teleconference will be conducted Friday, March 3, at 10 a.m. and will feature all 12 head coaches previewing the league tournament. A fifth teleconference will be conducted on March 14, beginning at 10 a.m. central time, and will feature only the head coaches involved in post-season play.

Media wishing to dial into the conference call may contact (913) 981-5530. This number is for media use ONLY. You will be required to identify yourself with media affiliation when you access the call.

Women's basketball teleconferences are scheduled for Jan. 11, Jan. 25, Feb. 8 , March 3 and March 14. Following is a tentative schedule:

10:00 a.m. - Paul Sanderford, Nebraska
10:07 a.m. - Cindy Stein, Missouri
10:14 a.m. - Jody Conradt, Texas
10:21 a.m. - Sherri Coale, Oklahoma
10:28 a.m. - Marian Washington, Kansas
10:35 a.m. - Peggie Gillom, Texas A&M
10:42 a.m. - Sonja Hogg, Baylor
10:49 a.m. - Dick Halterman, Oklahoma State
10:56 a.m. - Deb Patterson, Kansas State
11:03 a.m. - Bill Fennelly, Iowa State
11:10 a.m. - Ceal Barry, Colorado
11:17 a.m. - Marsha Sharp, Texas Tech

Tanisha Ellison - TAH-nish-ah
Aleah Johnson - ah-LEE-ah
Katrisa O'Neal - ka-TREE-sa
Melinda Schmucker-Pharies - SCHMICK-er - FAIR-us

Lady Raiders By Height

5-5    Courtney Pastner
5-6    Katrisa O'Neal
5-9    Melinda Schmucker-Pharies
5-10   Kristi Washington
6-0    Keitha Dickerson
       Nikki Hendrix
       Amber Tarr
6-1    Tanisha Ellison
       Aleah Johnson
       Plenette Pierson
6-1    Alison Cudnoski
6-7    Jamie Nagle

Coaches vs. Cancer
Head coach Marsha Sharp is teaming up with the American Cancer Society as she is taking part in the Coaches vs. Cancer program. Last season, Sharp and the Lady Raiders raised $33,938.75, ranking 15th among the collegiate basketball coaches involved with the program.

Lady Raiders in the Polls
Since January 20, 1992, the Lady Raiders have been ranked in the Top 25 in the Associated Press poll and/or the USA Today poll, a total of 137 weeks. That includes this year's preseason polls and the first week of the regular AP voting in which Tech is ranked 23rd in the AP poll and preseason 23rd in the USA Today/ESPN poll.

It's Finally Here - the United Spirit Arena
It started in 'The Barn.' Then came 'The Bubble.' Now as Texas Tech athletics ushers in a new millennium, it is on the move again.

No matter what moniker is chosen for the new arena, two words will certainly be used to describe it: World Class.

The United Spirit Arena, a modern state of the art facility with seating capacity of 15,050, welcomes Texas Tech athletics this weekend. The arena is the home of Lady Raider and Red Raider basketball along with Texas Tech volleyball and will be showcased during the 'Sports SpecTECHular' this weekend.

"We have waited a long time for this special building. There is no question of what this means for our program. I'm excited for our students, players and fans. We have the best on-campus facility in America." ~ Head coach Marsha Sharp

Follow the Lady Raiders on the Radio
All Lady Raider basketball games can be heard live on the All Sports Radio Network on KFYO-AM 790 and KKCL-FM 98.1 locally. Listen to play-by-play by Ryan Hyatt, with color commentary by Crystal Boles and Kent Best as they go to the court with the Lady Raiders. Other affiliates carrying Lady Raider Basketball are:

KPUR-AM 1440 - Amarillo
KVRP-RM 95.5 - Haskell
KPET-AM 690 - Lamesa
KZZN-AM 1490 - Litttlefield
KMND-AM 1510 - Midland
KKYN-AM 1090 - Plainview
KEYE-AM 1400 - Perryton
KEYE-FM 99.5 - Perryton




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