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Nov. 22, 1999

LUBBOCK, Texas - After inaugurating their new arena in winning fashion on Saturday night, the Texas Tech Lady Raiders try to make it two in a row against intrastate rival Rice on Tuesday night.

The No. 17 Lady Raiders (1-0) opened the United Spirit Arena with a 56-49 upset win over then-No. 14 Louisiana State in the Four in the Fall Classic on Saturday night.

Senior Aleah Johnson scored a career-high 16 points, including key back-to-back baskets that broke a late tie, lifting the Raiders to another home win. The Raiders finished 14-0 at home last season.

The Raiders finished 30-4, 14-2 in the Big 12 a year ago, and won the Big 12 championship while advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

Johnson's breakout performance on Saturday night is encouraging as Texas Tech starts the season without three of its top scorers. Angie Braziel, who averaged 20 points per game, Rene Hanebutt (14.6 ppg) and bench player Julie Lake (9.4 ppg) were graduated.

In Texas Tech, the Rice Lady Owls are facing the first of four teams that competed in the 1999 NCAA tournament.

Last season, Rice finished 20-12 and 9-5 in the Western Athletic Conference for its second straight 20-win season. The Lady Owls advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women's National Invitational Tournament.

The Owls won their home opener Friday night, beating Illinois State 66-51. It marked the seventh straight time the Lady Owls have been successful in their home opener.

Senior guard Marla Brumfield, who has been Rice's scoring leader since her freshman year, had a team-high 17 points and a career-best seven steals to help lift the Owls past the Redbirds. Brumfield averaged 14.5 points a game last season.


 

 

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