Texas Tech Prepares for Illinois
Dec. 5, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech once again used its defense to produce offense in this past weekend's game against Lamar, bringing the Lady Raiders back from a 10-point deficit to outscore the Cardinals 45-18 in the second half.
Nobles, one of Tech's key rebounders last season, had not seen any action in a game and had been limited in practices after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome back in October - a neurological disease that effects the nervous system and causes weakness throughout the body, specifically in the lower extremities.
She's spent the last six weeks battling back, taking time each day to go through rehabilitation with team trainer Larry Munger and slowly work back into the normal practice and pregame routine.
Nobles played only six minutes Saturday, attempting two free throws and a field goal - but she might as well been the leading scorer, like her roommate Christine Hyde.
"I just felt joy and happiness for her," said Hyde, who scored a career-high 25 points on Saturday.
"It's been gut-wrenching for this team to sit back and watch her," Tech head coach Kristy Curry said after the game. "But it's a credit to her. It's a credit to our training staff. Larry Munger is the best in the country. It's unfortunate what happened, but I always tell them, `It's not what happens to us. It's how we handle it.' She's handled it unbelievably."
Curry will now get a chance to see how Tech (6-1) handles a big test against a Big Ten opponent when the Lady Raiders take on Illinois at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at United Spirit Arena.
The game will be broadcasted on FOX College Sports, the first televised game for the Lady Raiders this season.
Illinois (4-3) lost its last contest to undefeated Colorado, 69-62 and is looking for its own revenge against the Lady Raiders. Tech won the first meeting between the two schools back in December 2011 when they faced off at the United Center in Chicago.
The Fighting Illini are lead by leading scorer and rebounder Karisma Penn, an All-Big Ten selection. Penn has scored in double digits in all seven games this season, including a season-high 30 points against Wake Forest on Nov. 29.
She will be the biggest challenge for Hyde and junior forward Kelsi Baker. But Tech has seen plenty of success in the paint this season, outscoring its opponents by an average of 34-17.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Christine Hyde, SR., FORWARD
Hyde has been Texas Tech's best rebounder in 2012 and showed even more on the defensive end in Tech's last four games while scoring a career-high 25 points in the 73-52 win over Lamar on Saturday. Hyde was 50 percent from the field overall and 8 of 12 inside the 3-point arc (67 percent). She also leads Tech in free throw attempts (39) and free throws made (29).