GAME PREVIEW: No. 15 Texas Tech at Illinois|
Dec. 16, 2011
No. 15/20 Texas Tech Lady Raiders (8-0)
at Illinois Fighting Illini (4-5)
When: 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011
Where: United Center (19,717) Chicago, Ill.
TV: Big Ten Network
Play-by-Play: Lisa Byington
Analyst: Stephanie White
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network - 97.3 FM (Lubbock)
Play-by-play: Steve Strain
Texas Tech (No. 15 AP/No. 20 USA Today Coaches Poll) reached its highest ranking in The Associated Press Poll since 2005 when the Lady Raiders began the season at No. 13 and fell to No. 14 on Nov. 21, 2005. Junior guard Casey Morris led the Lady Raiders with a career-high 24 points in their 88-48 win in their last game on Dec. 7. Tech is now just 1 of 3 Big 12 Conference teams that remain undefeated (Baylor, Oklahoma State).
Illinois comes into Saturday's contest on a two-game winning streak, beating Clemson, 61-50 on Dec. 1 and winning its last game on Dec. 7 against Illinois State, 66-56. The Fighting Illini snapped a four-game losing streak with the two wins. They have played only two other games on neutral courts this year, losing to No. 14 Green Bay and Arizona State in the San Juan Shooutout in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
TEXAS TECH LADY RAIDERS (8-0)
NO. NAME HT P YR STATS
23 Monique Smalls 5-6 G JR 8.1 pts/game
15 Casey Morris 5-9 G JR 10.9 pts/game
5 Christine Hyde 5-10 G JR 9.0 pts/game
41 Kelsi Baker 6-0 F SO 8.5 pts/game
20 Kierra Mallard 6-3 F SR 14.9 pts/game
ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (4-5)
NO. NAME HT P YR STATS
42 Amber Moore 5-11 G SO 9.3 pts/game
22 Ivory Crawford 5-10 G FR 4.8 pts/game
12 Lydia McCully 5-9 G SR 5.0 pts/game
44 Kersten Magrum 6-1 F SO 11.7 pts/game
00 Karisma Penn 6-2 F JR 14.8 pts/game
Against the ILLINI
This will be the first meeting between the two schools. The Lady Raiders are 10-5 against the Big Ten Conference all time. Kristy Curry is 10-1 against Illinois with all contests coming during her tenure at Purdue (1999-2006).
WIN, WIN, WIN
Texas Tech rides a 39-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents into Saturday's game against the Lady Lions. Tech has not lost a non-conference game at home since Dec. 4, 2007. The Lady Raiders are currently on a nine-gmae home winning streak overall, dating back to Feb. 16.
Texas Tech has an eight-game active win streak which is tied for fifth nationally as the longest active win streak. The Lady Raiders have not lost at home since Feb. 5, giving them a 10-game winning streak at United Spirit Arena.
The Texas Tech - Penn State game on Dec. 3 was the 11th-highest attended game this season for all NCAA Division I women's basketball games. There were 8.932 fans that packed United Spirit Arena to watch Tech beat Penn State, 70-66.
Texas Tech is only one of three undefeated teams in the Big 12 (Baylor, Oklahoma State) and only one of 15 nationally.
Junior guard Casey Morris scored a career-high 24 points and had a career-high six 3-pointers to lead Texas Tech on Wednesday night. Morris beat her previous high of 23 points in last season's loss against Texas A&M on Feb. 5, She hit five 3-pointers twice last season at home against Sam Houston State (Nov. 28, 2010) and Oklahoma State (Feb. 26). She's set five career-highs this season for points, 3-pointers, rebounds, assists and steals.
800 AND COUNTING
Texas Tech won its 800th game on Nov. 26, 2011 with a 76-43 win over Central Arkansas. With the win, Tech becomes only the 15th NCAA women's basketball program to win at least 800 games in program history.
All-Time Winningest Programs (By Wins, Updated Dec. 16)
Rank Team First Season Wins Losses
1. Tennessee 1903 1,170 258
2. Louisiana Tech 1975 1,005 218
3. Old Dominion 1970 931 333
4. James Madison 1921 912 489
5. Stephen F. Austin 1969 912 376
6. Texas 1977 874 297
7. Ohio St. 1966 869 363
8. Tennessee Tech 1971 840 421
9. Stanford 1977 837 276
10. Georgia 1974 818 345
11. Penn St 1965 812 375
12. Kansas St 1969 809 480
13. Connecticut 1983 806 180
14. Texas Tech 1975 804 373
14. Long Beach St 1964 804 460
16. Auburn 1972 802 363
Kristy Curry is also now six wins away from her 100th win at Texas Tech, second only to hall of fame coach Marsha Sharp. Here is how the all-time wins at Texas Tech break down by each head coach and era:
YEARS COACH RECORD
2006-now Kristy Curry 96-73
1982-2006 Marsha Sharp 572-175
1980-1982 Donna Wick 30-29
1977-1980 Gay Benson 73-47
1975-77 Susie Lynch 33-35
Texas Tech junior point guard Monique Smalls had a career-high 11 assists on Wednesday against UTA. She also did not have a turnover for the third-consecutive game. Smalls is currently leading the country with a 7-to-1 assist to turnover ratio, totaling 42 assists and only six turnovers.
Texas Tech has been off to quick starts in nearly every game this season. The Lady Raiders are outscoring opponents 143-53 in the first eight minutes of the game through eight games this season with 32 steals while forcing 49 turnovers.
Texas Tech leads the Big 12 Conference and is No. 4 nationally with 16 steals per game this season. The Lady Raiders have 18 or more steals against four opponents thisseason (UTA, Texas State, UMKC and New Mexico).
Texas Tech is second in the Big 12 Conference in scoring margin (30.6) and fifth overall in the country. The Lady Raiders are also second in conference in scoring with 83 points per game which is 8th best in the country.
OFF THE BOARDS
The Lady Raiders are leading the Big 12 Conference in rebounding defense (32.1) and are second in rebounding offense (50.4). They also lead the conference in rebounding margin (+18.2) which is also fourth-best among all NCAA Division I teams. Kierra Mallard (4.4 offensive rebs/game), Shauntal Nobles (4.0), Kelsi Baker (2.8) and Christine Hyde (2.6) are in the Top 15 in the Big 12 for offensive rebounds per game.