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GAME PREVIEW: No. 15 Texas Tech at Illinois




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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

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

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.

PROBABLE STARTERS

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

GETTING STARTED

Texas Tech Starters vs New Mexico: G Monique Smalls, G Christine Hyde, G Casey Morris, F Kierra Mallard, F Shauntal Nobles.

Texas Tech Starters at Houston: G Monique Smalls, G Christine Hyde, G Casey Morris, F Kierra Mallard, F Shauntal Nobles.

Texas Tech Starters vs. UMKC: G Monique Smalls, G Christine Hyde, G Casey Morris, F Kelsi Baker, F Kierra Mallard

Texas Tech Starters vs. Central Arkansas: G Monique Smalls, G Christine Hyde, G Casey Morris, F Kelsi Baker, F Kierra Mallard

Texas Tech Starters vs. ULM: G Monique Smalls, G Christine Hyde, G Casey Morris, F Kelsi Baker, F Kierra Mallard

Texas Tech Starters vs Texas State: G Monique Smalls, G Christine Hyde, G Casey Morris, F Kelsi Baker, F Kierra Mallard

Texas Tech Starters vs Penn State: G Monique Smalls, G Christine Hyde, G Casey Morris, F Kelsi Baker, F Kierra Mallard

Texas Tech Starters vs UTA: G Monique Smalls, G Christine Hyde, G Casey Morris, F Kelsi Baker, F Kierra Mallard

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.

IN ATTENDANCE

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.

UNDEFEATED

Texas Tech is only one of three undefeated teams in the Big 12 (Baylor, Oklahoma State) and only one of 15 nationally.

RECORD NIGHT

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

COACHING WINS

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     

                                                    804-373

NATIONAL LEADER

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.

FAST STARTS

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.

SWIPING CLEAN

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).

SCORING BIG

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.

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