Women's Hoops Face Rice In Texas Showdown

Pierson & Co. face Rice's Lady Owls Thursday night.

Pierson & Co. face Rice's Lady Owls Thursday night.
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Dec. 26, 2000

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Rice Lady Owls (8-2, 0-0 WAC) vs. #10/11 Texas Tech Lady Raiders (8-1, 0-0 Big 12)
December 28, 2000 @ Houston, Texas @ 7 p.m.
Autry Court (5,000)

Tonight's Game
No. 10/11 Texas Tech (8-1) takes on Rice (8-2) Thursday at Autry Court in Houston, Texas at 7 p.m. It is the 33rd meeting between the two teams.

Scouting the Opponent
Rice enters the game with a record of 8-2 after beating New Mexico State, 75-67, on Dec. 21. In that game, freshman Kate Beckler scored a game-high 15 points, while sophomore Kim Lawson added 11 and junior Jennifer Rigg finished with 10 points. Senior Kenya Tuttle grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Beckler dished out three assists.

On the year, Beckler leads the team in scoring with a 12.0 average followed by Rigg with a 10.1 average. Tuttle is the top rebounder, grabbing 8.5 boards per outing. Lawson has team highs of 33 assists and 19 steals. Tuttle leads the in blocks with seven. The Lady Owls are shooting 37.6 percent from the field, 36.3 percent from three-point range and 69.5 percent from the free throw line.

Cristy McKinney is in her eighth season at the helm of the Lady Owls establishing a record of 124-88. She is her 10th year as a coach with an overall record of 151-116. Series Record

Texas Tech holds a 29-3 advantage over Rice after winning last year's game, 69-52, in on Nov. 23, 1999 in Lubbock. The last time Rice was victorious was in an 83-65 triumph on Jan. 7, 1989 in Houston.

A Look Ahead
Texas Tech will head west to face Santa Clara on Dec. 30 at 4 p.m. CST. The Lady Raiders will open Big 12 play on Jan. 3 as they host Missouri at 7 p.m. in the United Spirit Arena. Tech will then go to Oklahoma State on Jan. 6 for a 7 p.m. game before returning home for a game with Baylor on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.

Lady Raider Head Coach Marsha Sharp
One of the most respected and well-known coaches in Texas Tech history, head coach Marsha Sharp is 442-135 in her 19th year at the helm of the Lady Raiders. She has led the Lady Raiders to 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 11 consecutive, and six NCAA Sweet 16 and three Elite Eight appearances and the NCAA National Championship in 1993. Sharp has led the Lady Raiders to three-straight Big 12 Conference regular-season titles and two tournament crowns. 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.

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 Last Time Out
(AP) - Katrisa O'Neal and Plenette Pierson each scored 20 points as No. 11 Texas Tech beat Southern California 85-59 on Friday night to improve to 8-1.

Texas Tech's missed shots and turnovers allowed USC (5-4) to pull within nine points at 60-51 with 9:21 left to play. But Tech held USC scoreless for three minutes and built a 22-point lead.

Southern Cal managed only eight points in the final six minutes.

Amber Tarr and Jia Perkins each had 15 points for Tech. Aisha Hollans led USC with 17 points. Denise Woods added 12.

USC hit 11-of-20 free throws while Tech shot 20-of-26. From the field, Tech shot 31-of-60 and had 22 turnovers. USC shot 22-of-57 and committed 30 turnovers with 7:50 to go.

Team Leaders
Texas Tech is led in scoring by senior Katrisa O'Neal and sophomore Plenette Pierson as each are averaging 14.0 points per game. Freshman Jia Perkins is adding 13.7 points per outing, while junior Amber Tarr is averaging 10.6 points. Junior Tanisha Ellison and Pierson are the top rebounders as both are averaging 6.2 boards per outing and freshman Dionne Brown is averaging 5.8 a game. Brown has a team-high 75.8 field goal percentage, while junior Candi White and Tarr are shooting 52.2 percent and 50.8 percent from the field, respectively. Perkins has team highs of 49 assists, 30 steals and seven blocks. On the year, the Lady Raiders are shooting 45.7 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from three-point range and 65.7 percent from the free throw line.

Double Pleasure for Perkins
Freshman Jia Perkins recorded her first career double-double as she scored 15 points and matched her career high of 10 assists against USC Dec. 22. Perkins was one rebound short of a triple-double as she tallied a career-high nine boards.

Perfect 3s
Texas Tech was 100 percent from three-point range against USC Dec. 22 as junior Amber Tarr was the only Lady Raider to attempt a three-point shot and finished the game 3-for-3. Two Times Against USC

For the second-straight year, sophomore Plenette Pierson scored 20 or more points against USC. Pierson finished with 20 points against the Women of Troy on Dec. 22 and poured in 21 points last year vs. USC.

Stealing the Show
Senior Katrisa O'Neal and sophomore Plenette Pierson each had a season-high four steals in Tech's 85-59 win over USC Dec. 22. Both also finished the game with 20 points apiece.

Tarr Lights It Up
Junior Amber Tarr lit up the United Spirit Arena against Southeastern Louisiana Dec. 19 as she poured in a career-high 25 points while tying her career high of six three-point baskets in 33 minutes of action.

No Silent Night
In Tech's win over Southeastern Louisiana Dec. 19, the Lady Raiders had several players making noise as they set career highs. Career highs in scoring were set by junior Amber Tarr with 25 points followed by freshman Natalie Ritchie with 10, sophomore Alison Cudnoski with nine and freshman Jolee Ayers with six points. Junior Candi White tied her career high of 10 points. Another notable career high set was Ayers' seven rebounds.

Victory Margin
The Lady Raiders' 94-37 triumph over Southeastern Louisiana Dec. 19 marked the largest margin of victory for Texas Tech this season of 57 points.

Season Low TOs
Tech committed a season-low seven turnovers in its game against Southeastern Louisiana Dec. 19. The school record for lowest turnovers in a game is five, which occurred against Texas A&M Jan. 31, 1983.

Team Highs
In the game against Southeastern Louisiana, Tech recorded several season highs, including points (94), field goals made (37), field goal attempts (81), three-point field goals made (8), three-point field goals attempted (21), assists (24), steals (18) and blocks (8).

First OT Game of Season
Texas Tech was victorious in its first overtime game of the year in a 79-75 triumph over No. 13 Oregon. Last season, the Lady Raiders were 2-0 in overtime games, including a double-overtime win at Texas, 91-85, Feb. 23, 2000.

Pierson Rallies Back
After only playing 16 minutes and scoring just six points due to foul trouble against North Carolina State Dec. 9, sophomore Plenette Pierson rallied back to score 20 points and grabbed six rebounds in 34 minutes of play in the win over Oregon Dec. 13.

Welcome Back
Freshman guard Natalie Ritchie got her first playing time of the season against Oregon Dec. 13. Ritchie has been cleared by the doctors to play after having arthroscopic surgery on her right knee on Nov. 10.

Brown Sidelined 1-2 More Weeks
Freshman Dionne Brown will be sidelined for 1-2 more weeks after tearing her medial collateral ligament in her right knee against North Carolina State Dec. 9.

Jackson Matches Career Highs
Freshman Casey Jackson tied her career high of 10 points vs. Oregon Dec. 13. Jackson had scored 10 points in the season opener against Texas-Arlington Nov. 20. She also had a career-high two steals.

Lady Raiders Shoot Season Low
In Tech's 59-51 loss to North Carolina State, the Lady Raiders shot a season-low 31.9 percent from the field, including a season-low 21.4 percent from three-point range. Tech hit just 15 of 47 shot attempts while going 3-for-14 from the three-point arc. The Lady Raiders' best shooting performance of the year came against Southwest Missouri State when they hit 29 of 55 attempts for a 52.7 percentage.

Sinking the Freebies
Texas Tech went 18-of-22 from the free throw line against North Carolina State for an 81.8 percentage, it's highest of the season. The Lady Raiders made a dramatic improvement from the previous game against New Mexico when they shot a season-low 52.6 percent from the charity stripe (20-of-38).

Tech vs. the Top 25
Texas Tech is now 3-1 against teams ranked in the top 25 after beating No. 13 Oregon, 79-75 OT, Dec. 13. The Lady Raiders were also victorious over No. 8 Penn State and No. 16 Southwest Missouri State, while losing to No. 19 North Carolina State.

White Puts Up Career Highs and First Double-Double
Junior Candi White recorded her first career double-double with career highs of 10 points and 10 assists vs. New Mexico Dec. 4. She also added a career-high seven rebounds and a steal, while hitting a career-high two three-pointers.

Pierson Steps Up
Sophomore Plenette Pierson picked up her teammates when they needed her the most against New Mexico Dec. 4. Despite sitting a lot of the first half, Pierson came out in the second half to score 17 of her 24 points. She also tallied seven rebounds in 23 minutes of play.

High Boards for Perkins
Freshman Jia Perkins pulled down a career-high six rebounds in the Lady Raiders' win on New Mexico Dec. 4. Her previous high was five against Southwest Texas Nov. 29.

Tech Allows Second Lowest Points
Texas Tech's 72-30 win over Southwest Texas Nov. 25 marked the second lowest points allowed in the history of Lady Raider basketball. The fewest points Tech has ever allowed was 26 at McMurray on Feb. 24, 1978 in an 84-26 victory. The third fewest points allowed was 31 at TCU, Feb. 25, 1985 as Tech was victorious 65-31.

Brown Has Double Vision

Freshman Dionne Brown recorded her first career double-double against Southwest Texas Nov. 29 as she scored 12 points and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds in 18 minutes of play. She has scored in double figures in three of four games this season.

Making an Impact
Freshman Jia Perkins has made an immediate impact for the Lady Raiders this year. Perkins has scored in double figures in seven of nine games. She is currently third on the team in scoring with a 13.7 average. She leads the teams in assists (49), steals (30) and blocks (7). Perkins is second in three-point field goal percentage at 45.5 percent. She is fourth on the team in free throw percentage at 74.3 percent and tied for fourth in field goal percentage at 48.4 percent.

All-Tournament Team
Senior Katrisa O'Neal, sophomore Plenette Pierson and freshman Jia Perkins were named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament team after the Lady Raiders captured the Paradise Jam Tournament title by beating No. 8 Penn State, 79-71, and No. 16 SW Missouri State, 81-77, in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

First Double-Double
Sophomore Plenette Pierson recorded her first double-double of the season as she scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds vs. SW Missouri State Nov. 25.

Knocking off the Top 10
For the second time in four games, dating back to last season, the Lady Raiders have beaten a top 10 team. Tech defeated No. 5 Notre Dame, 69-65, on March 25 in the NCAA Sweet 16. Then last Friday, the Lady Raiders upset No. 8 Penn State, 79-71, in the first game of the inaugural Paradise Jam Tournament in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Katrisa O'Steal
Senior Katrisa O'Neal ranks second on Tech's all-time career list for steals with 288. She needs 15 steals to tie Camille Franklin for first on the list with 303 steals.

Home Court Streak
Texas Tech has the second longest home-court winning streak in Division I women's basketball. Tech has won 36 straight home games, which is tied with Kent University. Leading the way is Grambling with 66 home victories.

Lady Raiders in the Polls
Since January 20, 1992, the Lady Raiders have been ranked in the Top 25 in Associated Press and/or the USA Today poll a total of 162 weeks. That includes the Dec. 25 rankings of 10th by the AP and 11th by USA Today/ESPN poll

Sharp One of the Elite
Entering the 2000-01 season, head coach Marsha Sharp's .76367 winning percentage ranks her eighth best in the country. Sharp had a 433-134 career record according to NCAA standards. The NCAA does not include forfeits in the overall record, which was 434-134. Sharp won a game by forfeit during the 1988-89 season against Baylor.

Strength of Schedule
According to the WBCA/Summerville Women's Basketball 2000-01 preseason strength of schedule rankings, Texas Tech ranks 29th overall, which includes all opponents for this season. The Lady Raiders rank 20th in non-conference opponents.




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