Lady Raiders Take On Santa Clara

Jia Perkins aims to have another big game against Santa Clara.

Jia Perkins aims to have another big game against Santa Clara.
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Dec. 29, 2000

Santa Clara Broncos (7-3, 0-0 WCC) vs. #10/11 Texas Tech Lady Raiders (9-1, 0-0 Big 12) December 30, 2000 * Santa Clara, Calif. * 4 p.m. CST Leavey Event Center (5,000)

No. 10/11 Texas Tech (9-1) takes on Santa Clara (7-3) today at the Leavey Event Center in Santa Clara, Calif. It is the third meeting between the two teams.

Scouting the Opponent
Santa Clara enters the game with a 7-3 record after losing to Maryland, 72-50, last Wednesday. In that game, senior Annie Garrison scored a team-high 11 points followed by junior Caroline Gruening with 10. Gruening also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, while junior Becki Ashbaugh dished out four assists.

On the year, Garrison leads the team in scoring with a 12.4 average followed by Gruening at 9.7 and senior Jennifer Glysson at 9.6. Garrison is the top rebounder, grabbing 8.3 boards a game. Ashbaugh has a team-high 54 assists, while Gruening leads the team in steals with 15. Garrison is the top shot blocker with 18 blocks. The Broncos are shooting 43.3 percent from the field, 31.5 percent from three-point range and 71.2 percent from the free throw line.

Chris Denker is in his first year as a head coach with a record of 7-3.

Series Record
Texas Tech holds 2-0 record over Santa Clara after winning last year's contest, 63-54, in Lubbock on Jan. 5, 2000.

A Look Ahead
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 443-135 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) - Jia Perkins has a simple philosophy to winning: just give her the ball.

Perkins had a key steal and four free throws in the final 2:26 as No. 10 Texas Tech beat Rice 63-56 Thursday night.

It was the first of two free throws - following the steal - by Perkins that put Tech ahead for good at 57-56.

Rice (8-3) was led by Kenya Tuttle with 16 points and Aarika Florus with 13.

Texas Tech started the second half with five straight points to open its biggest lead at 37-24. Rice then outscored the Lady Raiders 13-2 to cut the deficit to 39-37 with 13:29 remaining.

Perkins then scored five quick points and Plenette Pierson scored four, giving the Lady Raiders a 48-39 advantage with 10 minutes left. Pierson had 17 points in the game.

A basket by Starla James started an eight-point run by Rice that gave the Lady Owls their first lead of the game at 54-53 with 4:18 left.

The Lady Raiders then outscored Rice 10-2 in the final 4:01, with the steal by Perkins keying the decisive rally. Eight of the final 10 points came on free throws.

A pair of 3-point baskets by Candi White sparked Texas Tech to an 8-4 lead. Three straight baskets by Pierson and a 3-point shot by White gave the Lady Raiders a 21-11 advantage with 6:08 left in the first half. Rice then outscored Texas Tech 12-2, with six points from Florus, to tie at 23-23, with 2:19 left in the half.

The Lady Raiders responded with four straight points by Katrisa O'Neal to regain the lead. After a free throw by Rice, Amber Tarr scored five points in the final 38 seconds of the half to give the Lady Raiders a 32-24 lead.

Team Leaders
Texas Tech is led in scoring by sophomore Plenette Pierson, who is averaging 14.3 points per game. Senior Katrisa O'Neal and freshman Jia Perkins are each adding 13.4 points per outing, while junior Amber Tarr is averaging 10.2 points. Pierson is the top rebounder, averaging 6.5 boards per outing followed by junior Tanisha Ellison with 6.4 rebounds. Brown has a team-high 75.8 field goal percentage, while junior Candi White is shooting 55.6 percent and both Pierson and Tarr at 50 percent . Perkins has team highs of 50 assists and 31 steals. Pierson is the top shot blocker with nine blocks. On the year, the Lady Raiders are shooting 45.2 percent from the field, 41.8 percent from three-point range and 65.3 percent from the free throw line.

Career High Boards for Tarr
Junior Amber Tarr grabbed a career-high eight rebounds in Tech's win at Rice Dec. 28. Her previous high was six against North Carolina State earlier this season.

Block Buster
Sophomore Plenette Pierson tied her career high of three blocks against Rice Dec. 22 as it marked the fourth time in her career that she has recorded three blocks in a game. She also tied her career-high three assists.

Sinking the Three
Junior Candi White sank a career-high three three-point baskets as she went 3-for-3 from three-point range against Rice Dec. 22.

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 One More Week
Freshman Dionne Brown will be sidelined for one more week 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.

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 291. She needs 12 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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