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Lady Raiders host Jayhawks next

Whitaker said they are focusing on getting better every day.

Posted: January 31, 2014 - 11:49pm  |  Updated: February 1, 2014 - 1:22am
Texas Tech and Minta Spears will look for their first Big 12 win of the year when they host Kansas today. (Tori Eichberger/AJ Media)
Texas Tech and Minta Spears will look for their first Big 12 win of the year when they host Kansas today. (Tori Eichberger/AJ Media)
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The Texas Tech women’s basketball team is ready to get the sour taste out of their mouths after their 92-43 loss to No. 9 Baylor in Waco.

“That was not a good performance,” head coach Candi Whitaker said. “I didn’t particularly like the way we competed.”

Texas Tech, at 6-14 overall and 0-9 in Big 12 play, isn’t focused so much on end results or records.

Instead, Whitaker said they are focusing on getting better every day.

During games, she wants her team to compete.

“I want them to step on the floor and be ready to make plays and compete and not be afraid to do those things,” Whitaker said. “They (need to) bow their chests and get it done.”

Today, the Lady Raiders have the opportunity to compete at a higher level against Kansas, a team who is 1-8 against Texas Tech in Lubbock.

Whitaker expects her team to be better this time around against the Jayhawks after falling 67-46 to KU in Allen Fieldhouse earlier this season.

“I thought we were better the second time against Iowa State,” Whitaker said. “I think our team is a young team that when they can see themselves against someone, they learn quicker.”

Kansas (10-11 overall, 3-6 in Big 12) is led by junior forward Chelsea Gardner with 16.2 points, followed by junior guard Asia Boyd with 11.7 and senior guard CeCe Harper with 10.

Gardner is No. 13 in the country in field goal percentage at 58.6 percent.

While the Jayhawks look for Garnder on the block, they also utlize the ball screen near the top of the key.

“Getting down, being ready, focused and having the determination to guard the ball is essentially what it takes,” Whitaker said. “You have to have to want to.”

Kansas finished shooting 46.3 percent from the field in the first matchup between the two teams this year while Tech struggled at 29.4 percent.

Currently, junior guard Amber Battle is pacing Texas Tech with 18.3 points per game.

Freshmen guards Ivonne CookTaylor and Minta Spears are Tech’s No. 2 and No. 3 scorers in conference play with 6.6 and 5.7 points per contest.

“I’m just looking to contribute to my team,” Spears said, “whether it be scoring, assists or defensive stops.”

On Jan. 11, Kansas owned the boards, outrebouding the Lady Raiders 52-25.

“I think it’s just heart, going after rebounds, and being aggressive,” freshman guard Minta Spears said. “If we come out ready to play, hopefully we’ll get more rebounds.”

krista.pirtle@lubbockonline.com

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Side by side

Tech KU

60.3 Scoring 66.0

67.9 Opponent Scoring 65.9

37.7 Field Goal Pct. 42.5

27.3 3-Point Pct. 31.5

72.3 Free Throw Pct. 69.4

36.2 Rebounds 37.0

11.1 Assists 13.4

16.9 Turnovers 16.9

3.5 Blocks 4.4

6.3 Steals 7.2

College basketball

Who: Texas Tech vs. Kansas

When: 4 p.m. today

Where: United Spirit Arena

Records: Tech 6-14 overall, 0-6 in Big 12; KU 10-11 overall, 3-6 in Big 12

Last Meeting: KU 67, Tech 46 on Jan. 11, 2014

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: 97.3 FM

Twitter: @AJ_KristaPirtle

krista.pirtle@lubbockonline.com

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Follow Krista on Twitter

@AJ_KristaPirtle

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