When the final whistle sounded at the 1993 NCAA Women’s Championship Game between Texas Tech and Ohio State, Ray Glass went to work.
While the Lady Raiders stormed the court and thousands of fans left their seats and cheered, Glass had little time to bask in what he had just seen.
Glass was the assistant sports editor and Lady Raiders beat writer at the Avalanche-Journal during the 1992-1993 basketball season.
He followed the team to the Southwest Conference tournament and to the NCAAs, eventually ending up in Atlanta.
“I’d covered them for a long time, and they were always a winning team, but that was the year that they got over the hump and they were the best team,” said Glass, who is now retired and living in Colorado. “And that was kind of neat to realize that you were covering the best team in the nation. But after that, basically all I felt was, ‘Gosh, I’ve got to write 10 or 12 stories. I’d better get busy here.’”
Thanks to an afternoon game, Glass had time to surf through the crowd and find fans and family members of the team while Tech went through the postgame ceremony and cut down the nets, he said.
“I think there were some fans who just still couldn’t quite believe that they had actually won it all,” Glass said. “It was just a big party.”
Glass covered his first college basketball game in 1984, then took over as a beat writer a couple of years later. The Southwest Conference used to do doubleheaders for men’s and women’s games, so there was only one writer for the two teams.
Later on, when the SWC stopped having doubleheaders, the A-J had a writer for each team.
Glass remembers watching the team for the half-decade before the title as the program turned into a perennial postseason team.
The season before, during Tech’s first SWC championship, is when it finally got over the hump and dethroned Texas.
Glass said the team got better each game in 1992-1993, and it helped that the Lady Raiders always had the best player on the floor.
“I had covered plenty of Texas Tech teams that would go up against better teams that always had the best player, and that season Texas Tech had the best player in Sheryl Swoopes,” he said.
He continued to cover the team until 2000 when he switched to the features side of the paper. By then, the impact the championship had on Lubbock was noticeable.
“It was just really something to see because there were a lot of people who I think thought women’s basketball would never reach that level at Tech,” Glass said, “and Marsha (Sharp) proved them wrong.”
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