Finishing without a win in conference play for the first time in program history, Texas Tech women’s basketball received the No. 10 seed in the Big 12 Tournament.
The Lady Raiders are looking for their first win in the tournament since knocking out Texas in the first round in 2012 as they face off against No. 7 TCU (17-13) at 8:30 p.m. tonight.
Game time is subject to change depending on when the 6 p.m. game between No. 8 Kansas and No. 9 Kansas State ends.
“If we can handle can handle their 2-3 (zone) and make some shots, I think we should be in the ball game and be competitive and have a chance to win,” head coach Candi Whitaker said. “This team needs another opportunity and a clean slate going into the conference tournament.”
This will be the first meeting in the Big 12 Tournament between these two teams.
Tech leads the overall series 39-3, but the Horned Frogs won both games during the regular season this year.
Junior guard Amber Battle is hoping the third time is the charm for the Lady Raiders.
“I was thinking about last year how we played OSU twice and beat them and they beat us in the first round,” Battle said. “Anything can happen.”
Texas Tech lost by only nine in the first meeting between the two teams in Lubbock but then fell by 15 on the road a month later.
That’s been the case this season as Tech plays well against conference teams at homes but struggles against them on the road.
Overall, Texas Tech has lost by an average of 11.6 points in United Spirit Arena while almost tripling that average (29.7) points away from the USA.
“We need to play on the road,” Whitaker said. “We’ve shown that we can compete with these teams at home but we haven’t done well on the road. We need to figure that out. As a young, experienced team you have to show progress in that area and we haven’t been able to do that. It’s an opportunity for them to learn and hopefully make a change going to a neutral site in Oklahoma City.”
No matter where the teams matched up earlier this year, the Lady Raiders had trouble with TCU’s zone defense in both games, failing to pass fake and turning the ball over.
“They have really good shooters and a good 2-3 zone,” Battle said. “We just have to be patient and take good shots.”
The Horned Frogs are led by sophomore guard Zahna Medley with 16.4 points.
Medley was recently named to the All-Big 12 First Team while senior center Latricia Lovings was named to the Big 12 All-Defense Team, leading the conference with 3.9 blocks per game.
For the Lady Raiders, Battle was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team, joining Nikki Moody (Iowa State), Leticia Romero (Kansas State), Morgan Hook (Oklahoma) and Imani McGee-Stafford (Texas).
“Really proud for Amber and our program,” Whitaker said. “Amber’s ahd a great season, I thought stepped up and took on a completely different role from her previous seasons at Tech and embraced that and the pressure that comes with being a go to player and made a lot of plays for us.”
Battle finished the regular season leading the Lady Raiders in points and rebounds with 16.2 and 7.5 respectively.
“It’s a good feeling,” Battle said. “I owe it all to my coaches and my teammates for putting me in good positions the whole season. I’m just blessed to have this opportunity to be mentioned.”
Big 12 Tournament Bracket
Friday, March 7
Game 1: No. 8 Kansas vs. No. 9 Kansas State at 6 p.m.
Game 2: No. 7 TCU vs. No. 10 Texas Tech at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 8
Game 3: No. 4 Oklahoma State vs. No. 5 Iowa State at 11 a.m.
Game 4: No. 1 Baylor vs. Game 1 Winner at 1:30 p.m.
Game 5: No. 2 West Virginia vs. Game 2 Winner at 6 p.m.
Game 6: No. 3 Texas vs. No. 6 Oklahoma at 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 9
Game 7: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner at 2 p.m.
Game 8: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner at 4:30 p.m.
Monday, March 10
Game 9: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner at 8 p.m.
Side by side
58.0 Scoring 62.7
69.3 Opponent Scoring 57.7
.365 Field Goal Pct. .389
.274 3-Point Pct. .305
.710 Free Throw Pct. .687
35.4 Rebounds 37.1
10.5 Assists 11.1
15.6 Turnovers 14.4
6.0 Steals 10.0
3.5 Blocks 6.3
Who: Texas Tech vs. TCU
When: 8:30 p.m. tonight
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City
Records: Tech 6-23 overall, 0-18 in Big 12; TCU 17-13 overall, 8-10 in Big 12
Last Meeting: TCU 72, Tech 57 on Feb. 8, 2014
TV: FOX College Sports - Central
Radio: 97.3 FM
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