Texas Tech Lady Raiders vs. UT-Arlington
Arena, 2 p.m., 107.7 FM
Krista Gerlich is one of three Texas Tech women’s basketball greats with a retired jersey hanging in the rafters of United Supermarkets Arena.
On Thursday, Gerlich – in her fourth year as the head coach at University of Texas-Arlington – will face a new challenge as she brings her Lady Mavericks (7-2) to face her alma mater, Texas Tech (7-3), at the United Supermarkets Arena on Thursday at 2 p.m. While teaming with legendary forward Sheryl Swoopes, Gerlich helped direct the Lady Raiders to the 1993 national championship while playing for hall of fame coach Marsha Sharp.
“I was 13 when they won the national championship and growing up in West Texas that was the team and the program we all watched and wanted to be like,” Texas Tech coach Candi Whitaker said. “That team had a huge impact on the entire area.
“I don’t think her comfort level in Lubbock makes her team comfortable in Lubbock, but I do think they will play inspired for her. It is always cool to return to your alma mater and I think her team understands that and will play hard.”
This is the second game this season that two former Lady Raiders coached against each other. The first was when Noel Johnson and Midwestern State came to Lubbock for an exhibition game.
Texas Tech plays its last home game before Big 12 play begins when it faces UTA. And with the holidays coming up over the weekend there is plenty of reason to be distracted. But, the Lady Raiders are staying focused.
“They are a great basketball team and we can’t come to the arena thinking we are better,” Tech guard Larryn Brooks said. “I think this is good timing for us. This is a tough team and it a lot more like what we are going to see in the Big 12.
Whitaker is more concerned with the holiday than her team looking ahead to Texas on Dec. 29.
“The biggest fear is with the holidays (at this time of year). I think every coach worries about that wit hthe excitement of going home and then the details of them getting to and from the airport,” Whitaker said. “It is always a concern of distraction and in now way are we over looking UTA. They have some big road wins and battled with Kansas State.”
UTA comes to Lubbock on a two-game win streak after defeating Texas A&M-Commerce, 80-50, on Sunday.
They are a good team,” Whitaker said. “They are a team that thrives on turning you over and trapping the back court and the front court. They are going to bring a lot looks that you have to handle. They are averaging 25 points off of turnovers, so taking care of the basketball is very important.”
The Lady Raiders hold a 12-1 all-time record over the Lady Mavericks. In the last meeting, Texas Tech defeated UTA, 88-48, on Dec. 7, 2012 in Lubbock. The Lady Raiders are 8-0 in home meetings against the Lady Mavericks.
It probably won’t be that easy Thursday, the Lady Mavs are led by Rebecca Van Dijk, who averages 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Cierra Johnson and Christian Devers also average in double figures with 10.3 and 12.6 points per game respectively.
“They have a great inside player in Van Dijk that they try to run their offense through and try to focus on. They have great athletes on the perimeter that are going to attack you and can shoot it. They are a fairly balance team that can hurt you in a lot of ways.”
Texas Tech (7-3)
Player Pos. Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
R. Caldwell G 5-8 17.1 2.4 4.5
I. CookTaylor G 5-10 7.8 5.4 2.1
L. Brooks G 5-6 7.7 2.0 3.2
A. Guirantes F 6-0 14.5 5.7 1.3
J. Terry C 6-8 13.8 6.8 0.2
Player Pos. Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
A. Evans G 5-4 7.2 1.1 1.4
C. Johnson G 5-6 10.3 6.2 3.4
E. Mattingly G 5-8 4.6 1.8 2.2
C. Devers F 5-9 12.6 4.0 2.1
R. Van Dijk P 6-3 16.7 8.3 0.8