Lady Raiders Set to Open Season

The Lady Raiders open the 2011-2012 season at home on Friday against the New Mexico Lobos.

The two exhibition games are done and out of the way, now it is time for the Lady Raiders to tip-off the 2011-2012 regular season.

Texas Tech opens its season at home with a meeting with New Mexico at 6 p.m. on Friday inside the United Spirit Arena.

The Lady Raiders hope to, after making to the NCAA Tournament last season, open the season in front of a strong home crowd.

"Oh yeah, it's so much, just automatic energy when you walk in this place before the balls even been tipped off," Senior forward Jordan Barncastle said. "It's just an awesome feeling to know they're in it, and it just hypes us up."

The Lady Raiders of course are returning the majority of the NCAA Tournament team from last season, and added a standout player in Amber Battle.

When it comes to the Lobos, it is not the same story as the team has been through a lot over the past year.

Yvonne Sanchez was named the fifth head coach in program history, replacing Don Flanagan, after serving for 11 years as the assistant and associate head coach for the Lobos.

New Mexico went 13-18 last season and missed the post season for the first time in 13 years.

 Heading into this game the roster will be diminished once again for the Lobos with the loss of Sara Halasz for the second consecutive season to an ACL injury.

In her sophomore season she finished second on the team with 10.2 points per game and 4.9 boards per game.

Also another thing that does not help the situation is the loss of the entire freshmen signing class at the end of last season.

Now turning the attention back to the Lady Raiders, they are coming off a huge 30-point win against Metro State to close out their preseason schedule.

The Lady Raiders were able to share the ball quite a bit and also show off the strength of their bench as well - the Tech bench contributed 20 points and 12 boards.

Battle, who had three boards and four points off the bench and is an Albuquerque native, might have the chance to play against the team from her home state and said it will be nice.

"I'm pretty excited for it to see both New Mexico and Tech crowds, to see who's going to come out," she said. "I'm just excited to get underway."

Tech and New Mexico tip off at 6 p.m. inside the United Spirit Arena.

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