Preview: Tech Takes Perfect Record To Mizzou

The Lady Raiders have won their first home Big 12 Conference game of the season, now a true road test heading to Columbia, Missouri to face the Lady Tigers.

The Lady Raiders look to continue one of their hottest starts since the 2003-2004 on the road against a squad they haven't beaten in Columbia since that season.

Texas Tech and Missouri clash at 4 p.m. on Saturday inside Mizzou Arena for its first road test of conference play.

Missouri (10-2, 0-1 in Big 12 play) enters their first home conference game coming off a brutal beating by the No. 1 Lady Bears in Waco on Wednesday, 90-46, and Tech head coach Kristy Curry said a team coming off a loss like that is a dangerous one.

"Well I'm sure they're going to be upset, I mean anytime that happens to any of us as competitors, just kind of like walking into a hornet's nest," she said. " I mean we're aware of that but at the same time it's the next game for us need to be just as fired up and ready to go."

No. 13/17 Tech (13-0, 1-0) enters Missouri Arena looking to get its first win there in the Curry era. The Lady Raiders fell there in 2008 and 2010, but got the Tigers last season in Lubbock, 63-56 overcoming a 14-point deficit at one point.

That was the first game that Robin Pingeton, Missouri head coach, got to experience a Curry coached team.

Now Tech has come a long way since then now that they are ranked in the Top 15 for the first time since the 2005 season, and the Lady Raiders have experience paying off.

Senior Kierra Mallard leads the Lady Raiders averaging 14.2 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game and has been a blocking machine of late.

The Dallas native enters this game only four blocks shy of moving into sole possession of second place in all-time blocks with Tech. She currently trails Crystal Boles who sits second all-time with 191 blocks.

Mallard is not the only threat as the bench play of the Lady Raiders continues to step up game after game.

In Tech's win against Oklahoma State, Mary Bokenkamp came off the bench went 2-for-3, but those two shots were huge three-pointers that tied the game and later with three minutes and 37 seconds left in the game gave Tech a 48-46 lead with her other three-pointer of the night – the Cowgirls never led again.

With all the talent on this Tech squad and the second-year head coach still building her program Pingeton said she knows how much of a challenge this will be.

"Well I mean we really have great respect for Kristy (Curry) and what she's built there at Texas Tech," she said. "They've got some great players, they've had a lot of success this season. Our approach here at Missouri we're still at the ground level trying to build a program, so night in and night out it's going to be a battle."

When going into that battle Pingeton's two biggest weapons lie within her two veteran leaders – Christine Flores and BreAnna Brock.

Flores, a senior out of San Antonio, leads the team in scoring averaging 20.9 points per game, which ranks second in the Big 12, and blocks averaging four per game, which ranks third in the conference.

Her partner in crime is hanging right there with her as Brock is second on the team in scoring averaging 15.9 points per game, but leads the squad in rebounding 8.7 per game and field goal percentage hitting 53 percent of her shots this season.

With those two weapons Curry knows her squad has to stop them if she wants her team to walk out of Mizzou Arena with a victory.

"With Missouri, and that's our only focus is our next game, they have two great seniors in Brock and Flores, that night in and night out consistently get double-doubles," she said."They're physical, they're strong, they're just very good. It's going to be tough up there, they're going to pack it in the paint, we're going to have to make shots, make plays offensively.

"They're well coached, they do a great job."


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