Lady Raiders look to Complete Sweep in Austin

Texas Tech travels to Austin tonight to try and cap off a season-series sweep which hasn't been done since 2006.

The Lady Raiders travel to the State Capital tonight to try and accomplish something the program hasn't done since the 2005-2006 campaign – sweep the season-series against the Longhorns.

Texas Tech (17-7, 5-7 in Big 12 Conference Play) looks to take down Texas (14-10, 4-8) for the second time this season on its home court tonight at 7 p.m. inside the Frank Erwin Center.

"It's not so much about Texas as it is it that would just be icing on the cake to know that you did that against Texas," Tech head coach Kristy Curry said. "It's more about a sense of urgency like I said, and the fact we need to continue to win to put ourself in a position for March the way we want to be."

To get, what has been an elusive win, this season Tech will have to do it without the production of leading scorer Kierra Mallard.

The senior went down with an apparent left knee injury on Sunday in the 51-41 win against Iowa State with just 58 seconds left in the first half. Mallard did not return to the game and on Monday it was found out, thanks to an MRI, that she had hyperextended her knee and her status was day-to-day.

Without Mallard the Lady Raiders will have to go to the depth the team possesses, but the team has gone through this once already this season when Mallard went down with an undisclosed injury for a couple of games.

With Mallard struggling to stay healthy, junior Chynna Brown has stepped like she has in the past, as she was named the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year last season.

Brown, who got her first start of the season against Iowa State, led all scorers with 19 points on 8-for-17 shooting, marking her second straight game to go for double-digits in points for the Lady Raiders.

Despite getting starts now instead of coming off the bench Brown said she is still humble about any opportunity she gets and she doesn't change her approach to the game. 

"Same thing, just being aggressive, helping my teammates out," she said. "Even though I'm starting now, I still want to be there to support. Still want to get loose balls, rebounds, just do anything and everything to help my team win."

On the other side of the court stand the Longhorns, who the Lady Raiders beat in Lubbock back on January 28, 75-71, taking the first end of the season series.

Since that loss, Texas has struggled dropping games to Kansas State, Iowa State and Kansas before snapping the four-game skid against Oklahoma State on Saturday with a 69-53 victory.

Leading the way for the Longhorns has been sophomore guard Chassidy Fussell, who went for 19 points leading Texas in scoring in its loss to Tech earlier this season.

Fussell also missed a potential game-changing shot with time running down, but fired it off the side of the backboard giving Tech the ball back and the eventual win.

Fussell has started in 23 of the Longhorns 24 games this season and is averaging 16.7 points per game, but is not alone in averaging double-digits night in and night out.

Yvonne Anderson and Ashleigh Fontenette both average close to 11 points a game, 11.7 and 11.3, respectively.

To get a win in Austin, where the Longhorns have posted a 9-4 overall record and 3-3 mark in Big 12 play, the Lady Raiders will have to stop that trio.

Senior Jordan Barncastle said she doesn't know why it has been so tough to beat them in Austin but they want to have a different outcome than in the past few seasons.

"I'd like to make a change, it hasn't even been close the last couple of games, which I don't know why," she said. "We're very capable of beating them, and I think we're the better team."


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