Lady Raiders face tough task in tournament

The brutal Big Twelve season may have ended for the Lady Raiders, but things only get harder form here. Texas Tech will travel to Dallas for a probable second round matchup with the Baylor Lady Bears.

Texas Tech may hold a two win edge over Baylor, but that doesn't ensure an easy victory in Dallas. While analysts will doubtlessly point out the challenge of beating a team three times in a single season, the real reason this game is so dangerous has nothing to do with that myth. For starters, both games against Baylor have been very close. The first victory, which was in Lubbock, was one close call from going to overtime. The call involved Jes Stratton being called out of bounds in the final seconds of the game, which gave Texas Tech the ball and the 64-63 victory. The call prompted a post game tirade by Baylor Head Coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson which led to a reprimand by the Big Twelve. The second game was also a close one, though no controversy was involved in the finish. Freshman Alesha Robertson scored 25 points to lead the Lady Raiders to a 62-59 victory in Waco.

A pair of close games doesn't always indicate a close third game, but in this case the third game of the season between these teams could be the closest game of the second round. Baylor's style of play could be called physical if you wanted to be polite. The Lady Bears will foul any Texas Tech player brave enough to enter the lane. While Kim Mulkey-Robertson may claim that the refs are making bad calls, there is a reason that the Lady Bears frequently outpace their opponents in fouls. Baylor does have a nice assortment of talent, but the first goal of the Lady Bears seems to be neutralizing any advantage that the opponent may have. So far the Lady Raiders have survived their physical battles with Baylor, but only by the narrowest of margins.

The other factor heading into the matchup is the loss of Cisti Greenwalt. Greenwalt had been an important factor in both matchups, especially on the defensive end. The sophomore blocked a total of six shots in the previous two contests. Without Greenwalt the Lady Raiders will have to find away to slow down the powerful Baylor front line. If the Lady Raiders don't find a way to stop Blackmon and Young it could be a long game for Texas tech fans. Even if they do make it past Baylor, the physical nature of the game is sure to make the next game an tougher test.

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