Women's Hoops: Texas Tech-Stanford Preview

One of the best point guards in the nation will be back on the floor Sunday when the Lady Raiders take the floor against the Stanford Cardinal at 2 p.m. Invading Stanford's "home away from home" as the Cardinal close out play in Leavey Center isn't expected to be an easy task: for the second straight outing, the women's hoops team face a foe with more game experience. Tech brings its No. 11/12 national ranking and 1-0 record into its first road game, but Stanford is 4-0 and ranked No. 5/No. 7.

While Texas Tech has a comeback win to bolster its expectations, a long-familiar floor commander will be a welcome addition. Junior Erin Grant is expected to start for Tech, after missing last Monday night's home opener to rest an injury to her right foot incurred a week earlier during an exhibition game against Everyone's Internet. Sophomore point guard Brooke Baughman played 40 minutes during her starting debut as Tech won, 66-55, over Rice.

Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer has a prodigious arsenal to call upon for the 11th meeting between the two teams; the Cardinal leads the series 6-4, although Tech has won the last two games. Senior Kelley Suminski recently scored her 1,000th point while racking up 13 against Louisiana-Lafayette as Stanford took the championship of the Great Alaska Shootout 67-47. Suminski leads the team in three-point production with eight successes in 17 tries.

Stanford came to the finals via a 91-50 victory over Eastern Washington wherein freshman Candice Wiggins, Stanford's lead scorer in three outings, picked up five steals. During that game Stanford stole the ball 21 times, with nine different players picking off at least one steal. Two days earlier the Cardinal collected 18 steals against Pacific, with freshman Cissy Pierce grabbing five. Four games into the year, Stanford has 57 total takeaways.

Junior center Brooke Smith has eight steals to lead her team, and the Cardinal has 23 blocks for the season. The Duke University transfer is leading the team in shooting from the field at .519, and has averaged 21 minutes a contest.

Tech presents Stanford its first game against a ranked opponent. Lady Raider senior center Cisti Greenwalt's 19 points and 15 rebounds sparked Tech's victory over Rice. Sophomore standout Alesha Robertson quietly posted a double-double during the game with 18 points and 10 boards.

Stanford plays five seniors this season. In their last outing Sebnem Kimyacioglu earned Player of the Game honors with 11 points and eight rebounds. T'Nae Thiel, Azella Perryman, and Susan King Borchardt add experienced depth to the Cardinal roster. Kimyacioglu, Suminski, and Wiggins are likely starters along with Perryman and Thiel. Kristen Newlin has a single starting appearance and is averaging almost 17 minutes a game for the Cardinal.

Tech is apt to see its most-experienced starting lineup for the first time this season, with Chesley Dabbs, LaToya Davis, Erin Grant, Cisti Greenwalt, and Alesha Robertson.

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