OSU Visits USA

<p>Saturday night in the United Spirit Arena will mark several milestones for the 2004-05 Texas Tech Lady Raiders as they host the Oklahoma State University Cowgirls at 7 p.m. The 14thranked Tech women will honor starting center Cisti Greenwalt before the game, which marks the closure of home court play for the Lady Raiders this year. A win would be the 21st of the year and keep Tech in reach of a share in the conference title, as well.

Julie Goodenough, third-year head coach of the Cowgirls, brings a beleaguered squad to Lubbock. OSU has a 2-12 record in conference play, winding down a 7-17 season while shooting 39.3 percent from the field. From three-point country, the Cowgirls have a 30.8 success rate; from the charity stripe, they're hitting 70.9 percent. Senior point guard Nina Stone leads the team with 56 assists and 53 steals this year; she averages 14.8 points a game. Freshman Taleesha Conder, with 11.2, is the next-best shooter in a Cowgirl uniform this season, while sophomore Christian Hood has 44 blocks. OSU faced Texas A&M in their last outing, losing 75-61 in College Station. Stone led all scorers with 16 points; Conder added 15, but that wasn't enough to break OSU's losing streak. Stone set a career-high single-game assist mark with eight.

Tech's Lady Raiders have won 20 games in each of the last 16 consecutive seasons. Against Oklahoma State, they own a 19-12 series lead, winning the last match between the two in Stillwater 76-38. Lady Raiders Chesley Dabbs with 19 points and Alesha Robertson with 14 led the team's scoring; en route to the win, Tech kept OSU at least 22 points down throughout the second half.

Greenwalt, Tech's only senior, came to Lubbock after graduating from Clovis High School in 2001, where she starred in two sports: basketball and volleyball. Tech's inside force is a 6-5 post whose 1,465 points set her high school's all-time scoring record. A Blue Star top five recruit, Greenwalt joined the Lady Raiders' 2001-02 squad in the company of Jametra Clark, Kari Jo Simmons, and LaTosha Daniels.

Of the four, only Greenwalt remains a Lady Raider; but basketball isn't the only place she has proven herself a survivor. Greenwalt's junior season ended early when she fractured her right ankle against Missouri. Almost before her restorative therapy for that injury ended, another diagnosis spelled danger: melanoma, followed by chemotherapy. Not quite a month later, returning to Tech from a visit home, she was in an automobile accident that left her lungs bruised. Floored by a fall during the Iowa State Game, Greenwalt was unable to stand up and the arena fell eerily silent. Tech went on to win, but fans were perhaps more pleased with the after-game report that her injury was only a sprained ankle.

Greenwalt has apparently fully recovered: she leads the team in scoring at 13.6 points per game. Her career block number at the opening of the season was 195; over the year, Greenwalt added to her career total at a 3.44 per-game clip. She has blocked 86 shots so far this season while turning in the team's best rebounding numbers at 9.6 per game.

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