Lady Raider Starters Named to All-Big 12 Team

<p>Texas Tech's entire starting lineup garnered awards Friday when the Big 12 Conference announced its 2004-05 All-Conference roster. Junior point guard Erin Grant and senior center Cisti Greenwalt joined the first team; junior guard Chesley Dabbs was chosen for the second team, and both Tech forwards – junior LaToya Davis and sophomore Alesha Robertson – picked up honorable mention recognition.

Sunday night Tech head Coach Marsha Sharp said the time had come to turn attention to the "next season" – tournament play in the Big 12 Conference Tournament and the NCAA postseason tournament; to that end, the team embarked Monday for Kansas City and the Big 12 post-season conference tournament.

"It's that time of year where you try to get your mentality back," Sharp said, "and concentrate on the next season."

The first step, if expectations hold true, will be a rematch with Iowa State Wednesday. Tech's bye gives the 21-6 Lady Raiders, ranked 13th in the nation, a quarter-final match for their first appearance in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Tournament at 2:30 p.m. in Municipal Auditorium against the winner of the first-round match between Iowa State and the University of Colorado.

"They beat Texas, so us, and Baylor are who they'd like to have some success against in the tournament," Sharp said. She noted that should Tech win both its first and second round games in the NCAA tournament in Dallas March 19 and 21st, the Lady Raiders may return to Kansas City.

"Kansas City is one of the places the NCAA could send you back to," Sharp said. "So if you can win your games there, if you hang around and get used to the floor (during Big 12 tournament play) that can be to your advantage, if that's what the NCAA does to you."

These All Big 12 awards are first-time experiences for Dabbs, Davis, and Greenwalt.

Dabbs' 81.4 percent free throw shooting and 12.5 points per game average, along with sterling defense, brought her recognition on the all-conference second team. She scored in double figures during 16 games this season, starting all 27 contests. Dabbs, a 6-0 shooting guard from Plano who is a business and finance major, earned Big 12 All-academic team honors this year as well.

Davis is the Big 12's most accurate shooter from the field at 61.8 percent for the season. The 6-1 Houston native scored an average 12.2 points per game for Tech while pulling down double-figure points during 19 of the 26 games she played. The emotional leader of the team, Davis also averages 7.2 rebounds an outing. Like Grant, Davis missed one entire game (against Baylor in Lubbock) with an injury.

Greenwalt holds the school and league records for blocked shots in a career with 288. As a senior, the Clovis, N.M. native led her team in both scoring and rebounding, with average of 13.6 points and 9.3 boards per outing. Her first All-Big 12 honor comes with a season record of 10 double-doubles and 20 games of double-figure scoring, as well as a league and school record for single-season blocked shots, with 93 so far.

Tech's starting point guard, Erin Grant, moved up to the first team this year after earning second-team All Big 12 2003-94 recognition. An Arlington native, Grant owns the Texas Tech school record for career assists; she has 621 currently. Her 6.8 dish per game average leads the league; throughout the conference season, Grant's assist-to-turnover ratio has been first or second in the league; in five games, she produced 10 assists or more, including her career best of 15 against A&M in College Station January 30. She averages 8.0 points per game. A business and marketing major, Grant earned Big 12 All-academic honors this year.

Robertson repeated her 2003-04 All-Big 12 team honorable mention performance this season. Another member of the conference all-academic team, the sophomore from Plainview majors in exercise and sports science. She tied for second-best team scoring with Dabbs at 12.5 points a game this year, setting a school mark for most three-point field goals in a game. Against Miami (Florida) in Lubbock, Robertson sank nine treys on her way to the best single-game score of her career, 37 points. She has 16 games in double digits and leads both the Lady Raiders and the Big 12 in free-throw accuracy with an 85.7 percent average.

The Big 12 All-Conference first team, in alphabetical order by school, consisted of Baylor's Sophia Young and Steffanie Blackmon; Iowa State's Anne O'Neil; Kansas State University's Kendra Wecker; Nebraska's Kiera Hardy; Oklahoma's Dionnah Jackson; Texas' Tiffany Jackson and Jamie Carey; and Tech's Grant and Greenwalt. Six first-team honorees – Blackmon, Carey, Greenwalt, Dionnah Jackson, O'Neil, and Wecker -- are graduating seniors this season; Grant and Young are juniors, while Hardy and Tiffany Jackson are sophomores.

Joining Tech's Dabbs on the second team are Leah Rush of Oklahoma, Katie Robinette of Iowa State, Laurie Koehn of Kansas State, and Heather Schreiber of Texas. Only two players – Dabbs and Rush – are not graduating seniors this season.

Honorable mention included Colorado's Veronica Johns-Richardson, Kansas' Erica Hallman and Crystal Kemp, Kansas State's Megan Mahoney, Missouri's Tiffany Brooks and Christelle N'Garsanet, Nebraska's Jina Johansen, Oklahoma State's Nina Stone, Morenike Atunrase of Texas A&M, and Davis and Robertson of Texas Tech.


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