Nov. 3, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas -- The Texas Tech women's basketball team will open exhibition play on Sunday at 2 p.m. against Midwestern State in the team's only exhibition game this season.
"We're definitely excited for the year to start," assistant coach Shereka Wright said. "Our kids have been working hard and really doing a good job of listening to us on what we want them to improve on from the previous year and they've really adjusted and moved on so we're excited to see what they can do."
Tech returns nine players from last season's WNIT team that finished 21-14. Among the nine returning letter winners are five seniors - Monique SmallsChynna BrownCasey MorrisChristine Hyde and Mary Bokenkamp.
Smalls, Morris and Brown are expected to return to their starting positions in the backcourt along with junior forwardKelsi Baker and junior transfer forward Jackie Patterson, who could see significant time at the forward position withShauntal Nobles out indefinitely.
Patterson was a two-time All-American at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, leading the Lady Dragons to the NJCAA National Championship game last season while averaging 16.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
Also playing in their first game at Tech alongside Patterson will be freshmen Shunta NevittKellyn Schneider and PARADE All-American Minta SpearsIvonne Cook-Taylor, the fourth member of the 2012 freshman class, will miss the season after tearing her ACL during the first month of preseason practices.
And there will also be a familiar face on the other side of the court as former Lady Raider and current Midwestern State head coach Noel Johnson will make her return to Lubbock. Johnson was a four-year letter winner at Texas Tech from 1991 to 1995, she earned all-region honors and was a three-time All-Southwest Conference performer while helping lead the Lady Raiders to four-straight Southwest Conference titles, four NCAA Sweet 16 appearances and the 1993 National Championship.
The game is open to the public and free parking will be offered in the lots surrounding the arena.