Mar 8 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Tech Lady Raiders forward Casey Morris (15) shoots against the Baylor Lady Bears during the first half of the quarters of the 2012 Big 12 Tournament at Municipal Auditorium. Baylor beat Texas Tech 72-48. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE

Big 12 Women's Basketball Preview: Texas Tech Lady Raiders

Last season went pretty well for the Texas Tech Lady Raiders. They were undefeated in their non-conference schedule and even started off 14-0. They even pulled off a four point upset over #12 Penn State. After the 14-0 start, the Lady Raiders lost five straight games and ended with a record of 19-13 overall after the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

They did not make the NCAA Tournament, but did made the NIT Tournament. They won their first two NIT Tournament games, but lost in the 3rd Round to San Diego (a team they beat by one point earlier in the season).

A bright spot for the Lady Raiders coming into the 2012-2013 season is junior forward Jackie Patterson. Patterson is a transfer from Hutchinson Community College. While at Hutchinson last season, she averaged 16.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists and led the team to a 36-1 record and a NJCAA national championship game appearance. This past week, Patterson was voted the Big 12 Conference 2012-13 Preseason Newcomer of the Year by the leagues coaches.

One player that Texas Tech will be without this season is there leading scorer, rebounder, and blocker, Kierra Mallard. During her senior season, she averaged 10.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and had a total of 66 blocks. Without the presence of Mallard this season, the Lady Raiders will need someone to step up in the scoring, rebounding, and blocking departments this season.

One of the Lady Raiders that we could see stepping up this season is Casey Morris. Morris is a senior guard from Fairfield, California. During her junior season with Texas Tech, she averaged 10.1 points while having a total of 77 steals (led team). Morris also had the most three pointers with 165 of them on the season and had a three point average of .339.

The Lady Raiders’ non-conference schedule is pretty packed with power conference teams. The power conference teams in which Texas Tech will play this season include: Arizona State (Pac-12), Illinois (Big Ten), Michigan State (Big Ten), and Oregon State (Pac-12).

Texas Tech will also participate in the Basketball Travelers Invitational and the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic. They should be able to repeat their success from last year in non-conference play.

The non-conference schedule might look manageable for Texas Tech, but their Big 12 Conference schedule does not. The Lady Raiders will play every Big 12 Conference team twice this season. These teams include the defending champion Baylor Bears and the Oklahoma Sooners (#1 and #2 respectively in the Big 12 last year).

Also, seven of the teams in the Big 12 Conference went to the NCAA Tournament last season and one went to the NIT Tournament. This is a tough conference with the additions of West Virginia and TCU.

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Tags: Big 12 Lady Raiders Texas Tech

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