The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: So Many Games This Weekend

There’s a handful of games starting today and we’ve got details on all of them, from football, to soccer, Lady Raiders and the men’s basketball teams.

It’s a big weekend this weekend, starting with women’s basketball at 11 am, then soccer late this afternoon, then men’s basketball tonight, followed with football tomorrow. Gonna be a busy day.

Lady Raider Basketball

When: Friday, November 13th @ 11:00 am
Where: United Supermarkets Arena

Lady Raiders Open Against Niagra. Via the official site, the Lady Raiders and Candi Whitaker will open their game against Niagra, tip-off is at 11:00 am this morning. Admission is free, so if you’re just hanging out, this could be a great option this morning. Here’s Whitaker:

“The environment is going to be awesome with it being Education Day and having thousands of kids in the arena,” Whitaker said. “We think that kind of energetic environment will have the team ready to go, even with it being an 11 a.m. tip. It’s going to be a great start to our season. We know the players are just really excited to get started. Niagara has a good team, and because they have a new coach, it’s a little more difficult to prepare, so we’re going off player tendencies and really focusing on ourselves as well.”

Fast Break. LAJ’s Nicholas Talbot has a fast break notebook with a bit from Whitaker on improving from the exhibition game:

“From the exhibition you can take the good and the bad,” Whitaker said. “The bad was our decision making — we had way too many turnovers. We watched a lot of film on that and how to attack the zone, so hopefully if we see that we will be better.”

Soccer

When: Friday, November 13th @ 7:00 pm
Where: John Walker Soccer Complex

Texas Tech Hosts North Texas in First Round of NCAA Tournament. Via the official site, the ladies of the soccer team and Tom Stone take on North Texas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament:

The Red Raiders will enter the match on a five game winning streak and meet a strong defensive team in North Texas who has not allowed a goal in their last three appearances. Both of the teams earned an automatic bid the NCAA Championship by right of winning their respective conference championships. UNT defeated Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee and Marshall en rout to their fourth NCAA appearance following their first C-USA Tournament Title. Texas Tech battled their way through the Big 12 Championship as the fifth seed. The Red Raiders defeated Oklahoma 2-1 in the quarterfinals before shutting out No. 2 West Virginia in the semifinal round. Texas Tech claimed its first Big 12 Championship on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Kansas.

Building Blocks. LAJ’s Krista Pirtle writes about how the seniors have been the building blocks to changing the face of the program:

nstead, the freshman class of 2012 was tasked with a more challenging role — pushing the Red Raiders over the top.

Now, seven seniors — Janine Beckie, Ashley Casey, Hannah Devine, Bethany Hale, Caity Heap, Briana Rohmer and Murphy — have done that and more for Texas Tech, as they prepare for their fourth-straight NCAA Tournament.

“The biggest steps are easier,” Texas Tech coach Tom Stone said. “It’s those tiny steps to go from top 50 to top 15. That’s what this class did. They put us in that rare status of top 20. They’re the ones that put us over. That’s the hardest job of all.”

Basketball

When: Friday, November 13th @ 8:00 pm
Where: United Supermarkets Arena

Texas Tech Opens Against High Point. Via the official site, Texas Tech will open against High Point, which is Tubby Smith’s alma mater:

“Every season’s opening game has a lot of nostalgia around it and a lot of nervous energy to see how the players are going to respond,” Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said. “I think we’re ready. We’re way ahead of where we were last year at this point. I want to see unselfish play, and I want to see the basketball shared. We need to limit our mistakes. We have a good group of players. They’re athletic, and they’re a fun team to be around and to coach.”

Notebook: Smith’s Alma Mater. LAJ’s Krista Pirtle also has a notebook and Smith and Toddrick Gotcher said that the biggest thing that they’ve been working on is the intensity and pressuring the ball:

“That’s been our biggest thing, pressuring the ball and not letting them make easy passes on the perimeter or inside,” senior Toddrick Gotcher said. “Coach has been on us real hard with intensity and ball pressure.”

But defending the ball hasn’t been the only area where Smith wants to see more intensity.

It’s been all over the floor on the defensive end.

“Talking on defense has been a big emphasis as well,” Odiase said. “Talking and playing with intensity.”

Pirtle also breaks down the new NCAA rule changes so check that out.

Football

When: Saturday, November 14th @ 2:30 pm
Where: Jones AT&T Stadium

Knowing What to Expect. CJ Online’s Ken Corbitt writes that both of these teams know what to expect from each other and K-State head coach Bill Snyder says that the Wildcats will have to reduce the big plays for Texas Tech:

“If we want to have success you’ve got to dramatically reduce the number of substantial yardage plays that you give up,” Snyder said. “This isn’t the easiest team in the world to do that against, but it has been done. West Virginia did a nice job against them in that respect.”

As for the Wildcats offense, they had success running the ball against Baylor with quarterback Joe Hubener picking up 153 of their 258 yards.

The Red Raiders — who have lost three straight games and need one win in their final two to become bowl eligible — are last in the Big 12 in rushing defense and No. 125 nationally, giving up 273.6 yards a game.

Stopping the Skid. The Collegian’s Timoth Everson writes that both Texas Tech and Kansas State look to stop their respective losing streaks and Bill Snyder appreciates QB Patrick Mahomes:

“Well to me, he’s a very competitive young guy,” K-State head coach Bill Snyder said. “I appreciate that about him. … He’s not afraid to run the ball by any stretch of the imagination. He’ll bring it down and bring it out, and he’s not afraid to put his pads down and run into you. I just like his competitive spirit, and I think that provides a great deal of leadership for his football team.”

Miscellaneous. Football Study Hall’s Bill Connelly has his weekly picks, and for the first time in a long time, Texas Tech is the pick, even against the spread . . . the ESPN Big 12 Blog Bros pick the games and they all pick Texas Tech . . . DMN’s Michael DuPont previews and predicts the Kansas State vs. Texas Tech game . . . Campus Insiders’ Pete Fiutak previews and predicts the game as well . . .

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