Last week, we revealed our honorable mention and No. 10-6 performances from the past year. Now it’s time to release our Top 5. If you missed any of the lists so far, you can click the link below.
|Staking The Plains Top Ten 2018-2019|
|Athletes (Part 1/Part 2)||Plays (Part 1/Part 2)||Games (Part 1/Part 2)||Performances (Part 1/Part 2)||Programs (Part 1/Part 2)|
No. 5 Felicity Maltby vs Petra Melounova
Why She Was Chosen?: Maltby became the first Red Raider ever to advance to the NCAA Singles Quarterfinals after defeating Hawaii’s Melounova. However, she not only defeated Melounova, but also did so in straight sets, as she won 13 of 18 possible games.
The first set was a little challenging for Maltby, as she quickly found herself down 5-1 early to the No. 61 ranked player. Despite this, the senior didn’t give up and pulled off perhaps the most impressive single match stretch in Red Raider history.
The Californian native needed to win four straight sets to avoid falling in the first set. After she did so, she won the next two to complete the comeback and win the first set. She followed that up by winning the second set without losing a single game.
In total, she won 12 straight games, which is incredibly difficult to do. It’s even more difficult considering it was in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Singles Tournament. Although this performance may get overlooked, it hard to replicate what Maltby did.
— NCAA Tennis (@NCAATennis) May 23, 2019
No. 4 Antoine Wesley vs Houston
Why He Was Chosen?: Last week when we reviewed the top games from the past season, I mentioned this game in honorable mention because of the wackiness and incredible, record breaking performances. This is one of those performances. Antoine Wesley broke Joel Filani’s record for most yards in a single game with 261
He did so by catching 13 passes, three of them for touchdowns. What made it stranger was that he had never come close to having those type of numbers in a game. The most yards he had a game prior was 87 against Lamar. The most catches was six against Ole Miss. He one touchdown in his career, which was also against Lamar.
He achieved these stats from dodging opponents on the way to a 58 yard touchdown in the first quarter, being targeted nine times in the second quarter (two plays resulted in defensive pass interference), completing a 57 yard catch in the third quarter, and scoring on a 33 yard touchdown in the fourth.
This game immediately put national attention on Wesley, and helped put him into consideration for several awards, including the Biletnoff Award and several publication’s All-Big 12 teams. It was also was best performance we saw from a football player this season.
No. 3 Jarrett Culver at Iowa State
Why He Was Chosen?: The Red Raiders can’t call themselves Big 12 champions without this performance. Texas Tech had to win a tough game on the road, and they needed their best player to step up. Fortunately, Jarrett Culver did just that, scoring a career high in points in bring a title back to Lubbock.
He much the game against Northern Kentucky, he scored in various ways. He started off his scoring with a spinning lay-up a few minutes in, then followed it up with an off the dribble three pointer. Later on in the half, he scored on an isolation mid-range shot, followed immediately by lay-up underneath the basket and a fastbreak three pointer.
The sophomore started the second half with a three and a turnaround mid range jumper. He contributed to his scoring his a wide open three, a cutting lay-up and an And-1 to give Tech a lead late in the second. However, Iowa State tied the game with four minutes left and the Red Raiders need Culver to come through.
And did just that. Culver scored on a mid-range jumper to go up five. He added a spinning, acrobatic lay-up later on to extend the lead with a minute to go. A few clutch free throws later, the Red Raiders became Big 12 champs. It was Culver’s best performance ever, and it came at a great time.
No. 2 Matt Mooney vs Michigan State
Why He Was Chosen?: In order for basketball to advance to their first ever National Championship game, the Red Raiders some offense. Michigan State and Texas Tech were in a defensive battle, and the slightest offense would likely propel the other team to victory. That offense came in the form of Matt Mooney.
The 22 points from Mooney was impressive, even more so considering he did all his scoring in a span of 20 minutes. And he did so by two runs where he virtually did all the scoring. The first of which came with 10 minutes left in the first half, when Mooney drained a spot-up deep three and a spinning hook shot to tie the game.
Then came the biggest (nearly) solo run in Texas Tech history. With 14 minutes left in the game and a three point lead for the Red Raiders, Mooney went to work. He started it with a driving lay-up to go up five. A couple minutes later, Mooney hit a spot up three to go up nine. He topped it a possession later with an incredibly deep three to go up 12.
After Michigan state panicked and took a time out, Mooney dripped the ball behind the three point line, took a step back, and drained in to give the Red Raiders a 13 point lead. Even though the Spartans got to within a bucket, Mooney’s effort gave the Red Raiders’ some room to work with and an unforgettable moment for their fans.
No. 1 Divine Oduduru at Track Championships
Why He Was Chosen?: I mean, wasn’t it obvious this was going to be No. 1 on this list. I might be beating a dead horse with now our third mention of Oduduru’s two championship races at the Track and Field Championships, but it really was an amazing moment and incredible performance.
Besides, how often can you saw that a single athlete on a Track and Field team was the difference between winning a championship and maybe not even finishing in the Top 3. Oduduru accounted for 20 points by himself and six more participating in a relay team.
Just to recap, in case you don’t remember, Oduduru was the second sprinter ever to run both the 100 (9.86) and 200 (19.76) meter dash in under 10 and 20 second respectively in the same day. Both of his times were good enough to win gold in both event. In terms of sprinters, he won by a good margin as well.
That’s not even mentioning he participated in the 400 meter relay and helped them take third place. Oduduru broke several school records and even had some of the fastest times in the world in 2019. He became one of the most well known names in the track community and did so well that he turned pro after the event.