The Lady Raiders program is nowhere near the heights it achieved in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s and there are a lot inside the locker room who are disappointed.
That doesn’t mean they’ve packed it in for the season, though. They hope to show that in their 7 p.m. Wednesday game against No. 6 Texas, which is historically significant as well as a game that could inject confidence into the program both in the short and long terms.
“We made the players aware that this is the 100th meeting of the two storied programs,” interim coach Shimmy Gray-Miller said. “That they’re a part of one of the most storied rivalries in women’s basketball. You have to throw out records and you have to throw out rankings and you have to throw out current situations because you have to play for pride. It’s our turn, our time, to bring back some meaning to this game.”
Former Lady Raiders coach Marsha Sharp was expected to talk to the team shortly before it took off for Austin on Tuesday.
The Longhorns handed Texas Tech its worst loss of the season about four weeks ago, and the only game they’ve lost since that day was against a higher ranked Baylor team.
Leading Lady Raiders scorer Jada Terry is day-to-day with an unspecified injury. She played 19 minutes Saturday in a 74-60 loss to West Virginia after playing two minutes earlier in the week in an 83-69 loss at Kansas State, but Gray-Miller said Terry has not been active in practice since Saturday’s contest.
Fellow forwards Brittany Brewer and Erin DeGrate both hit double digits in the West Virginia game while Terry came off the bench and chipped in three.
Texas has four players averaging double digits and is led by Ariel Atkins’ 14.7 points per game. Those players also help hold opponents to an average of 61.9 points while scoring 81.7 points.
Atkins put up a game-best 22 points in Texas’ 90-39 win against the Lady Raiders.
“They are excellent or great or above average in every offensive and defensive category,” Gray-Miller said. “Except for one, which is transition defense. … They’re just a real good team.”