Friday, March 25, 2005

(4) Texas Tech (24-7) vs. (1) Tennessee (28-4)

Game Info: 12:00 pm EST Sun Mar 27, 2005
Philadelphia Region - Liacouras Center (Philadelphia, PA)

Now that Tennesee's Pat Summitt holds virtually every important coaching record in NCAA history, Texas Tech wants to make sure her list of achievements doesn't grow any longer.

The Lady Raiders will try to derail Summitt's bid for a seventh national championship when they take on the top-seeded Lady Vols in the regional semifinals.

``I look at it as a great opportunity for us,'' Texas Tech coach Marsha Sharp said. ``There are few programs that can give you instant credibility around the country and Tennessee's one of them. I think you have to look at it as a chance to do something special.''

Summitt became the winningest coach in NCAA history with Tennessee's 75-54 second-round victory over Purdue on Tuesday. In her 31st season, Summitt passed former North Carolina men's coach Dean Smith with her 880th victory.

``It really touches me,'' she said. ``I never even thought about anything like that ever. I don't think there could have been a better gift in terms of the feeling that I had and how much I love this university.''

Summitt holds nearly every NCAA tournament record for a women's coach, including NCAA titles (six), Final Four appearances (15), Final Four wins (17), tournament appearances (24), tournament games (104) and tournament wins (87).

While her chase of the historic win received national attention, Summitt has kept her team focused on a much bigger goal.

``She did a very good job of keeping our focus and she continually was harping on us that this was a game in the tournament and we've got to get to the Sweet 16, and if we do that we'll get the record,'' said Shanna Zolman, who scored 15 points against the Boilermakers.

Texas Tech reached the round of 16 for the sixth time in seven years with an 80-69 win over Middle Tennessee State. Alesha Robertson scored 25 points to lead the fourth-seeded Lady Raiders, who have won seven of their last nine games.

Texas Tech is still looking for its first-ever win against the Lady Vols. Tennessee has won each of the previous four meetings, including a pair of NCAA regional final matchups, the last coming in 2000.

That history won't diminish LaToya Davis' confidence. She totaled 37 points and 30 rebounds in Texas Tech's first two victories, and is looking forward to another big day against the Lady Vols.

``We can't be intimidated by them,'' Davis said. ``They're a good team, but we can't be intimidated by the fact that they're Tennessee. Every team is beatable.''

PROBABLE STARTERS: Texas Tech - F Davis (12 ppg, 7.3 rpg), F Robertson (12.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg), C Cisti Greenwalt (13.1 ppg, 9 rpg), G Chesley Dabbs (12.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg), G Erin Grant (8 ppg, 6.9 apg). Tennessee - F Shyra Ely (14.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg), F Alexis Hornbuckle (8.3, 5.3 rpg), C Nicky Anosike (6.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg), G Zolman (12.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg), G Loree Moore (4.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.4 apg).

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Texas Tech - At-large berth, Big 12; beat No. 13 Texas-Arlington 69-49, first round; beat No. 12 Middle Tennessee State 80-69, second round. Tennessee - Automatic bid, Southeastern Conference tournament champion; beat No. 16 Western Carolina 94-43, first round; beat No. 9 Purdue 75-54, second round.

ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Texas Tech - 30-16, 18 years. Tennessee - 87-17, 24 years.

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