Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament Texas Tech vs. Houston Preview

Heartland College Sports – An Independent Big 12 Today Blog

Here is everything you need to know about Texas Tech and Houston in our Lady Raiders vs. Cougars Big 12 Tournament women’s basketball first-round preview.

Game 1: No. 12 Texas Tech (16-15, 5-13) vs. No. 13 Houston (14-15, 5-13)

Time, TV: 5:30 p.m. CT Thursday, Big 12 Now/ESPN+

Location: T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, MO

Season series (Texas Tech 2-0): Texas Tech def. Houston, 79-71; Texas Tech def. Houston, 66-48.

Winner gets: a Friday game with No. 5 seed Baylor at 11 a.m. CT.

 

Here is the full Big 12 women’s tournament schedule and results.

Projected starting lineups

Texas Tech: G Loghan Johnson, G Bailey Maupin, G Jada Wynn, G Jasmine Shavers, G Ashley Chevalier  

Houston: F Maliyah Johnson, F Kamryn Jones, F Peyton McFarland, G Kierra Merchant, G Laila Blair.

Players to watch

Texas Tech

G Bailey Maupin: The sophomore stretches the floor with her 3-point shooting, but she’s taken on more of a distributor role this season. She averages 14.2 points and 3.4 assists per game. Her game is growing and it’s making the Lady Raiders a better team now and a better program in the long run.   

Houston

G Lalia Blair: No player in Houston’s lineup has been more consistent and shouldered more of the Cougars’ offensive load than Blair. She averaged 16.1 points and 1.6 steals per game in the regular season. While Blair isn’t one of the league’s best 3-point shooters (just 31%), she is their top shooter from distance. So she needs defensive coverage all over the floor.  

 

Key storylines

Texas Tech

Texas Tech started this season like it started last season — with a great record in non-conference. The same thing happened last season, as the Lady Raiders took a downturn and ended up with the same league record they did a year ago. The difference is how Tech is limping into this tournament. The Lady Raiders have lost nine straight games and their chances of returning to the WNIT may be in jeopardy.

Houston

Houston was one of four teams to make the move into the Big 12, joining BYU, Cincinnati and UCF. The Cougars are about where they were a year ago in the American Athletic Conference, where they finished with a 15-16 record and won a game in the AAC Tournament. With a win over the Lady Raiders, the Cougars can match last year’s win total and at least go into the offseason telling recruits they held their own in one of the country’ best conferences.

Prediction

Houston 68, Texas Tech 61. Yes, Tech swept the Cougars in the regular season. But that was before Tech’s nine-game losing streak. Look for Laila Blair to have a big game as the Cougars advance to the second round.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.