March 20, 2000
GAME: No. 6 Tulane (27-4) vs. No. 3 Texas Tech (26-4), Mideast Regional,
TIME: Monday, 9:07 p.m. EST.
SITE: United Spirit Center, Lubbock, Texas.
Texas Tech tries to overcome Tulane's potent 1-2 punch as the two teams collide in a second-round game.
The third-seeded Lady Raiders rolled into the second round by routing No. 14 Tennessee Tech on Saturday, 83-54. Aleah Johnson scored 22 points for Texas Tech, which had four players in double figures and recorded assists on 30 of its 32 baskets. Plenette Pierson contributed 18 points and nine rebounds while Melinda Phaires dished out 12 assists for the Lady Raiders.
"It seems like this whole season we've been proving ourselves to everybody," Johnson said. "We've got a lot more to prove before we get the respect that we deserve."
But for Texas Tech to reach the "Sweet 16," it must contain Tulane's Grace Daley and Janell Burse. Daley had 30 points as the sixth-seeded Green Wave rallied past No. 11 Vermont in the first round, 65-60. Sarah Goree added 15 points for Tulane, which rallied from a 48-35 deficit over the final 12:23.
"I think after the first half they started putting a little more pressure on me," Daley said. "We've been in worse situations and I don't think we lost our composure out there at any time."
Daley will need help from Burse if the Green Wave are to reach the regional semifinals for the first time in school history. Burse was held to seven points, almost 13 below her season average, but did pull down nine rebounds.
"I think O'Neal and Daley are going to be a good matchup, and even I look forward to watching Monday night," Lady Raiders coach Marsha Sharp said. "I think if I wasn't coaching, it would be one I'd buy a ticket to."
Texas Tech won the only meeting between the schools, an 87-82 win in the first round of the 1995 NCAA tournament. The winner of this game will play No. 2 Notre Dame or No. 7 George Washington in the regional semifinals at Memphis, Tenn. on March 25.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Tulane - F Janell Burse (19.5 ppg, 9.9 rpg), F Fabrecia Roberson (9.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg), G Grace Daley (21.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg), G Sarah Goree (8.7 ppg, 3.5 apg), G Taryn Turnbull (3.1 ppg, 2.4 apg). Texas Tech - F Aleah Johnson (14.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg), F Keitha Dickerson (12.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg), C Plenette Pierson (13.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg), G Melinda Pharies (7.6 ppg, 5.7 apg), G Katrisa O'Neal (10.6 ppg, 3.5 apg).
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Tulane - Automatic bid, Conference USA tournament champion. Texas Tech - At-large bid, Big 12 Conference.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Tulane - 2-5, 6 appearances. Texas Tech - 18-11, 13 appearances.