LUBBOCK, Texas — The Texas Tech women’s basketball team returns to United Spirit Arena on Friday for the first of three games against Jacksonville, Florida Atlantic and Abilene Christian in the World Vision Challenge.
The Lady Raiders (4-4) will open the tournament at 6 p.m. Friday vs. Jacksonville (3-5), followed by an 8 p.m. match between Florida Atlantic (6-2) and Abilene Christian (7-4).
Tech will end its non-conference portion of the season at home with three games after being edged out by Arizona, 65-56, on Sunday in Tucson, Ariz.
Junior guard Amber Battle had to sit the final 18 minutes of the first half with two fouls before rattling off 12 points in the second half along with Minta Spears’ team-high 14 points. Spears hit a career-high four 3-pointers in the game as Tech nearly erased its 12-point deficit and trailed by only two points with six minutes remaining. But the Wildcats finished with a 7-0 run for the win.
Jacksonville is coming off its third-straight loss after falling to Alabama, 75-62, on Wednesday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Dolphins are playing their third game in five days – all away from their home court in Jacksonville.
The Lady Raiders will look to stop top scorer Queen Alford, who averages 12.8 points per game for Jacksonville. But the biggest challenge may come in Tech hitting threes itself. The Dolphins lead the country in 3-point field goal defense. Opponents are averaging only 20.2 percent behind the arc against them, making Tech’s inside game all the more important.
Florida Atlantic and Abilene Christian each come in with winning records after rattling off win streaks in the last two weeks. FAU has won its last five games, and like Jacksonville, has relied on a stingy defense and ball handling to succeed. The Owls are No. 1 in the country in turnover margin at +12.4 each game. They average nearly 13 steals a game while giving up only 13 turnovers per game.
Abilene Christian won three of its last four before falling to TCU on Wednesday – its third game in four days. Friday’s game will mark the homecoming for twin sisters Suzzy and Lizzy Dimba, who played at Coronado High School.
Tip times for each day are set at 6 p.m. (Friday), 2 p.m. (Saturday) and 12 p.m. (Sunday). The second games will tip off two hours after the first game or 30 minutes after its conclusion.