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Cal Women's Basketball vs. Texas Tech Gamethread

When: 2:15 pm PST, 5:15 EST
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Radio: KKGN 960
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Joanne Boyle on the Texas Tech Red Raiders:

"Great team. They are a big team. I think we can run on them a little bit. They're physical. They are a Big-12 team. It'll be a great challenge for us. We played them a couple of years ago but totally different personnel. I am glad we got to play a lot of people today. I think that will help us for tomorrow.

The Red Raiders beat Pittsburgh easily in yesterday's early game.  Hit the jump for an even quicker Texas Tech preview as the Bears wrap up their participation in the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops tournament.

I'll have to make this quick since I'll likely be picking up my bags in San Antonio when this game is tipping off.  Cal will face a much stiffer challenge against Texas Tech than they did against UT Arlington, though the Red Raider's weak schedule strength makes it somewhat difficult to judge their accomplishments.  Still, their ability to easily beat every team save Penn St. on their schedule indicates that they are probably a challenge on the level of a Rutgers.  It's a good measuring stick game for Cal as they continue to get used to playing without Gennifer Brandon - Texas Tech won't be winning the rugged Big 12, but they will almost certainly be a competitive, dangerous team.  It's the type of win that will be valuable come March.

The biggest concern for Cal will be dealing with the inside duo of Kierra Mallard and Teena Wickett, a pair of 6'3'' upper classmen forward/centers who both average double digit points and 7 rebounds a game.  With a strong front court presence DeNesha Stallworth and Talia Caldwell will probably be expected to play in excess of 35 minutes tonight, and they will both need to be on the top of their games.  Foul trouble for either could be very problematic.

Statistically speaking, Texas Tech doesn't have many obvious weaknesses, but that's mostly a function of such a weak schedule.  When you spend 10 games mostly blowing out overmatched opponents you're going to look pretty intimidating on the stat sheet.  But considering how much Texas Tech will probably try to run things thought Mallard and Wickett, Cal may want to look to Layshia Clarendon, Eliza Pierre and Afure Jemerigbe to harass their guards, deny entry passes and force turnovers.  If they do that as well as it sounded like they did against UTA I like our chances.

Go Bears!