Sports

Lady Raiders Reload: Preview for 2021-22 Campaign

Lady Raiders head coach Krista Gerlich with several players from last years team that are returning
Lady Raider basketball players and head coach

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The Lady Raiders are reloading after Krista Gerlich’s first season as head coach. 

The 2020 season ended with the Lady Raiders finishing with a 10-15 record, and they ended up in 7th place in the Big 12. They were not invited to the 2021 NCAA tournament or the WNIT. 

However, Gerlich and her coaching staff have landed impact transfers and signings. Here’s a guide to all the names coming to Lubbock next season.

Chante Embry

Chante Embry is a four-star commit out of Norman High School. Born in Prague, Oklahoma, Embry is a 6’1 Power Forward who led the Tigers to an undefeated season and an Oklahoma state championship this past spring. She held offers from Tech as well as Arkansas. She holds 2020 Oklahoma All-State honors, being placed on the statewide 1st team. It’ll be interesting to see how Gerlich utilizes her this season with the Lady Raiders. 

Bre’Amber Scott

Scott, a 5’11 guard from Little Rock, Arkansas, played two seasons for Mississippi State and a season for Little Rock. At Mississippi State, Scott helped the Bulldogs to a combined 70-5 record and a National Championship game appearance as a Freshman. 

Coach Gerlich says Scott is an impact player for the program, and she knows what it takes to get to another National Championship game. 

Lexy Hightower

Hightower, a 5’8 Guard from Amarillo, is a West Texas star coming from West Texas A&M. Hightower, an Amarillo High grad, played three seasons for the Lady Buffs, getting Lone Star Conference Player of the Year honors twice. She leads the Lady Buffs to a DII Elite Eight appearance in 2017.

Coach Gerlich says Hightower has a great three-point and mid-shot range, and she’ll be able to pick up the pace for the Lady Raider offense.

Taylah Thomas

Thomas, a 6’1 Forward native to Arlington, is a transfer from the Arkansas Razorbacks. She’s a grad transfer ready to perform in Lubbock after helping the Razorbacks to an NCAA tournament appearance last season. Averaging 4.2 points and 6 rebounds a game, Thomas started in all 37 games for Arkansas. 

Coach Gerlich hopes her maturity and leadership skills will lead the team to new heights and that her activity around the glass will help the team defensively.

Rhyl McKinney

McKinney, a Freshman Guard, played her first season at SMU. McKinney played six games for the Mustangs before SMU opted out of the 2020-21 season. In high school, McKinney won three state championships with Argyle High School. 

Coach Gerlich notes that McKinney is a high-IQ player that thrives in big moments and that she’ll do whatever it takes to make her team and teammates more successful.

Ella Tofaeono

Tofaeono, a center, played last season for Texas A&M. Before her time with the Aggies, she played juco ball at Midland College, where she ranked near the top of juco guards. She also led the Lady Chaps to a third-place finish in the WJACAC in 2020. 

Tatum Veitenheimer

Veitenheimer, a junior, is a player the Lady Raiders have gone up against before, as she played her first three seasons at Oklahoma. Veitenheimer played in 80 games for the Sooners and recorded 46 starts. As a freshman, Her 76 assists were the fifth-most in a single season at Oklahoma. 

What else is to come?

Looking at the current state of the transfer portal, there may be more signings on the horizon. We also have no idea what the schedule will be at this time. However, we’re thoroughly into summer workouts. 

Coach Gerlich had to work through a shorter season, transfers, and more during her first season as the head coach of the Lady Raiders. However, she’s done impressive things in prior head coaching jobs, and these transfers and commits are outstanding. We’ll have to wait and see what the Lady Raiders do this season.

Written by Campus Live intern Dylan Winn

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