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Afternoon Headlines for March 7th

Texas Tech University President Guy Bailey announced today that head Men’s Basketball coach Pat Knight will be relieved of his duties following the conclusion of the season. Knight will however coach the team during the Big 12 tournament that begins Wednesday, March 9th, in Kansas City where the 11th seed Red Raiders are scheduled to battle the 6 seed of Missouri with an 8:30 tip-off time. This was the third full season for coach Knight as he leaves the Texas Tech Program with a career record of 50 wins and 60 losses. A national search for the vacant coaching position will begin immediately.

In Red Raider Women’s basketball news, Texas Tech sophomore guard Chynna Brown has been named the Big 12 Conference Sixth Man of the Year. Meanwhile, Junior Kierra Mallard was selected to the All-Big 12 second team. Senior Teena Wickett and sophomore Casey Morris were named Honorable Mention. Also, Sophomore Monique Smalls was selected to the All-Defensive Team. All awards are voted on by the league coaches and were announced earlier today by the conference office. The Lady Raiders will face Oklahoma State on Tuesday, March 8, in first round action of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship with a 7:30 p.m. tip-off time from then Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

The 2011 Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Men’s Basketball Awards were announced today by the league office. Kansas junior Marcus Morris was named the Big 12 Player of the Year. Dogus Balbay of Texas earned Defensive Player of the Year recognition, while Ricardo Ratliffe of Missouri was recognized as the top newcomer. Tristan Thompson of Texas was named Freshman of the Year, while Baylors Quincy Acy Colorado’s and Levi Knutson shared the Sixth Man Award. Bill Self of Kansas was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year. Texas Tech’s John Roberson earned All Big 12 Honorable mention accolades.

The 18th ranked Red Raiders and 19th Ranked Lady Raiders track and field teams were honored with some post-season awards today – as the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named Darrell Roddick as the Men’s Mountain Regional Field Athlete of the Year, and Jon Murray was named the Women’s Mountain Regional Assistant Coach of the Year. The Texas Tech Red Raiders and Lady Raiders track teams will head to College Station, this weekend for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

In other Red Raider news the Texas Tech women’s golf team wrapped up the SunTrust Gator Invitational today in 11th place, behind solid outings from both Gabby Dominguez and Kim Kaufman who finished the tournament tied for 15th on the individuals’ leader-board. Host Florida dominated play as they claimed the tournament title by 18 strokes over in-state rival Florida State. The Lady Raiders will have a little over a week off before heading to Phoenix, Arizona for a dual match with Big 12 foe Iowa State on March 15th.

In the NBA, the 45 – 17 Dallas Mavericks will be on the road tonight facing the 15 – 49 Minnesota Timberwolves from the Target Center with a 7 o’clock tip-off time. Minnesota’s Kevin Love comes into tonight’s contest with a consecutive string of 50 double-doubles, just one game shy of tying Moses Malone’s post –NBA/ABA merger record of 51 straight double-doubles. Love is approaching the record in style as he just posted his third straight 20 and 20 game, which gives him 11 on the season.

The Houston Rockets are also in action from the road as they’re in Sacramento facing the Kings. The 32 – 32 Houston Rockets have won six of their last seven games to move into 11th place in the Western Conference playoff race, 2 and half games back from the eighth and final spot. The Kings come into the contest sitting at 15 and 45 on the year. Tip-off is set to get under way beginning at 9 p.m.

In National Hockey News, Pacific Division rivals Dallas Stars and the Los Angeles Kings are separated by just one point in the crowded Western Conference playoff standings, and will play three times over the next four weeks, beginning with tonight’s match-up from Staples Center with puck drop scheduled for 9:30.

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