Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Texas Tech Lady Raiders have now missed all 20 of their three-point attempts in their last two games. Tech went 0-of-8 last Saturday at Texas A&M and 0-of-12 last night at home against Nebraska.

Going into the Texas A&M game, Texas Tech was hitting three-pointers at a .338 clip. Subtracting that from 1 yields a .662 miss rate. We then raise .662 to the 20th power, giving us an estimate of .0003 (or 3-in-10,000) as the probability of the Lady Raiders missing all 20 trey attempts in their next two games. (This procedure is akin to raising one-sixth to the second power to determine the probability of a rolling double-sixes on two dice, which is 1/36.)

Tech has not always shot so poorly from behind the arc. In a December win at UCLA, for example, the Lady Raiders made nearly half of their long-distance shots (9-of-19; .474). Further, on two occasions, at home vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (13-23; .565) and in a neutral-site tournament game vs. North Dakota (10-of-18; .556), Tech exceeded 50% on trey attempts.

Here are a few factors to consider in looking at a cold streak like Texas Tech's. First, the rarity of the streak may be exaggerated, given that its dramatic nature drew me into doing a statistical analysis of it, rather than looking at a random cross-section of all teams. Second, one might wonder if a team's poorest outside shooters took a disproportionate number of shots during the drought; that does not seem to be the case as the Lady Raiders' two main outside scoring threats, Jordan Murphree and Ashlee Roberson, took a sizable share of the threes. Third, a scenario that can lead to a lot of missed threes is when a team falls way behind and puts up a lot of desperation shots in an attempt to make up the deficit as quickly as possible. I watched some of the Nebraska game on television and, as the Cornhuskers were opening up a big lead in the first half, I would say the Lady Raiders were putting up some ill-advised treys in an attempt to close the gap.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The University of Memphis had its winning streak in Conference USA games snapped at 64 last night by the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP). Memphis's 64 victories had tied the previous record for consecutive wins in conference play, set by Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) from 1945-1950.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Texas Tech nearly pulled out a miracle win against Missouri tonight in Big 12 men's hoops action, thanks to some amazing late three-point shooting. However, Mizzou held on for a 94-89 overtime win.

The Tigers led 74-66 with a little over a minute remaining in regulation. At that point, the Red Raiders' Brad Reese hit a three. Then, quickly finding himself with the ball again after a teammate's steal of Mizzou's inbounds pass, Reese hit another three, just four seconds after his last (play-by-play sheet). Reese was 5-of-6 from behind the arc on the evening.

Mizzou held Tech at bay a bit and hit some free throws to expand its lead to 77-72 with 45 seconds remaining. The Raiders' Nick Okorie then hit a trey with 0:43 left, bringing Tech again within two. Thanks to a late Tiger turnover, the Red Raiders were able to send the game into overtime, tied at 79-all.

In the overtime, Tech's John Roberson made a pair of threes at the 4:09 and 3:30 marks, keeping alive the Raiders' streak from behind the arc, before missing from long-distance at the 2:58 mark. Tech made no more three-pointers, however, and missed a couple of key free throws, thus allowing the Tigers to escape Lubbock with a victory.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

In men's college basketball, Oklahoma State went on a 29-1 run to overcome an early deficit and pull away from Texas Tech.