LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech Lady Raider basketball coach Krista Gerlich announced the signing of transfers Bre’Amber Scott, Lexy Hightower, Taylah Thomas and Rhyle McKinney on Monday.
5’11 | G | RJr. | Little Rock, Ark. | Little Rock
From Coach Gerlich: “Bre’Amber is a high motor guard who has a scorer’s mentality but also loves to defend. She’s played in a national championship game and understands what it takes to get there again. Bre’Amber will be an immediate impact player for us and possesses the work ethic and love for the game that we desire for our Lady Raider program. I’ve enjoyed talking with Bre about her goals and our goals that we can reach together. I am excited to coach Bre’Amber. She will become a fast favorite of Lady Raider Nation!”
Bio: Scott played her junior season at Little Rock after spending the first two years of her collegiate career at Mississippi State. Averaging 18.0 points per game, Scott led the Trojans in scoring average last season. She also recorded 3.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals per contest.
Scott posted four games of 20 points or more last year, and reached double digits in all but two. The Little Rock, Ark., native recorded season highs of 28 points and six rebounds in Little Rock’s win over Vanderbilt in December. She added 21 points, five rebounds and four steals against then-No. 10 Texas A&M as well.
Prior to last season at Little Rock, Scott played two seasons at powerhouse Mississippi State from 2017-19 and helped the Bulldogs to a combined 70-5 record over her time in Starkville.
As a sophomore, Scott averaged 7.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game. The guard shot 48.5 percent overall and 42.9 percent from three in her second collegiate season, while also hitting 62-of-75 (.827) free throws. Scott reached double digits 12 times that season and reached 20 points or more against Louisiana and in the SEC Championship victory over Arkansas. Against Southern in the NCAA Tournament, she also totaled 18 points, four rebounds, two assists and four steals while going perfect (8-of-8) from the free throw line.
During her freshman season, Scott appeared in 23 games which included eight SEC conference games, and helped Mississippi State advance to the national championship game. She tallied 39 points on the year and was 17-of-25 (68%) at the free throw line.
Scott attended Central High School in Little Rock, and was slotted as the 30th-ranked guard in the nation by ESPN. A McDonalds All-America nominee, she was rated as the top player in Arkansas in 2017 class by Arkansas Basketball Rankings, and was tabbed to the All-USA Arkansas Girls Basketball Team after averaging 19.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game as a senior.
5’8” | G | Sr. | Amarillo, Texas | West Texas A&M
From Coach Gerlich: “Lexy Hightower will not be a stranger to Lady Raider Nation, she has had a highly successful playing career right up the road at Amarillo High and WTAMU. She is a high-IQ guard, great athleticism, deep range on her three ball and has a terrific mid-range game. Lexy brings us experience and a high energy game that will be exciting to watch as she picks up the pace for us on offense. Again, Lexy is used to winning and loves to be challenged. It’s an exciting time for Lady Raider basketball.”
Bio: Heralded as one of the top all-around players at the Division II level, Lexy Hightower played her last three seasons at West Texas A&M, where she earned All-America accolades all three years during her time in Canyon.
Hightower finished her time as a Lady Buff as a two-time Lone Star Conference Player of the Year, scoring 1,642 career points to rank sixth on the program’s all-time scoring list. The Amarillo native ranks toward the top of numerous categories in the Lady Buffs’ record book including: second in three-point field goals made (229), second in three-point field goal percentage (44.1%), fourth in three-point field goal attempts (519), sixth in minutes played (3,385), sixth in field goal attempts (1,221), seventh in field goals made (613) and 10th in scoring average (14.2).
As a senior, Hightower came back from a 2019-20 season-ending injury and garnered recognition as a Third Team All-American from the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association, while receiving honorable mention honors from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. She led the Lady Buffs in scoring with 17.3 points per game to go along with 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.7 steals per contest.
Hightower was named the Lone Star Conference Player of the Year in 2018-19 and again earned D2CCA and WBCA All-America honors. She led the Lady Buffs in scoring as a junior as well, recording averages of 16.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals. That season, Hightower shot the ball at an efficient 51.3 percent from the floor and 46.4 percent from three-point range.
She led the Lady Buffs to Lone Star Conference titles in both the regular season and tournament as a sophomore and averaged 14.4 points per game on the way to First Team All-Lone Star Conference and WBCA All-America accolades. Hightower helped lead the Lady Buffs to the Elite Eight as a freshman, making 12 starts in her first collegiate season.
A 2016 Amarillo High School grad, Hightower was selected in the Premiere Basketball Report Class of 2016 Best of the Best Top 80 Texas Players as the No. 39-ranked player in the State of Texas. As a senior, Hightower earned 2-6A Most Valuable Player honors and was a First Team All-District selection.
6’1” | F | Sr. | Arlington, Texas | Arkansas
From Coach Gerlich: “Taylah is a great sign for the Lady Raiders. I have been so impressed with her maturity and specifics during the recruiting process. Taylah has been a part of a program that quickly rose to the top and we are fortunate to have her mentality and work ethic to help us do the same. Taylah is a stretch four player that will be active on the glass, defend at a very high level and also a scoring threat from three, mid-range and attack on the rim. She also comes from a highly successful Mansfield Timberview high school program and has won everywhere she’s been! Her desire to be great will be infectious.”
Bio: Taylah Thomas comes to Lubbock after a successful, four-year career at Arkansas where she helped the Razorbacks to an NCAA Tournament appearance this season.
As a senior, Thomas averaged 4.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, appearing in all 28 games for the Razorbacks and shooting 40-of-81 (.494) overall on the season. The Arlington, Texas, native reached her season high of 11 points three times in 2020-21, including an 11-point, 10-rebound double double against FGCU in November. It marked one of Thomas’s three double-digit rebounding outings on the year, including a 13-rebound game against Oral Roberts.
Thomas started all 32 games for Arkansas during her junior season, averaging 6.0 points and 6.5 rebounds. She recorded eight games in double figures, four of which came during SEC play. Thomas started the season with one of the best single-game rebounding performances in program history, hauling in 21 rebounds against New Orleans—one short of the program record. She recorded four double-doubles as a junior, the first four of her career.
As a sophomore, Thomas scored in double figures in five games, tying what was her career best at the time with 15 points against Alabama. Appearing in all 37 games for the Razorbacks, Thomas finished the year averaging 3.6 points and 5.0 rebounds. She played in every game as a freshman, finishing with 3.7 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game.
Thomas was a Mansfield Timberview High School product and was considered one of the top power forwards out of Texas. Thomas averaged 10.6 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game as a senior, and led the Wolves to a 37-3 record and a perfect 14-0 mark in district play. She was ranked No. 9 in the nation and No. 3 in the state of Texas.
5’9” | G | Fr. | Argyle, Texas | SMU
From Coach Gerlich: “I’ve watched Rhyle throughout her high school career. Rhyle is a competitor who thrives in the big moments. She has an incredibly high basketball IQ and her mid-range game is one of the best I’ve seen coming out of High School. Rhyle has won three state championships and lost a heartbreaker in the finals. Needless to say, she is used to winning and winning a lot. She is a gym rat and wants to be around teammates with the same dedication and work ethic. She will do whatever is necessary for our team to be successful.”
Bio: Rhyle McKinney comes to Lubbock after playing her first season at SMU. McKinney played in six games for the Mustangs before the team opted out of the 2020-21 season.
McKinney was third on the Mustangs’ team in scoring as a freshman, averaging 8.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in her first college season. She reached her career high of 13 points in back-to-back games against Oklahoma State and Arkansas. In just her second collegiate game, McKinney recorded 10 points, five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals against Texas State.
A 2020 graduate of Argyle High School, McKinney had a storied career as an Eagle. She led Argyle to three state championships and advanced to the championship game in all four seasons of her prep career.
McKinney was named Texas Class 1A-4A Player of the Year by the Texas Girls Coaches Association as a junior, averaging 23.9 points with 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 steals, and earned TABC 4A All-State recognition in 2019 and 2020. She was rated as the No. 96 prospect overall and No. 25 guard prospect by ESPN.com coming out of high school.
In 2019, McKinney was named to the USA Today Texas Second Team, and was the UIL Texas 4A State Tournament MVP.
In March, McKinney was named one of the 100 top Texas girls basketball players of all time by the UIL.