Texas Tech Lady Raider basketball legend Noel Johnson passed away Tuesday at the age of 47 after losing her battle with ovarian cancer. In an interview this January she talked about her battle saying she used her grit and fight to prepare her for the bump in the road. Her community at Midwestern State and Texas Tech supported Johnson until the end.

During Johnson's playing career she was a pivotal piece to the 1993 National Championship squad as a sophomore guard who sunk some important free throws down the stretch in the most important game of her life as the Red Raiders beat Ohio State 84-82 to become National Champions.

“I am heartbroken today,” former Lady Raider coach Marsha Sharp said.  "Noel Johnson was one of the most decorated and beloved players in the history of Lady Raider Basketball. Her teammates and coaches respected and loved her greatly. We all send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to her family, her friends and her Midwestern State family. Rest in peace, Noey! We will miss you everyday."

Noel Johnson entered the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame, the Texas Tech Hall of Fame and the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame for her feats as a player. She's also the winningest coach in Midwestern State program history. In 2013 she was named the Small College Coach of the Year by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. She was named the Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year in 2012.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Noel," Current Lady Raider head coach Marlene Stollings said. "Her determination, grit, and willingness to give back to our team even while fighting for her life will forever serve as an inspiration to all of us. She was a passionate leader who played a pivotal role in winning the 1993 national championship changing Texas Tech sports history forever. We know her legacy will continue to shine as a beacon of hope forever in the hearts of everyone who knew her."

Johnson was at Texas Tech from 1991-95 and was a part of the era that won four-consecutive Southwest Conference titles and reached four NCAA Sweet 16's. She's also all over the record books in Lady Raider lore.

Her best individual season came as a Junior in 1994 when she shot 51% from behind the arc, the best single-season effort ever by a Lady Raider, and was named Team MVP and to the SWC All-Tournament team.



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