Lady Raiders Fall to New Mexico State

January 23, 2003 · MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee (9-9, 3-3) dropped its first Sun Belt Conference game at home this season with a 73-63 loss to New Mexico State (10-7, 4-1) Thursday in Murphy Center.


After trailing by as much as 16 twice in the first half, Middle Tennessee cut New Mexico State's lead to six (40-34) at the half. The Lady Raiders got as close as five points with 5:14 left to play in the second half, but for every basket Middle Tennessee basket made the Lady Aggies had an answer.


New Mexico State made 10 three-point shots and shot 50 percent from the field. The Lady Aggies also scored 17 points off Middle Tennessee miscues and was 5-of-8 from the free throw line.


Middle Tennessee won the war in the paint scoring 36 points to New Mexico States 30 and also got 26 points from the bench. Overall, Middle Tennessee only shot 41.5 percent from the field and 17.6 percent from the three-point line.


Jennifer Justice led the Lady Raiders with 17 points and was followed by Mia Parviainen with 13 and Patrice Holmes with 11. Holmes also picked up her second double-double of the year with 12 rebounds.


Middle Tennessee will be back in action on Saturday when the Lady Raiders host Louisiana-Lafayette. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in the Murphy Center.




Streak Snapped: The Lady Raiders' 73-63 loss to New Mexico State snapped a six-game home conference winning streak dating to last season. The last SBC squad to defeat the Lady Raiders in the Murphy Center was Western Kentucky on January 17, 2002.


Comebacks Unlikely: The Lady Raiders fell to 1-8 this season when trailing at the half after winning four times last season when losing at the break.


Justice Ties Season-High: Junior Jennifer Justice netted 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, tying her season-high set against Arkansas State on January 9. Justice also made the second three-pointer of the season and career in the game, one of only three trifectas made in the game by the Lady Raiders.


Parviainen Has Lucky 13: Senior Mia Parviainen was 6-of-9 from the floor and ended the game with 13 points, four boards and three assists in one of her best statistical contests of the year. Her 13 points set a season-high, and six made field goals tied a season-high.


Holmes Good on the Boards: Sophomore Patrice Holmes had a tough night shooting, but made up for it by grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds and dishing out six assists.


Aggies Raining Three's: New Mexico State nailed 10 three-pointers in the contest, eight in the first half. The 10 made trifectas is the second-most against the Lady Raiders this season, only to the 11 Kansas State made in Manhattan on December 6.


McClinic Ice-Cold From the Field: Junior Keisha McClinic went 0-for-7 from the field in the contest, only her second game this season and seventh in 76 career outings where she did not make a field goal.


This 'N That: The Lady Raiders never led in the game and tied the contest just once, at 2-2 ... New Mexico State took the lead in the all-time series, 2-1, and is now 1-0 at the Murphy Center.




MT Head Coach Stephany Smith:  "I thought we did some things better today. We are missing an obvious presence around the basket. You have players in the post on other teams that always find a way against us to put points on the board. Those are easy baskets. I think that every team we have played in the conference, with the exception of Arkansas-Little Rock, has shot over 50 percent against us, definitely that last three. All of that can't be great offense. Somewhere, it has to be that we are not doing a great job defensively."


"We missed a lot of our free throws down the stretch. We were in a one and one with about four minutes to go in the game. That was our game plan. Right before the four-minute media timeout we talked about that. We said be aggressive with the ball, attack the basket and give ourselves some opportunities at the line. We did what we needed to do offensively to get to the line, but we didn't make the shots."


MT Guard Patrice Holmes:  "This was the first time that we ever saw a box and one. My teammates had to step up and I think they did a good job towards the end of the first half by stepping up and scoring points."


MT Forward Jennifer Justice:  "In the first half, I think they made eight three's. That really just changed the pace of the game. We fought back in the final minutes of the first half and gave ourselves a chance in the second half. But, those three's really changed the pace of the game for us."

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