Penttila Scores Key Bucket for Win

February 13, 2003 · MT Media Relations

JONESBORO, Ark. - With 1:55 left to play Paula Penttila hit a driving lay-up to give Middle Tennessee (14-10, 7-4 SBC) the lead and eventually helped the Lady Raiders defeat Arkansas State (9-14, 4-6 SBC) 71-63 in the Convocation Center Thursday.


With Arkansas State forced to foul in the final minute, sophomore Patrice Holmes hit 8-of 9 from the charity stripe to help ice the win for the Lady Raiders. She ended the contest with a game leading 22 points.


"Knocking down the free throws at the end of the game was huge," said head coach Stephany Smith. "It was a game clincher."


For the third game in a row, Middle Tennessee had to come from behind at half time to win. The Lady Raiders were down 34-29 at the half, and eventually watched Arkansas State expand the lead to eight in the opening minutes of the second half, but shot a scorching 50 percent from the field to stay in the game and eventually get the win.


"I am proud of the team effort tonight," Smith said. "We fought hard on the court after we settled down in the first half, we played quality basketball."


Penttila ended the game with 15 points which ties here season high. Keisha McClinic and Mia Parviainen each had 11 and McClinic connected on 3-of-4 from the three-point arch.  


Middle Tennessee will travel to Little Rock, Ark. to take on Arkansas-Little Rock on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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