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Givens, Holt Both Tally 23 Points in 87-60 Victory

Givens records sixth career double-double

November 18, 2006 · Jo Jo Freeman
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Chrissy Givens and Amber Holt both scored 23 points and Starr Orr added 12 in only her 10th career start, leading Middle Tennessee to an 87-60 victory over Maine Saturday in the Subway Classic.

Givens recorded her sixth career double-double, grabbing 13 rebounds and adding six assists and three steals. Holt tallied 18 of her 23 points in the first half when the Blue Raiders opened the lead to as many as 26 points.

Orr did exactly what she was inserted in the lineup to do, score and rebound (seven), and the Danville, Ala., native also had five assists in 27 minutes of action.

The Blue Raiders started the game with a 12-3 run and never looked back in the first half, taking a 47-26 advantage at the break. Holt posted 18 points and Givens 13 in the opening half, but it was a staunch defense and improved rebounding that were the biggest differences, limiting Maine to just 38 percent shooting (6-for-16) and a 30-9 rebounding margin for Middle Tennessee.

The Blackbears (1-1) had just six field goals in the first period, including a stretch of more than 10 minutes without a bucket. Middle Tennessee worked through foul problems in the opening 20 minutes as well, with 17 fouls whistled on the Blue Raiders allowing Maine to shoot 22 free throws.

Middle Tennessee led 20-12 after a Maine 3-point play from Abby Greene with 10:48 to play in the first half. The Blue Raiders then scored 23 of the next 28 points in the contest over a six-minute stretch, with Holt contributing nine points and Givens six during the run.

In the second half the Blue Raiders led by as many as 23 and the lead was never less than 16. Middle Tennessee knocked down seven 3-pointers in the second half and 12 for the game, as well as outrebounding the Blackbears Maine, 48-24, for the game.

"We shot the ball better in the first half and really hit the boards hard, one of things we've been working on in practice," head coach Rick Insell said. "We came out with more focus, especially early. We turned up the heat in practice and these young ladies responded well.

"Our depth was really a factor as well. We got in some foul trouble in the first half, but this year we're able to bring Chelsia [Lymon], Jackie [Pickel], LaCondra [Mason] and LaToya [Brown] off the bench at the guard spots and even Brandi [Brown] if we need her."

Holt added seven rebounds in the win and was 6-of-12 from the floor and 9-for-12 from the foul line.

Middle Tennessee tournament-host Minnesota at 3 p.m. CT Sunday in the championship game.

POSTGAME NOTES
FREE THROWS KEY AGAIN:
For the third straight game, Middle Tennessee converted on its opportunities from the foul line with excellence. The Blue Raiders were 19-for-24 (79 percent) for the game, including a perfect 12-for-12 in the first half. The squad is shooting 83 percent (44-for-53) for the season from the charity stripe. Junior Amber Holt leads the way from the foul line, hitting on 82 percent (23-for-28) of her attempts so far this season.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE TWICE: Senior Chrissy Givens posted her sixth career double-double in the victory over Maine, posting 23 points and 13 rebounds. It marks the second straight game the Blue Raiders have had a player with a double-double after Amber Holt's 19 points and 10 boards versus South Dakota State. Givens had three double-doubles last season and two more as a sophomore. In the last two seasons the Blue Raiders have posted seven double-doubles as a team in each campaign and had 14 in 2003-04.

DEFENSIVE PRESSURE AGAIN: Middle Tennessee continues to force opponents to turn the ball over at a high rate. Maine had 20 turnovers in Saturday's victory and the Blue Raiders three opponents this season have turned the ball over 67 times in three games, just over 22 turnovers per game. Middle Tennessee also has 24 steals in three outings, an average of eight per contest, and posted nine thefts in the 87-60 win over Maine over Saturday.

TIDBITS: Middle Tennessee improved to 1-2 all-time against Maine with the victory. The Blackbears won the previous two meetings in the series in 1986 and 1998 ... The Blue Raiders totaled 48 rebounds in the contest, the team's most since grabbing 49 rebounds against Arkansas-Little Rock on February 15, 2003, a span of 104 games.

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