Raiders Hit 17 3-Pointers in 93-63 Victory

Brandi Brown has 25 points, Jackie Pickel 18 in victory

January 2, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Brandi Brown hit seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points and Jackie Pickel added six 3-pointers, as 25th-ranked Middle Tennessee knocked down 17 trifectas en route to a 93-63 victory over North Dakota State and its eighth straight victory Tuesday night.

The Blue Raiders (11-3) shot 53 percent from 3-point range, hitting 17-of-32, one shy of the school record. Middle Tennessee has five games this season with more than 10 3-pointers made, including 16 against Louisiana-Monroe on December 17.

Brown was 7-of-10 from 3-point range and 9-for-13 overall from the field, scoring 25 points and adding three assists in 21 minutes of action. Pickel hit 6-of-9 from behind the arc, scoring 18 points and grabbing three rebounds in 19 minutes of action.

Middle Tennessee forced 15 first-half turnovers, scoring 21 points off the NDSU miscues, and the Blue Raiders hit seven 3-pointers, including three from Pickel, to take a 47-26 advantage at the break.

Brown added a pair of 3-pointers and had 10 points and Amber Holt scored 12 points with seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Middle Tennessee shot almost as well from 3-point range (39 percent) as from inside the arc (41 percent) and was 10-for-11 at the foul line.

In the second half Brown and Pickel kept firing away, hitting seven trifectas between the two freshman, as the Blue Raiders were 10-of-14 from behind the arc in the second half. The roommates made trifectas on 7-of-9 trips up the floor at one point late in the half, stretching the Middle Tennessee lead to as many as 36 at 90-54 with 4:52 left in the game.

Holt finished with 18 points and Chrissy Givens added 10 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals.

The Blue Raiders end their current five-game homestand Saturday, taking on Troy at 7 p.m. The Middle Tennessee men also host Troy on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Middle Tennessee's weekly radio show with the head coach, Rick Insell Live, will begin Monday, January 15 at 6 p.m. at Bluesboro in downtown Murfreesboro. The one-hour program is hosted by the voice of the Blue Raiders, David Reed, and allows fans in the audience as well as those listening to ask questions of the second-year coach. Shows will run each Monday until the end of the season at Bluesboro on January 15, 22 and 29 and February 5, 12, 19 and 26.

BROWN ADDED TO NEWCOMERS BLOG: Freshman Brandi Brown talks about her experiences and adjustments to college life and basketball in the Newcomers Blog added December 28. Freshman Chelsia Lymon was the first newcomer to pen a blog for GoBlueRaiders.com this fall. In the coming weeks freshman Jackie Pickel and junior Amber Holt will also tell of their experiences as a Blue Raider.

The Blue Raiders have made a living on the long ball this season and it was clearly evident in Tuesday's win over North Dakota State. The Blue Raiders hit a season-high 17 3-pointers in the victory, one shy of the school record of 18 set by the 1994-95 squad against Chattanooga. Freshmen Brandi Brown, Jackie Pickel and Chelsia Lymon accounted for 15 of the 17 treys.

FRESHMEN SHINE IN WIN: Freshmen Brandi Brown and Jackie Pickel enjoyed their best games at the collegiate level to ignite the Blue Raiders to an easy victory over visiting North Dakota State. Brown poured in a career-best 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting in just 21 minutes of action. Brown, who connected on a personal-best 7-of-10 3-pointers, bettered her previous scoring high of 17 points set against South Alabama. The seven trifectas ties for the fifth most in a game at Middle Tennessee with Sandy Brown (Clemson, 12/03/88) and Heather Prater (Oregon, 12/03/93). Pickel, who now has 13 3-pointers over the past four games, notched a personal-best 18 points while hitting a season-high six trifectas.

GIVENS MOVING UP: Senior Chrissy Givens made moves on Middle Tennessee's all-time assists and steals list on Tuesday night. With seven assists in the win over North Dakota State, Givens passed Jennifer McFall for ninth place and ran her career total to 354. Givens needs just two more to take over eighth place from Janet Ross. The Monroe, La., native also had three steals to move past Sherry Tucker for fourth place on the all-time steals list. Givens now has 223 career steals and is chasing former teammate Keisha McClinic (246) for third place.

STREAKIN' RAIDERS: Middle Tennessee's win over North Dakota State was the team's eighth in a row, tying for the 12th longest in school history. The Blue Raiders will go for number nine on Saturday at home against Troy as they continue to chase the all-time mark of 15 set in 1987.

HORTON TIES FOR 10TH: Senior Krystle Horton made her 92nd career start tonight against North Dakota State to tie Sherry Smith for 10th place on the all-time list at Middle Tennessee. Horton, who has 11 starts this season, could be in the Top 5 at Middle Tennessee if the Blue Raiders make a strong push in postseason play.

BLUE RAIDERS IN TOP 25: Earlier today, Middle Tennessee's women's basketball team learned it was a member of the Top 25. The ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll was released and the Blue Raiders came in at No. 25, the team's first ranking since 1988 and just the fourth in school history. Middle Tennessee has never been ranked in the Associated Press poll and has only appeared three times in the Coaches Poll in school history and all three times at No. 25: March 12, 1985, December 20, 1988 and December 27, 1988.

QUICK HITTERS: Head Coach Rick Insell ran his record to 21-3 at Murphy Center ... The Blue Raiders have now scored 90 or more points four times this season ... The 11-3 record is the best start by the Blue Raiders since the 1994-95 team began the year 17-1 ... Middle Tennessee is 11-0 when leading at the half ... Amber Holt posted her 13th double figure scoring game of the year and her eighth in a row ... Chrissy Givens scored a season-low 10 points.

Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Insell

"We have been practicing well lately, especially when it comes to shooting the ball. However, I wasn't very satisfied with our defense tonight. We had to outscore them to win tonight. We have got to do a better job down the stretch with our defense because we are not going to be able to shoot this well every game. North Dakota State has a good team who plays a tough schedule. I am very proud of our ladies."

Middle Tennessee Freshman Guard Jackie Pickel
On her developing confidence

"We take a lot of heat from Coach Insell when we don't shoot the ball in practice. In the game, it is repetition, just repetition from practice. If you are open, you take the shot and don't think about it."

Middle Tennessee Freshman Guard Brandi Brown
On her performance verse North Dakota State

"I guess I just had it tonight. I could see it whenever I got the ball. It was a good experience and a lot of fun. It is great to win at home."

North Dakota State head coach Amy Ruley
on Middle Tennessee's 3-point shooting

"It wasn't anything that surprised us. When you look at their statistics on the season, they are an awfully good 3-point shooting basketball team. The other thing they do so well is when they don't hit the three, they are there to rebound. It's a back breaker when they actually miss one and get a rebound and find the next open player. They showed a terrific display of 3-point shooting, as good as I've ever seen in my years in coaching. It was a great game plan on their part. It was terrific execution. I don't know what we could've done differently this evening to change the game because they play great basketball."

on Middle Tennessee's defensive pressure
"Particularly in the first half (it was relentless). I think in the second half, we had five or six (turnovers), but in the first half we had 15. When we did get through, we traveled. They didn't necessarily have to steal, but it was our unraveling that played into their hands with their pressure. I thought mentally we were ready. We knew we would have to attack. We were not as quick. You've got to make good cuts. We have a tendency to cut towards them in the passing lanes, which really disrupted us. We aren't accustomed to adjusting to that kind of speed and quickness."

on if Middle Tennessee is one of the fastest teams she has seen
"They are awfully good. We knew they were last year, but obviously they stepped it up. They've added some great additional athletes to their team. They've got a good feel on what they are trying to do. Their late season performance, their Sun Belt conference championship and opportunity to play in the [NCAA] tournament really impacted this team with a boost of confidence."

on her technical foul in the first half
"It was a defensive play in front of our bench. I told the official he needed to call reaching in from behind and I got a technical from that. Usually that's not a technical unless it's warranting behavior or comment. I was somewhat surprised, but there were some things that happened prior to the game, so it didn't totally shock me."

on the physical play of Middle Tennessee
"I thought they might be more physical. I thought we might see more aggressive trapping and rotating off. I thought maybe we stayed a little more aggressive to not to allow that. I expected it to be even more physical than it was."

on Lisa Bue scoring a career-high 21 points
"We needed everyone to be aggressive on offense. If they had opportunities, they needed to take them. We had to take the opportunities that were there. She stepped up and was ready to do some scoring for us and it was important for her to do that."

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