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Blue Raiders Splash into AP Poll at No. 21

Squad makes first-ever appearance in Associated Press poll; Plays at Florida International Tuesday night likely with senior Chrissy Givens in the lineup

January 8, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee debuted in the Associated Press women's basketball poll on Monday at No. 21 in the nation, the first-ever ranking for the Blue Raiders in the national AP poll.

The Blue Raiders have been in the Top 30 in the rankings for the last month after upsetting then eighth-ranked Georgia in Athens on December 7. Middle Tennessee was ranked 25th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll last week, the first Top 25 ranking for the program since December 1988.

Middle Tennessee is riding a nine-game winning streak heading into Tuesday's contest at Florida International. The Blue Raiders also play at Florida Atlantic on Thursday and New Orleans on Saturday before returning home January 18 to face Arkansas State.

Middle Tennessee is 6-6 in the overall series with Florida International, with all 12 meetings taking place since the Blue Raiders joined the Sun Belt, but the squad has enjoyed little success at Pharmed Arena in Miami, posting a 1-5 mark. The Blue Raiders lost in 2001-03, picked up their only victory on March 1, 2004, and have dropped the last two to the Golden Panthers on the road.

Florida International enters Tuesday's contest 9-5 overall and 3-1 in Sun Belt play after an 84-73 loss at Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday. LaQuetta Ferguson leads three Golden Panthers averaging double figures with 16.2 points per game with Iva Ciglar third at 11.4 points per contest. Lasma Jakobsen is second on the club at 13.5 points and first in rebounds with 11.1 per game. FIU has alternated wins and losses in the last four games.

GIVENS PROBABLE FOR TUESDAY: Senior Chrissy Givens is probable for Tuesday's game against Florida International after injuring her knee in the win over Troy. Givens went through almost all of practice Monday morning at FIU, including agility and shooting drills. Her status for the game will be determined at Tuesday morning's shoot-around.

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