Raiders Extend Win Streak to Record 16 Games

Blue Raiders take school-record 48 3-pointers in victory

January 28, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - For the second game in a row 19th-ranked Middle Tennessee used a big run to start the second half to extend a precarious halftime lead, scoring 29 of the first 34 points en route to an 84-57 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette Sunday at Murphy Center. The Blue Raiders won their 16th consecutive game, breaking the school record.

The Blue Raiders (19-3, 11-0 Sun Belt) took a school-record 48 3-pointers in the game, hitting only 12 of the attempts, but nine in the second half, against the soft zone from the Ragin' Cajuns (17-6, 9-4).

Middle Tennessee used a 29-5 run to begin the second half, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from freshman Chelsia Lymon, who was inserted into the lineup at point guard to begin the half. The Blue Raiders also turned up the defensive pressure, forcing five turnovers in UL's first eight trips up the floor.

Brandi Brown also hit a pair of trifectas at the end of the run.

Senior Krystle Horton posted her 12th career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds and also held UL's leading scorer, Yolanda Jones, to just six points in the first 35 minutes of the game.

Chrissy Givens led all scorers with 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting, and also grabbed eight rebounds with four assists and three steals. Junior Amber Holt contributed eight points, seven boards and four steals as well, and the Blue Raider defense forced 29 turnovers by the Ragin' Cajuns and turned those into 30 points.

The Blue Raiders struggled mightily from the field in the first half, especially from 3-point range, hitting just 3-for-23 from behind the arc. The squad made only 11 shots in the first half but forced 14 turnovers.

Middle Tennessee hosts Denver Wednesday at 7 p.m. and South Alabama next Saturday at Murphy Center.

Middle Tennessee will host the annual Girls and Women in Sports Day on Saturday, February 3, in conjunction with the women's basketball game against South Alabama that begins at 3 p.m. Interested parties may purchase a $10 that includes a game ticket, a hot dog and a soda. A two-hour clinic prior to the game is also part of the day as well as all of the girls being recognized at halftime of the game. Call the Middle Tennessee Ticket Office at 615/898-2103 or 1-888-YES-MTSU.

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Senior Krystle Horton started her 100th career game in the win over Louisiana-Lafayette to move into a tie for eighth place on the all-time list with Tia Stovall (2003-06). With three more starts she will tie Tawanya Mucker for seventh place. It was also the Murfreesboro native's 117th career game played, which ties her with Cortney Neeley for fourth place all-time.

STATUS QUO: Known for her all-around play, senior Chrissy Givens did not let anyone down on Sunday against Louisiana-Lafayette, as she filled the stat sheet once again. The Monroe, La., native notched her fourth straight 20-point game after tallying 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in 32 minutes. Givens, who recorded the 33rd 20-point game of her career, also went over the 100 assist mark for the third straight year.

BLUE RAIDERS SET SCHOOL RECORD: Middle Tennessee attempted a school record 48 3-pointers in the win over Louisiana-Lafayette, while connecting on 12. The 48 attempts was just four shy of the NCAA record of 52 attempts set by Cal Poly in 1999 and Alabama in 1995.

STREAK REACHES 16: The Blue Raiders ran their winning streak to a school-record 16 in a row with Sunday's win over Western Division-leading Louisiana-Lafayette. The current streak is tied with Stanford for the third longest nationally behind North Carolina (22) and Duke (21).

26 AND COUNTING: Middle Tennessee's home dominance of Sun Belt foes continued against Louisiana-Lafayette, as the Blue Raiders won their 26th game in a row versus league foes at Murphy Center. The last time Middle Tennessee dropped a conference home game was February 5, 2004, in double overtime against Western Kentucky. Overall, the Blue Raiders have won 30 of their last 31 home conference games and head coach Rick Insell is a perfect 15-0 at the Glass House against SBC competition.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Krystle Horton continued her solid all-around play against Louisiana-Lafayette, as she recorded the 12th double-double of her career. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native had 13 points and equaled her career-high with 12 rebounds to key the Blue Raiders' win over the Ragin' Cajuns. The senior also nailed her first 3-pointer of the season and the fourth of her career when she connected late in the second half.

ONE SHY FOR 15: Middle Tennessee will enter Wednesday night's game against Denver seeking its 15th 20-win season in school history. The Blue Raiders currently stand 19-3 overall and need one more win to secure the program's fourth straight 20-win campaign.

QUICK HITTERS: Krystle Horton made her first 3-pointer of the season and just the fourth of her career ... Brandi Brown attempted a career-high 14 3-pointers which ties for fifth on the single-game list ... Both Krystle Horton and Chrissy Givens recorded their 71st double-figure scoring games against UL to tie for eighth on the all-time list ... Middle Tennessee recorded its 11th game of scoring 80 or more points and is 11-0 in those games ... Middle Tennessee is now a perfect 11-0 all-time against UL ... Middle Tennessee has now won its 11 SBC games by an average margin of 27.5 points per contest ... The Blue Raiders shot just 37.3 percent from the field against UL, the worst shooting performance this season for the Blue Raiders since the second game of the year against South Dakota State (.308) ... The Blue Raiders have forced an average of 33.7 turnovers (101) in their last three home games combined ... Seven different players hit a 3-pointer for the Blue Raiders against UL ... Chelsia Lymon equaled her career-high with three made 3-pointers.

Middle Tennessee Coach Rick Insell
On senior guard Chrissy Givens getting in foul trouble early

"She's smart, she's intelligent, she knows how to play with fouls. She just couldn't get up in them as aggressively as she was. Chrissy's our leader and she's going to stay on the floor as much as I can keep her on the floor."

On poor first-half shooting
"Our two best shooters were shaky. I've never seen them like that before. They've been in all kinds of pressure games and I've never seen them not step up and just force shots, and we were having to make them take shots. Talking amongst themselves after I talked to them at halftime did more than anything. Then Chelsia [Lymon] came in and hit two quick [3-pointers] and that got us rolling. I knew if we could hit one or two in row, that we would get going and that's what we needed. You get your confidence from yourself not all the time, you get your confidence from your teammates."

On senior forward Krystle Horton
"What do you say about Krystle Horton? She's all over the floor. I don't know what got into her. I've never seen anybody make a change like she's made. If she continues to play like that, we are going to go far. She defends their best player inside and out on the perimeter, she's going in and getting eight to 10 rebounds a night. She had three steals, 13 points and 12 rebounds and she shot 5-of-6. I'll take that every night."

On energy and the full-court press
"That's our game. We do that in practice everyday. You play like you practice and we really go at it hard. We've been tired. Maybe we got a little bit of that out of us today. Thank goodness we're home. We get to play here Wednesday and next Saturday and we're happy to be home.

Senior Guard Chrissy Givens
On the second-half turnaround

"We came in at halftime and he gave us an earful, which is what we expected. We knew that wasn't our game that we were playing. For Krystle [Horton] to come out and steal that ball in the second half, that was a big factor. Defense is our game, and it kind of picked everyone else up.

On shooting a school-record 48 three-point attempts
"We took 48, but I'm sure we probably had 56 or 57 that Brandi [Brown] and Johnna [Abney] passed up. Three-point shooting is a big part of our game. When we're hitting we're unstoppable. It took us a while to get started, but Coach [Insell] keeps telling us to shoot, shoot, shoot, and we just try to go get the rebound."

Louisiana-Lafayette head coach J. Kelley Hall
On today's game

"I feel we should have had a lead going into [half-ime] and that we should have had a couple, easy shots that we should have made. Middle [Tennessee] has killed people this year. We need to just go back and look at [turnovers]. I know that in the second half they hit a lot of 3-pointers, but our plan was to make them shoot a lot. I felt that we could maybe live with 10 or 11 [3-pointers]. The one's that were big and that I thought were key for them were the seven they hit off of the bench. If I'm not mistaken they were from Chelsia [Lymon] and Brandi [Brown]. Anytime your bench comes off and shoots 31 [3-pointers], you have a strong bench. We were aware of that. It was a two-fold thing. One, Middle started hitting and the other is that we were going up and down and weren't getting anything. We got tired. I think you have to give them credit - they shut us down defensively and got hot.

On Louisiana-Lafayette's game-plan
"I planned going into a match-up to make them shoot it from the perimeter and that they could make 10 [3-pointers] a game. We have beaten several teams this year that have made 10 or 11 against us. It was the other stuff that I felt like we needed to shut down, like the points off of turnovers."

On Middle Tennessee's up-tempo play
"The scouting report that has been going against us now is trying to make us play faster. In the last four or five games we have played faster. We have averaged a lot [of points]. Today, I told the kids that Middle [Tennessee] is going to take the tempo. My plan was once you beat them, we will come over and attack them. I felt like we made some poor decisions passing the ball. We made 29 turnovers and we don't really do that. You have to give them credit - they made us play faster."

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