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Holt, Givens Lead Blue Raiders to 19th Win in a Row

Duo combines for 49 points in 83-70 Victory

February 7, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MONROE, La. - Chrissy Givens scored 18 points in the first half and Amber Holt had 20 in the second half, as 18th-ranked Middle Tennessee held off a tough Louisiana-Monroe team, 83-70, Wednesday night at Fant-Ewing Coliseum, extending the Blue Raiders school-record winning streak to 19 games.

Middle Tennessee (22-3, 14-0 Sun Belt) won their 10th road game of the season and ninth in a row. The Blue Raiders have not lost a game since November 26 and own the nation's third longest winning streak. The squad's record is the best in school history after 25 games as well.

Middle Tennessee led 45-32 at halftime, but ULM pulled to 68-58 with 7:53 remaining. The Blue Raiders pulled away behind Holt in the second half when the junior was 8-for-14, using an isolation play on the leftside of the court to score on trip after trip down the floor.

Holt finished with 25 points and Givens had 24, leading four Blue Raiders in double figures. Krystle Horton netted 13 points and Chelsia Lymon had 11 off the bench, including a fall-away 3-pointer with three minutes left in the game that put a dagger in the Warhawks.

After Givens had her high school jersey retired on Tuesday night, she played in her hometown for the first time in her career on Wednesday. The senior set the tone early, scoring nine of the team's first 14 points of the game.

Givens scored 18 points in the first half in all on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 6-of-from the foul line. Horton and Lymon added eight points apiece for the Blue Raiders, who had 11 turnovers in the half but forced 15 by the Warhawks. Both teams shot better than 65 percent in the opening 20 minutes, including 70 percent (16-of-23) for Middle Tennessee.

In the second half Holt took over and actually missed at least four other shots in close. She hit eight field goals in the last 20 minutes and followed a 27-point effort on Saturday against South Alabama with 25 points in tonight's victory.

"When Chrissy [Givens] got Amber [Holt] involved in that isolation, [Amber] was able to make some big baskets for us," head coach Rick Insell said. "Chelsia [Lymon] and Johnna [Abney] and even Brandi Brown stepping up and hitting those 3-pointers when they did gave us a nice cushion.

"If we hadn't shot as well as we did tonight from 3-point range, it might have been different. We were 6-of-9 on three's. We got 18 points off the 3-point line and that was enough to win the ballgame."

The Blue Raiders shot a season-best 60 percent from the field, hitting 31-of-52, and making 6-for-9 on 3-pointers. Middle Tennessee also made 15-of-21 free throws.

Louisiana-Monroe ended the contest with 26 turnovers but made up for it by hitting 61 percent from the floor. Nedra Watson led the Warhawks with 15 points, while LeJeanna Howard had 14 and Shannon Lloyd netted 13.

Middle Tennessee takes on arch-rival Western Kentucky Sunday at 2 p.m. in Bowling Green. The Blue Raiders return home Thursday, February 15, facing Florida International at 5:30 p.m.

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