Four Players in Double Figures in 85-46 Victory

Blue Raiders move into second round of NCAA Tournament for third time in four seasons

March 17, 2007 · MT Media Relations
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Chrissy Givens scored 24 points and Amber Holt added 23, as 17th-ranked and fifth-seeded Middle Tennessee jumped out early and finished strong, defeating 12th-seeded Gonzaga, 85-46, Saturday night at Maples Pavilion in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It marks the third time in four years the Blue Raiders advance to the second round and extends Middle Tennessee's winning streak to a national-best 27 games.

Middle Tennessee (30-3) started the game slowly before going on a 24-6 run to go ahead 29-10 with 9:09 left in the first half. The Blue Raiders held the Bulldogs without a field goal for almost 11 minutes. Gonzaga netted seven free throws from 12:44 in the opening 20 minutes until a Heather Bowman short baseline jumper with 1:49 left in the half ended the drought.

The Blue Raiders forced 21 turnovers in the half, capitalizing for 23 points and running out to a 44-20 advantage at the break. Givens netted 18 in the half, while Holt added 11 and Krystle Horton had eight.

In the second half Gonzaga started fast, closing the deficit to 56-37 with 11:34 remaining after a Michelle Elliott 3-pointer. But Middle Tennessee answered with a 26-4 run over the next seven-plus minutes, leading 82-41 at the under four-minute media timeout.

Starr Orr hit a pair of 3-pointers and Jackie Pickel and Latoya Brown both added a trifecta during the run. Orr finished with 10 points and six rebounds, as the Blue Raiders outrebounded the much taller Bulldogs, 34-32.

Horton finished with 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds as well as three assists and four steals, while Holt hit 10-of-14 shots for her 23 points, grabbed six boards and made four steals. Givens had five rebounds, four assists and five steals to go along with her 24 points.

Middle Tennessee forced Gonzaga into 37 turnovers in all, converting those into 43 points. Gonzaga was the ninth team this season with 30 or more turnovers in a game against the Blue Raiders.

Middle Tennessee awaits the winner of fourth-seeded and seventh-ranked Ohio State and 13th-seeded Marist for a game on Monday at a yet-to-be-determined time.

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