Five Lady Raiders Score in Double Figures in WinNovember 24, 2003 · MT Media Relations
Middle Tennessee, which opened the game on a 7-0 run, found it wouldn't be that easy in the rest of the first half as SIU stormed back to make it a game. After four ties and five lead changes, the Lady Raiders would only lead by four, 34-31, at the half.
Southern Illinois came out in the second half just as determined and tied the game at 41 with 15:56 remaining in the game. A three point shot by Patrice Homes put the Lady Raiders up 44-41 and Ciara Gray made it back-to-back three-pointers with her trey with 14:48 to play. Middle Tennessee would never relinquish the lead again.
Holmes recorded her second straight 20 plus game with 21 points and also seven rebounds and five assists. Senior Keisha McClinic and freshman Krystle Horton each notched double-doubles in the contest. McClinic had 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Horton, in the first double-double of her young career, had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The two remaining Lady Raiders who had double figures in scoring were Ciara Gray with 12 and Tia Stovall with 13. Gray's 13 points was a career-high for the junior as well as her two three-point shots.
Middle Tennessee proved deadly at the charity stripe as the team hit 17-of-20 for 85 percent. The Lady Raiders also pounded the boards with 44 rebounds in contrast to the Salukis 29.
The Lady Raiders begin the season 2-0 for the first time since the 2000-01 season and the 13th time overall.
Middle Tennessee will try to extend their win streak to three when the team travels to Boca Raton, Florida on November 28-29 to compete in the Florida Atlantic Tournament. The Lady Raiders are scheduled to play Manhattan at 4 p.m.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: The Lady Raiders had two players record double-doubles in the win over Southern Illinois as senior Keisha McClinic and freshman Krystle Horton both hit double digits in points and rebounds. McClinic, who tallied a game-high 12 boards to go along with 10 points, registered her fourth career double-double and her first since last year's game against South Carolina State on Dec. 14. The 12 caroms for McClinic also matched her career-best set against New Orleans on Jan. 27, 2001. Horton is the first freshman to notch a double-double since Tia Stovall had 27 points and 11 boards in a win over Memphis last year.
CAREER-HIGH FOR GRAY: Junior Ciara Gray came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting to go along with a personal-best two three-pointers. Gray is now 7-for-12 from the field on the season.
STRONG AT THE LINE: The Lady Raiders shot well at the charity stripe tonight by connecting on 17 of 20 attempts for a percentage of 85.0. MT went 10-for-11 in the first half and was 7-for-9 in the second period. The Lady Raider bench was a perfect 6-for-6 from the line.
HITTING THE BOARDS: Along with two wins, a common theme in the Lady Raiders' first two games of the year has been their work on the glass. Middle Tennessee has out-rebounded its first two opponents by a combined margin of 81 to 57 (40.5 to 28.5) and has won the board battles in five straight games dating back to the 2002-03 season. In fact, the Lady Raiders have not lost the board battle in 10 straight home games (Austin Peay outrebounded MT, 35-27, on Jan. 6, 2002).
20-SOMETHING: Patrice Holmes tallied 21 a game-high 21 points against the Salukis to record her 16th 20-point game of her career and the second in a row this season. Holmes has now scored 20 or more points in four of her last five games (only miscue was a 19-point effort against WKU in the SBC finals).
TIDBITS: Patrice Holmes made her 61st straight start tonight ... This marks the first 2-0 start for the Lady Raiders since the 2000-01 season and the program has not started 3-0 since the 1998-99 campaign ... Sophomore Tia Stovall hit double figure points for the seventh straight game dating back to last season ... MT's starters outrebounded SIU's starters, 36 to 17 ... Patrice Holmes has played all 80 minutes this season ... Chrissy Givens scored her first points as Lady Raider when she notched four against SIU.
NEXT UP: The Lady Raiders will travel to Boca Raton, FL to compete in the FAU Tournament. MT will face Manhattan on Friday before taking on Florida Atlantic or Norfolk State on Saturday. The Lady Raiders will not return home until Dec. 17 vs Chicago State.
MT Head Coach Stephany Smith: "You hope you are always going to get effort. As a coach, that is the one thing I always say, don't make me coach effort. You hope effort is always going to be there. I will say, in the first half it was not there. It progressively got better throughout the second half. I am not sure why, but we did not seem ready to play. They had 15 different transition opportunities. We stopped them twice in the first half and once in the second half. We don't give up transition lay-ups. But, we gave up twelve tonight. That is absolutely 100 percent lack of effort."
"I think we progressively got better in the second half. Again, I think that was due to our effort. We did a better job of attacking the zone. Our press looked pretty good throughout the entire game. I think our strength lies within our defense. We played aggressively against Tennessee Tech, but I don't think we played aggressively tonight. Our defense, I really thought, wasn't real good today."
MT Guard Patrice Holmes: "I just took what the defense gave me, and I went from there. [Coach Smith] was displeased with the effort we were showing on defense and offense. We weren't attacking the zone or getting back in transition defense."
MT Guard Ciara Gray: "I feel like that every team that plays us in zone, we have to step up outside and hit the big shot. Since I have been working on my shot, I felt like that is what I had to do."
"I think we picked up our intensity. In the first half, we had no intensity and no energy. We knew they were not going to give up whether they were down or ahead. We knew we had to put more pressure on the ball."
SIU Head Coach Lori Opp: "I thought it was a real physical game. I thought it was a fast paced game. Middle Tennessee did a great job of getting on the offensive boards, and that really hurt us. Not only did they get on the offensive boards, but also we would foul them and send them to the free throw line. They did their part. They had several people step up. I was real impressed with the players that they have and what they were able to do. You always look at Patrice Holmes, but they had some other people step up. They ended up with several players in double figures. I was pleased with how our team handled pressure. I thought we did a much better job than what we had done in the past."
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