Lady Raiders fall to Western Kentucky 79-71

February 26, 2004 · MT Media Relations
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Middle Tennessee (19-7, 9-4 Sun Belt) was swept by Western Kentucky (15-12, 9-4) in the Sun Belt East as the Lady Toppers defeated the Lady Raiders 79-71 Thursday in E.A. Diddle Arena.

Middle Tennessee jumped out quick on Western Kentucky, 15-2, but fouls began to play a factor for the Lady Raiders. Early foul trouble in the first half for Middle Tennessee's three key starters, Tia Stovall, Krystle Horton and Patrice Holmes, allowed Western Kentucky to climb back into the game. The Lady Raiders found themselves in a rotation that was missing their three leading scorers with senior Keisha McClinic and Chrissy Givens sharing time at the point guard position.

"We really felt handcuffed in the first half with our three leading scorers on the bench," said head coach Stephany Smith. "Especially with Chrissy not having a particularly good game."

Western Kentucky went on an 18-9 run in five and a half minutes of the first half. The Lady Toppers took the lead, 37-35, on a bucket by Camryn Whitaker with 49 seconds.

Middle Tennessee came out in the second half on a 4-0 run to take the lead back at the 19:11 mark off a lay-up by Tia Stovall. After that it was like a roller coaster ride for both teams. The game was tied for the final time with the score of 56 all when Whitaker hit a trey from the top of the key to give the Toppers the lead 59-56. Western Kentucky never trailed again.

Freshman Krystle Horton led all scorers with 25 points for the Lady Raiders. She was also 11-of-15 from the field and 3-of-5 from the free throw line.

Holmes and senior Jennifer Justice each had 10 points in the game and each also dished out a team-high four assists. McClinic picked up one steal in the contest, which ties the school's single season record of 92.

Middle Tennessee travels to Miami, Florida on Monday for the final game of the regular season, to take on Florida International. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Central.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.