Holt Leads Five Players in Double Figures in 89-62 Victory

Blue Raiders force 33 turnovers in home opening win

November 14, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee raced to a 20-point lead in the opening seven minutes and never looked back, defeating Tennessee Tech, 89-62, Wednesday night at Murphy Center in the home opener for the Blue Raiders.

Senior Amber Holt led all scorers with 19 points and added five rebounds. She was one of five Blue Raiders in double figures. Middle Tennessee forced 33 TTU turnovers in the contest, including 20 in the first half, resulting in 44 Blue Raider points.

The Blue Raiders started the game red hot and jumped to a 26-6 lead with 12:46 left in the opening half. Holt had seven points during the run, and six players scored during the game's first seven minutes.

Middle Tennessee took a 58-24 advantage at halftime thanks to 58 percent shooting from the field, including 9-of-16 from 3-point range. Chelsia Lymon led all scorers in the first half with 10 points, while Holt and Emily Queen both scored nine points.

The Blue Raiders forced 20 TTU turnovers and had 15 steals, turning the Golden Eagle miscues into 30 points.

Middle Tennessee worked on its three-quarter court and contain pressure in the second half, giving up some easy baskets to the Golden Eagles, who were 16-of-21 from the field after intermission. Still, it was a total team effort for the Blue Raiders, who got 38 points off the bench, including 15 from Lymon and 11 from Jackie Pickel.

Anne Marie Lanning scored 12 points and Latoya Barclay had 11 for the Blue Radiers. Lanning also added four assists and seven steals in the contest.

Cara Reed led Tennessee Tech with 13 points, while Jasmine White scored 11 and Mandy Mendenhall and Holly Rogers both netted 10.

Middle Tennessee hits the road for a three-game swing starting Monday at 7 p.m. against the Houston Cougars.

Middle Tennessee improved to 22-11 all-time in home openers. The Blue Raiders are now 32-37 all-time against Tennessee Tech and have won three in a row in the series and three straight at home over the Golden Eagles ... Middle Tennessee made 12 3-pointers in the contest after making 11 at Old Dominion last Saturday. The Blue Raiders now have 18 games with double-digit 3-pointers made under third-year head coach Rick Insell after posting five such contests in 2005-06 and 11 more last season ... Sophomore Chelsia Lymon had a big night, scoring a career-high 15 points and setting career-high marks for FG made (5) and FG attempts (11). She also added four steals and a pair of 3-pointers in the victory ... Freshman Anne Marie Lanning came back from a tough game at ODU to score 12 points, hand out four assists and make seven steals versus TTU ... Middle Tennessee improved to 48-4 under Insell when leading at the half and upped its mark to 43-3 when holding an opponent under 65 points.

Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Insell
On having a quick start

"We have an extremely good shooting basketball team. We get open looks and we knock them down, and it makes it tough. We have some players that are hard-nosed. We are not real fast or real quick. We do foul more then we probably should. We keep grinding and grinding and the next thing you know we have 10 to 12, then we have an 18-point lead. It's what we believe in and it's our philosophy. We played 10 [players] tonight and when we get Starr Orr back, that's only going to help us with our lack of quickness."

On the second half
"We were changing our press. We came out and went into a contain press. We wanted to try out our press on some other people and see how they rotate it and hopefully pick that up. We did a pretty good job at times. We gave them some easy baskets. We were working on some things that we felt we would need down the stretch."

Sophomore guard Jackie Pickel
"If you have a team of shooters, it's going to be on and off all the time. Hopefully we won't have another bad shooting night like we did the first half against Old Dominion ever again. At least someone needs to be shooting well. We gravitate when somebody hits and feel the energy. If you come off the bench you try to keep the intensity and focus that the first five [players] had."

Sophomore guard Chelsia Lymon
On defense

"We take a lot of pride in our defense, especially in the full front setting. We just wanted to come out and contain the ball and pressure the ball and not let them get into their offense. They are a good team. We just wanted to pressure the ball and not let them get anything set up or run anything. We did really well with rotations in the back of the press, getting steals and seeing what was going on up front."

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