Holt Has Career Night in One-Point Victory

Blue Raiders hold on for 69-68 triumph

November 19, 2007 · MT Media Relations
HOUSTON, Texas - Amber Holt recorded her fourth career double-double with career-highs of 30 points and 15 rebounds, including nine straight points in the second half when the game was tied, as Middle Tennessee held on for a 69-68 victory over Houston Monday night at Hofheinz Pavilion.

Houston's Tye Jackson and Twiggy McIntyre had potential game-winning shots in the final 10 seconds of the game. The Cougars scored the final 10 points of the game over two minutes.

The Blue Raiders put together a 20-9 run after Houston tied the contest at 49 with 12:53 remaining in the contest. At that point Holt took over, hitting four straight buckets plus a free throw and then hit Anne Marie Lanning for a layup on the next possession.

Lanning had two free throws of her own on the next trip down the floor to extend the lead to 60-49 for the Blue Raiders, but Houston had a mad rush at the end, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Brittney Scott. Courtney Taylor also had two layups in the final minute after a Blue Raider turnover and a missed shot.

After another Middle Tennessee (2-1) miscue, Jackson brought the ball up the floor with nine seconds remaining, but her jumper in the lane was short and missed the rim completely. McIntyre grabbed the rebound and tried to come from underneath the basket for a shot, but it fell harmlessly on the floor as the buzzer sounded and Middle Tennessee escaped.

Lanning scored 11 points for the Blue Raiders, while Taylor came off the bench to lead the Cougars with 18 points. Jackson added 15 points, while Scott had 14 and McIntyre scored 11.

"We did everything that's in the book of basketball to give this one away," head coach Rick Insell said. "We were up 14-15 points a couple of times and were ready to blow this game out, but we just couldn't stop penetration off the dribble.

"When we got into the stretch where we were executing our offense and we were taking it in low to Amber, not only was Amber scoring but we were executing out offense. We were getting what we needed - fouls, good shots, good looks," Insell said.

After missing its first four shots of the game, turning the ball over four times in the first four-plus minutes and failing to score, the Blue Raiders found the range from the field, hitting six of their next 11 shots, including four 3-pointers, for a 16-9 advantage at the 12-minute media timeout.

Middle Tennessee raced out to a 14-point advantage after an Emily Queen putback with 8:15 remaining in the half, prompting a Cougars timeout. Houston cut the deficit in half at intermission thanks to three straight buckets from McIntyre, and the Blue Raiders headed to the locker room with a 41-34 advantage.

After missing their first three 3-pointers of the half, the Blue Raiders were 7-of-13 over the remaining 15 minutes. Holt scored 11 points and Chelsia Lymon had eight off the bench before the break.

UH scored 15 of the first 23 points after halftime, knotting the contest at 49 after a steal and layup from McIntyre, before Holt scored on four straight possessions to give the Blue Raiders the lead for good.

Middle Tennessee continues its three-game road swing this Sunday, facing the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson at 3 p.m. CT.

Senior Starr Orr played in her first contest of the season after serving a two-game suspension for violation of academic department policy. It was Orr's 89th career game and the 41st start in her four-year tenure as a Blue Raider ... Amber Holt set career-highs with 30 points and 15 rebounds in the contest. The senior also had career-highs in FG made (13) and FG attempts (27) and added four assists and three steals in 37 minutes in the contest ... Freshman Anne Marie Lanning had her best game so far in the young season, scoring 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and grabbing four rebounds ... A big reason for the victory was Middle Tennessee's work on the offensive glass. The Blue Raiders had 22 offensive rebounds and turned those into 29 points ... Holt's 15 rebounds is the most since Chrissy Givens grabbed 15 boards at Chattanooga on November 18, 2005, and the most since Jamie Thomatis had 17 rebounds at Louisiana Tech on February 15, 2001 ... Middle Tennessee improved to 19-14 all-time in one-point games. It was the first one-point game for the Blue Raiders since the squad won by the exact score over Louisiana-Lafayette on January 26, 2006. Middle Tennessee has won six consecutive one-point contests ... The Blue Raiders upped their mark to 5-3 all-time against Houston and picked up their first-ever victory on the road in the series.

QUITE AN EXPERIENCE: Middle Tennessee's road trip started with quite a bang on Sunday, especially the ride to Nashville International Airport. The Blue Raiders made it as far as Hickory Hollow before the Raider X-Press bus started smoking and flames coming from the back end of the bus. Phone calls were made to individuals for help in transporting the 23 people on the trip the rest of the way to the airport. Special thanks to Deb Insell, Kyle Insell, Matt and RJ Riley, Michael Szul and Jeff Lester for their assistance in transporting everyone to the airport for the 1:30 p.m. flight.

SEASON TICKETS STILL ON SALE: Middle Tennessee's women have already surpassed last year's season ticket total and fans may continue to purchase season tickets until Wednesday, December 12. Last year the Blue Raiders sold 2,111 season tickets and already this season fans have purchased almost 2,500 season passes for the 12 regular season home dates, which includes a December 28 contest against four-time NCAA Final Four participant LSU. Women's hoops season tickets are $100 and the combo pack, which includes 18 home contests for the men, is $210. A season ticket brochure may be found at http://www.goblueraiders.com/content.cfm/id/28500.

VIDEO STREAMING FOR ALL GAMES THIS SEASON: There will be no radio for the two exhibition games for the Blue Raiders, but fans may watch the games live over the internet at GoBlueRaiders.com by signing up for the video streaming service through B2 Networks at this link: http://www.goblueraiders.com/content.cfm/id/27642. To watch streaming video through GoBlueRaiders.com and B2 Networks, users must have a broadband Internet connection (500K+) and Windows Media Player version 9 or newer. An All-Sports Pass, which covers all sporting events for the remainder of the 2007-08 academic year, costs $99.95, while a single-game pass is $6. Fans may also purchase a package for all home basketball games this year, which includes men's and women's contests, totaling 35 games for $50.

HOOP-AND-HOLLER FOR A DOLLAR: Middle Tennessee will have hoop-and-holler for a $1 for the team's next home game, Sunday, December 2, versus Western Carolina. All general admission tickets for the 2 p.m. contest will cost $1 and may be purchased from the Middle Tennessee Ticket Office.

Head coach Rick Insell

"We did everything that's in the book of basketball to give this one away. We were up 14-15 points a couple of times and were ready to blow this game out, and the next thing you know, here they come. We just couldn't stop penetration off the dribble. They had two kids that were just running by us. I don't know if they were that quick or what. We didn't do a very good job. We did a very poor job in our half-court defense and we did a very poor job in our full-court press and we did a very poor job of executing our offense."

"Now when we got in that little stretch there where we were executing our offense and we were taking it in low to Amber, not only was Amber scoring but we were executing out offense. We were getting what we needed - fouls, good shots, good looks. When we didn't, a time or two Amber was able to break Anne Marie open. Anne Marie was able to get a couple of looks and bury them and then got fouled once and got two on the free throws. There were some things we did well, but we did a lot more things poorly, very poorly. I would have never imagined this basketball team would play like this the second half. When you play poorly and win a game like this, you just be thankful and go home and get 'em back in class in the morning and that's what we'll do."

"We'll take on a good Arizona team, much like [Houston], very athletic. Hopefully in the mean time we can learn some things."

"We had shots. We had looks. I think, as good as Amber is, she comes in and acts like a 92-year-old grandmother. It's hard to get her up off her chair and then it's hard to get her to moving and then once she gets to moving, she runs like a Cadillac. But to get her moving, she's like a Model T. She's got to pick it up. [Her teammates] gravitate to what she does and when she comes in and drags around, they drag around. When she got to moving out there and got some deflections, the next thing you know we had five or six three's right in a row and we looked like we were going to close the door and then all of a sudden here they [Houston] come."

"They've got a good team. We knew that coming in. We knew they played well at home. They're much like us. They play good at home. They're very athletic. They can defend. They can rebound. Those type teams sometimes give us trouble. They shot the ball extremely well tonight, 48 percent and that's good for them. We outrebounded them and that was big on our part because we don't outrebound many people."

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