Defense, shooting carry Blue Raiders, 87-53

Holt posts fifth double-double, Lanning adds 17 in victory

January 17, 2008 · MT Media Relations
TROY, Ala. - Amber Holt scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Anne Marie Lanning added 17 points, as Middle Tennessee started fast and never looked back, defeating Troy, 87-53, Thursday night at Trojan Arena. It is the sixth straight victory for the Blue Raiders over Troy and was Holt's fifth double-double of the season.

The Blue Raiders started the game with a 17-3 run, as Troy committed eight turnovers in their first 12 possessions and took just five shots in the first eight minutes. Holt went on a scoring barrage, netting 10 straight points to give Middle Tennessee a 23-8 advantage with 8:28 remaining in the half.

Holt continued to fill the basket in the opening 20 minutes, posting 22 points before the break, her most this season in the first half and tying the most in any half this year by the senior. She hit the front end of a 1-and-1 with 6.3 seconds left, giving the Blue Raiders a 43-18 lead heading to the locker room. The Middle Tennessee senior had outscored the Trojans by herself in the first half by four.

Middle Tennessee forced 16 first-half turnovers by the Trojans and turned those into 24 points as well. Angelique Burtts hit a pair of 3-pointers, as did Lanning, with both players scoring eight points before intermission.

Troy started the second half quickly, cutting the deficit to 46-26 three minutes into the half, but that was close as the Trojans would get. The Blue Raiders responded with a 25-4 run over the next seven minutes, including five 3-pointers in six possessions, three from Chelsia Lymon and another pair by Lanning, for a 71-30 lead.

Lanning was 6-for-12 in the game, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, setting career-highs for field goals made and 3-pointers made in the game. Burtts added 10 points in the contests. Middle Tennessee tied a team season-high, going 12-for-21 from 3-point range.

Holt was 13-for-18 from the field, grabbed the 10 boards and added six assists. Lymon finished with nine points, Emily Queen had six points and seven rebounds and Starr Orr posted seven points, five boards and four assists.

"Our team really executed the game plan to the tee tonight and we played really well defensively," head coach Rick Insell said. "It was really a team effort all the way through the lineup with everyone contributing."

Middle Tennessee returns to Murphy Center Sunday, hosting New Orleans at 2 p.m.

Senior Amber Holt recorded her fifth double-double of the season, posting 30 points and 10 rebounds in the victory at Troy. It is also Holt's eighth career double-double and her first since December 19 versus Florida International. She has just missed a double-double on five other occasions this season, grabbing eight or nine rebounds in those contests. It is the seventh double-double posted this year by the Blue Raiders, with freshman Emily Queen recording the other two. MORE ON HOLT: Senior Amber Holt also added six assists in the victory at Troy, the seventh time this season she has posted five or more assists in a game. She outscored Troy's team, 22-18, in the first half, tying for the most points scored in a half this season by the senior and besting her previous high for points in the first half (19 versus LSU and at Western Kentucky). It was also her seventh 30-plus point outing of the year, moving closer to Tawanya Mucker's single-season mark of nine set in 1988.

LANNING KEEPS ON SCORING: Freshman Anne Marie Lanning set career-highs for field goals made (6), 3-pointers made (5) and 3-point attempts (9) as well as tying her career-high for field goal attempts (12) in the win at Troy. Lanning netted 17 points, just one off her career-high of 18 set January 6 versus Denver. It was her eighth double-figure scoring game of the year. She is averaging 8.6 points per game this season, second best on the club, but has upped that mark to 12.0 points per contest in Sun Belt action, including seven games with at least eight points.

3-POINTERS FIND THE MARK: Middle Tennessee broke out of its 3-point shooting slump in the victory at Troy, marking 12-of-21 (.571), a season-best percentage and tying the team season-high for made 3-pointers. It is the fourth best 3-point shooting percentage for one game under head coach Rick Insell. It marked the sixth time this season the Blue Raiders hit 10 or more trifectas in a game and the first time since making 12 versus Florida International on December 19, a span of eight contests. Over the previous six games, Middle Tennessee had made just 36-of-128 (.281) from behind the arc.

TIDBITS: The Middle Tennessee defense held Troy to a season-low for field goals (18) by an opponent, field goal percentage (.340) and assists (6). Troy also took a season-high 15 3-pointers against the Blue Raiders, making only five, and two of the Sun Belt's top scorers, Amy Lewis (18.2) and Kylie Morrissy (13.3), combined for only nine points in the game ... Middle Tennessee improved to 6-0 all-time against Troy ... The Blue Raiders are now 57-5 under head coach Rick Insell when leading at the half and 51-4 when holding an opponent under 65 points ... Chelsia Lymon tied her career-high with three 3-pointers in the game. It is the sixth time Lymon had made 3 trifectas in one game in her career and the third time this season ... Starr Orr tied her career-high with six free throw attempts. Orr also played a season-high 37 minutes in the contest ... Latoya Barclay tied her career-high with four rebounds, her third game this season with three boards. The last time she tallied four rebounds in a game was December 13, 2007, at No. 1/1 Tennessee ... Angelique Burtts tied her career-high with five field goal attempts and set career marks for 3-pointers (2) and 3-point attempts (3). She also tied her career-high with two free throws made.

Middle Tennessee freshman guard Anne Marie Lanning
On the win against Troy

"I think we played a great game together. We had been struggling for a while, but I thought tonight was one of the best performances we put together as a team."

On the team's play defensively
"We've been working and working on that in practice. I think it's finally paying off."

On what defensive set the team started with first
"We started in man [defense]. We didn't change any of our half-court defenses, but we changed our presses. At the beginning, it was hard for them to get the ball past half-court."

On the play of Angelique Burtts
"She works hard in practice. She is coming along. She is doing her best. She makes mistakes, but she is coming along. She came focused into both practices and it showed in the game."

On the play of Amber Holt
"Amber is a phenomenal player. She makes everybody around her better. The things she does are sometimes unbelievable."

Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Insell
On the team's win

"I am proud of our young ladies tonight. They came out with a focus that we haven't seen since the South Alabama game. Defensively, they did a good job. They were very well prepared and they carried the gameplan out to a tee."

On beating Troy on the road
"They have a good team. Troy is a very well-coached ball team. Star Orr did an immaculate job. They were a team that was scoring eight to 11 3-pointers and I was proud of our defensive effort to eliminate their 3-pointers. Chelsia [Lymon] did a good job running our offense. Layoya [Barclay] did a good job by getting some good minutes when Chelsia got into foul trouble. Latoya got some big rebounds when we needed it. Amber Holt was just Amber."

On the play of the younger players
"Anne Marie [Lanning] is a winner. She knew that we needed her to show up tonight. Emily Queen was just a terror on the boards. I didn't like the second foul that she got because I didn't know how the game was going to go. I thought Angelique did a good job coming into the game. She climbed another rung tonight. I was proud of her because she took many chewings from me in practice, but she was able to come out of practice and do well."

On the past couple of practices for Angelique Burtts
"I thought yesterday was the best practice she had all year. She got lost in some defensive assignments, so we pulled her out and showed her what to do. She responded like a winner is supposed to respond."

On showing some new defensive looks
"They knew we were going to trap. We used a three-quarters trap that we hadn't shown anybody this year. We wanted to save it closer to the tournament, but we need to win this game on the road tonight. [The players] came out and did a great job."

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