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Clark's double double highlights exhibition victory

Blue Raiders take 82-51 win

November 3, 2008 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Alysha Clark and Emily Queen combined for 47 points and 17 rebounds and Middle Tennessee stormed past Kentucky Wesleyan, 81-52, in exhibition action at Murphy Center Monday night.

Three Blue Raiders scored double figures and five had seven points or more to lead the ambush. Middle Tennessee used a 47-26 second half advantage to bury the visitors under an offensive avalanche that was generally created by the team's patented pressure defense.

"We have a long way to go and we have a lot of things to work on but now we have tape from a game we can come back and show them and have something to teach from and that's going to be a big help," Middle Tennessee coach Rick Insell said. "I saw some positive things from different players tonight but there's still work in front of us."

VIDEO
Blue Raiders vs. Kentucky Wesleyan
Clark was sensational in her first game as a Blue Raider. The outcome and stats do not count but her stellar performance was smashing debut that provided a glimpse of the talent the heralded transfer possesses. Clark turned in a double double with 30 points and 11 rebounds, including eight offensive caroms, and collected seven steals for good measure.

"It felt really good to play against someone other than my teammates for the first time in a year and a half," Clark said. "It was tough sitting out but it was good to get back out there."

Clark was 10-of-20 from the field and connected for 10 of Middle Tennessee's 12 free throws. She had poured in 17 points and collected four of her steals by intermission.

Queen was not too far behind. The sophomore came off the bench and ignited an immediate spark. She finished with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, and six rebounds. Queen primarily played on the wing although she did see some time in the post too. Her strong shooting display included a 4-of-5 effort in the first half.

"Last year I came in and had to learn a new system and position," Queen said. "Now I'm back to playing the wing and I know the system better, too, so I do feel more comfortable."

Junior point guard Chelsea Lymon turned in a well-rounded performance with 12 points, seven steals and two assists in 30 minutes of action. Brandi Brown and Anne Marie Lanning scored seven each for the Blue Raiders. Lanning also collected three steals.

Brown's 3-pointer at the buzzer provided Middle Tennessee a 35-25 halftime cushion but the Blue Raiders turned up the heat and forced 24 second-half turnovers on the way to a run-away win. Middle Tennessee will face Lincoln Memorial in its final exhibition game next Monday at Murphy Center.

Middle Tennessee Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Rick Insell
On Alysha Clark's play
"Four of those shots she missed she won't miss. She could've have had another eight or 10 points so very easily could've had 40 instead of 30."

On Emily Queen playing the wing this year
"We're playing her facing the basket. We are OK for Brandi (Brown) and Alysha to play inside. I really don't care if Alysha or Emily shoot a three. A lot of times we'll rotate Alysha and Emily depending on the mismatches we can create."

On the intensity of the defense
"I thought the intensity was there. I can't say we didn't play hard. I thought we had good effort. I would have liked to see us get on the floor more. There were times we just stood and watched. I would've liked to see us skinning an elbow or a knee, instead of standing there and maybe tearing an ACL."

Junior forward Alysha Clark
On getting back on the floor
"It felt really good to play against someone other than my teammates for the first time in a year and a half. It was tough sitting out but it was good to get back out there."

On the team's intensity
"I thought it was really good. Everybody came in and played hard. They were diving after balls and sprinting up and down the floor. That's all you can look for in an exhibition game because not everything will click and the shots won't fall. So you just have to look at whose giving the most effort."

On the team's run in the second half
"It's good because we know our potential and what we can be. But it's just going to take a matter of repetition and working really hard every day. I think once we get more comfortable with each other and in Coach Insell's system, I think it will just come."

Sophomore forward Emily Queen
On being more comfortable
"Last year I came in and had to learn a new system and position. Now I'm back to playing the wing and I know the system better too so I do feel more comfortable."

On the physicality of the game
"It is Division 1 and we're going to play physical games night-in and night-out. You have to expect that and just play through it."

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