Lady Raiders Offense Too Much for FAU, 85-63

November 19, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee scored 46 points in the second half to break open a six-point game at the half, and all five starter scored in double figures, in an 85-63 victory over Florida Atlantic Friday night at Murphy Center.

The Lady Raiders (1-1) used 55 percent shooting in the second half to stretch the lead, with freshman Starr Orr leading the way with nine second-half points. Middle Tennessee also forced 25 turnovers in the contest and limited the visiting Owls (0-1) to just 39 percent from the field.

In the first half both squads played sloppily, combining the turn the ball over 24 times. Lady Raider Krystle Horton netted 13 points and eight rebounds in the opening 20 minutes, and a running layup at the buzzer from Patrice Holmes gave Middle Tennessee a 39-33 advantage at the break.

The Lady Raiders scored the first seven points of the second half and stretched the lead to as many as 23 late in the game. All 10 Middle Tennessee players logged at least six minutes, including four freshmen off the bench.

Horton finished with 19 points to lead all scorers, while Orr, Holmes and Tia Stovall all had 12 points and Chrissy Givens added 10. Stovall also grabbed seven rebounds and Holmes dished out six assists.

The Lady Raiders begin a six-game road swing Monday at Alabama at 7 p.m., and do not return home until December 18 to face South Carolina.

The Lady Raiders started freshman Starr Orr for the second straight game and played four true freshmen in the contest (Sara Nuxol, Lakira Boyd, Latoya Barclay). At different times in the game, two freshmen and two sophomores were on the floor together, and all four freshman played the final five minutes of the contest.

CHANGING THE DEFENSE: After allowing South Florida to shoot 55 percent in the second half in the season-opener, the Lady Raiders clamped down more in the half court, limiting Florida Atlantic to just 39 percent from the field, including 32 percent in the second half. Middle Tennessee also showed four different defenses in the contest, including man-to-man, zone, full-court press and a half-court trap.

TIDBITS: Sophomore Krystle Horton ran her double-digit scoring streak to 15 with 19 points in the contest. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native came close to posting her second straight double-double, falling just short with eight rebounds ... Senior Patrice Holmes started her 93rd consecutive contest ... Senior Ditte Jakobsen tallied a career-high by making a pair of three-pointers in the contest. Jakobsen also had a career-high four rebounds and tied her career-high with three assists ... Sophomore Chrissy Givens tallied a career-high four steals ... Freshman Sara Nuxol made her first appearance in a Lady Raider uniform. The Winter Springs, Fla., native has struggled with injuries in the preseason. Nuxol had four points in six minutes of action ... Middle Tennessee's 85 points are the most by the team since scoring 87 at Southern Illinois on January 28, 2003. It marks the most points in a home game since netting 89 against Memphis on December 19, 2002 ... The Lady Raiders won for the 16th time in their last 18 home games dating to January 25, 2003

Head Coach Stephany Smith

"I really wasn't expecting [FAU] to play us much zone because they are not typically a zone team. It doesn't matter what another team's weaknesses or strengths might be. Typically, you play to your strengths. I felt like their strength was man to man. But as you saw, they mostly played against us in a zone. I won't say that surprised me, but they played more zone than I anticipated they would play."

"It was good to get the freshmen some quality minutes. I was even pleased with what I saw Sara Nuxol do. She came in to camp and was injured, but she played very composed. She has been better the last few days in practice. I thought Lakira [Boyd] got a lot better tonight. The most aggressive Starr [Orr] was tonight was in the last five minutes of the game when she was out there with the other freshmen. It was nice to see her do some of the things I saw her do when we were recruiting her. When she is in there with the starting lineup, she is very tentative and hesitant. She never looks to shoot or put the ball on the floor. I want her to be more aggressive."

Guard Chrissy Givens
"Like [Coach Smith] said, there was nothing she could say [at halftime] to pinpoint what we were doing wrong. We were just making mental mistakes and not doing the things we were supposed to be doing. She just told us that we looked terrible and needed to get it together."

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