Holmes Three-Pointer Downs Wisconsin 77-74

November 27, 2004 · MT Media Relations
HOUSTON, TX. - Senior guard Patrice Holmes knocked down a three-pointer with 29 seconds left to play to give Middle Tennessee (2-2) the lead and a 77-74 victory over Wisconsin (2-2) Saturday at the Houston Classic.

"This was a huge win for us," said Head Coach Stephany Smith. "We played a lot more aggressively on defense and that lead to our improved offensive output."

Middle Tennessee was protecting a two-point lead when Wisconsin's Stephanie Rich hit a three point shot to give the Badgers a one-point lead. A Lady Raider turnover handed the ball back to Wisconsin with 1:15 to go, but Rich turned a positive into a negative with a turnover that gave the ball back to Middle Tennessee.

Holmes, who has taken on the role of playmaker since her sophomore year, didn't back down from the challenge. With the shot clock winding down, Holmes stepped back and popped a long-range three to give Middle Tennessee the advantage. Wisconsin came back down with a chance to take the lead with a three-point shot, but the Badgers Ashley Josephson's shot was short and Chrissy Givens was there for the rebound. Givens was fouled and hit the second of two free throws to give Middle Tennessee the three-point lead.

Middle Tennessee struggled coming out in the second half, as it was all Wisconsin, scoring the first four points of the second half. Wisconsin built a seven-point lead for the second time in the game with 9:57 remaining until the Lady Raider went on another mini run to pull within one 60-59. Wisconsin pushed the lead back to six until Holmes rallied the troops again with her third three-point shot of the game and then turned around and hit a field goal to chip the Badger lead down to one with 6:09 remaining.

The Lady Raiders took their first lead of the second half when freshman Starr Orr scored a lay-up off an assist by Tia Stovall to make the score 66-65 with 5:01 left. Middle Tennessee put together a six-point lead thanks to a three-point play by sophomore Krystle Horton, who scored 24 points in the contest. A freshman mistake by Orr gave Wisconsin a chance at a four-point play when Rich hit a three-pointer and was fouled by Orr, and after Rich hit the free throw, Middle Tennessee only led by two.

Middle Tennessee led at the half 34-32. The Lady Raiders started the game with a three-point bucket by Ditte Jakobsen who earned the first start of her career.

"I decided to give Ditte the start because we were looking to go with experienced players and find our rhythm as a team," Smith said. "I thought we needed to start with a core group of seasoned players and let our freshman set back and come into the game gradually."

The lead see-sawed back and forth until Wisconsin built a seven point lead (25-18) with 5:18 left to play in the first half. Middle Tennessee answered with a seven-point run to tie the game with 3:56 to play in the half. The game was tied again at 29 with 1:53 to go and the Lady Raiders led by as much as four in the waning minutes, thanks to one of four Holmes three point buckets, before Wisconsin pulled within two to close out the half.

Holmes scored a game-high 25 points in the contest and also had a season-high six steals. She also hit a season-high four three-pointers.

Middle Tennessee will face host Houston Sunday at 2 p.m. The Lady Cougars defeated Wisconsin 86-61 Friday and boast a 4-0 record to start the season.

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