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Lady Raiders Survive Thriller 57-55

December 21, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee women's basketball (6-4) pulled out a heart-stopping thriller over Austin Peay (2-6) 57-55 Tuesday in the Murphy Center.

Krystle Horton hit a jumper with 57 seconds left to play to give Middle Tennessee the lead, 56-55. Austin Peay had a chance to take the lead with nine seconds remaining but Lady Raider Patrice Holmes picked up a steal to give the ball back to Middle Tennessee.

Holmes was fouled by Kera Bergeron and hit one of two free throws to give the Lady Raiders a two point advantage. Austin Peay had the last shot but a Carden Cobb three point attempt was long as the buzzer sounded.

Middle Tennessee trailed from the 13:24 minute mark in the first half until the 3:22 mark in the second half. The Lady Raiders were down by as much as 10 in the first half, but cut the lead to five at the half thanks to a Holmes three pointer.

Junior forward Tia Stovall kept the Lady Raiders in the contest in the second half as she was 13-of-17 in an eight minute stretch in the second half. With 8:36 to play in the game Stovall stole the ball and hit a lay-up to tie the game at 41. Stovall gave the Lady Raiders there first lead in the second half when she hit a lay-up with 3:22 remaining to make the score 51-50.

Scoring was at a premium in the first half as the first bucket didn't come until after the first media timeout. Middle Tennessee took the lead for just one of two times in the first half when Stovall hit one of two from the charity stripe at the 15:50 mark.

Middle Tennessee struggled from the field, only shooting 37.7 percent and also didn't convert at the free throw line as the team was 15-of-27 for 55.6 percent. The Lady Raiders got 20 points off 22 Austin Peay turnovers in the game.

Horton recorded her second double-double of the season, and eighth of her career, with a game-leading 19 points and 10 rebounds. Stovall followed with 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds.

Middle Tennessee returns to action on December 29 when the Lady Raiders host Cincinnati. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. in the Murphy Center.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Sophomore Krystle Horton recorded her eighth career double-double in the comeback win over Austin Peay. Horton tallied 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting to go along with a career tying 10 boards. It marked Horton's second double-double of the season but her first since the season opener against South Florida. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native also tied her career-high with four steals.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Members of the working media voted Tia Stovall as the Alexander Automotive Family Player of the Game. Stovall poured in 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and four steals.

STOVALL SAVES DAY: Junior Tia Stovall saved the day on Tuesday with an inspired effort to lead the Lady Raiders to a come-from-behind win over Austin Peay. Struggling miserably on a rare mid-week afternoon game, the Lady Raiders relied heavily on the Estill Springs, Tenn. Native. During a crucial stretch late in the second half and the Lady Raiders trailing by seven points, Stovall accounted for nine consecutive points to knot the score at 43-all. Stovall finished with 18 points, eight boards, and four steals in 25 minutes.

SEASON-HIGH: Middle Tennessee recorded a season-high 19 steals in the win over Austin Peay, which went down as the most by the Lady Raiders since they collected 20 in a win over Alabama a year ago. All 19 steals were registered by the starting five of Krystle Horton, Ditte Jakobsen, Tia Stovall, Patrice Holmes, and Chrissy Givens. Holmes led the way with five.

STRUGGLING AT THE LINE: The Lady Raiders continued their struggles at the line by connecting on just 15-of-27 attempts in the win over Austin Peay. Over the last three games, Middle Tennessee is a combined 40-for-67 at the charity stripe (.597). Against the Lady Govs, the Lady Raider starters were just 12-for-23 at the line for 52.1 percent.

INSIDE THE PAINT: Middle Tennessee's 17 first half points were the fewest by the Lady Raiders since putting up just 15 in the first half against UT-Martin on Jan. 5, 1998 ... Patrice Holmes was held below double digits in scoring for the second time this season and the second time over the last three games ... Lakira Boyd scored three points against Austin Peay, which accounted for all of the bench scoring for the Lady Raiders ... Today's win marked Middle Tennessee's first of the season when trailing at the half ... Lakira Boyd missed her first free throw of the season and is now 13-for-14 on the year ... Despite finishing with 40 rebounds, the Lady Raiders lost the board battle for the first time in five games ... Middle Tennessee's shooting percentage of 37.7 marked its worst effort since connecting on just 32.7 percent of its shots in the NCAA Tournament loss to Notre Dame ... Chrissy Givens handed out a career-high five assists in the win over APSU, while Ditte Jakobsen equaled her personal-best with three assists.

QUOTES:

Head Coach Stephany Smith: "What an athlete and what a difference maker Ashley Haynes was for their basketball team today. She had eight offensive rebounds and 16 rebounds all together. I feel very fortunate right now to be walking away with a win. I'm proud of how we maintained our composure and made some mid-game adjustments. In the last two minutes, to understand time and score and fouls to give, I thought we did a good job."

"By the first media timeout, we had taken 10 shots and six of those shots were three-pointers. That is not to say that we are not a team that can make the three-point shot, but we are not supposed to take 60 percent of our shots from the three-point line. Once you take some and miss some that just packs the defense in even tighter. You want to establish an inside game first, especially in our situation. If you establish the inside game first, it makes your outside game a little easier."

Forward Krystle Horton: "We didn't play today like we did against South Carolina. We didn't come out prepared and ready to play. We just had to fight back and keep fighting during the game and not give up."

"As a team, we did a good job of not giving up. We had to fight back. We didn't want to lose this game. We had to keep playing to win, and we had to give our all."

Forward Tia Stovall: "We really wanted this game to get an extra day for the break. I think that is what everybody was thinking about rather than focusing on the game. We came out a little unprepared. We just had to get our minds back to the ballgame."

"[APSU] came out really aggressive. We weren't aggressive on offense, and we weren't attacking the basket. Once our shots were falling, we started to lay back and wait for someone to step up and do something."

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