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Lady Raiders Use Second Half Surge for 64-58 Win

January 6, 2005 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee (8-5) used a second half surge to overcome Xavier (7-5) 64-58 Thursday in the Murphy Center.

Trailing 33-31 at the half, Middle Tennessee went on a 15-6 run in the second half to build a seven point lead (46-39) over Xavier in the first five and half minutes. In that stretch, Patrice Holmes scored seven of the Lady Raiders points and had one steal.

Middle Tennessee never relinquished the lead, but Xavier did tie the game with 5:24 to play. Freshman Lakira Boyd put the Lady Raiders back up by three (57-54) with 5:03 remaining off an assist by junior forward Tia Stovall. The Lady Raiders outscored Xavier seven to four down the stretch to secure the win.

Middle Tennessee picks up just its second win of the season when trailing at the half. The Lady Raiders shot above 50 percent, 52.1, for just the second time this season and also shot 45.5 percent from the three-point line.

Holmes finished the game with 22 points, six assists and three steals. She was also 3-of-5 from the three point line. Boyd racked up a career-high 11 points and also added one assist and two defensive rebounds.

NOTES:

OVER 20 ... AGAIN: For the third time this season and the 25th time in her career, senior Patrice Holmes topped the 20-point mark when she poured in 22 in the win over Xavier. Holmes, who had eight 20-point games last season, hit the 20-point plateau at home for the first time this year. Tia Stovall and Krystle Horton are the only other Lady Raiders to hit the 20-point mark this season with both doing it once.

FINDING HER TOUCH: After struggling with her shooting most of the season, senior Patrice Holmes is starting to find her groove. Over the past three games, Holmes is shooting a combined 59.4 percent (19-32) from the field, including 80.0 percent from the charity stripe (8-10). In the win over Xavier, Holmes made seven of 10 field goals in 34 minutes.

BENCH COMES OUT ON TOP: For the first time this season, Middle Tennessee's bench scored more points than the opponent's reserves. The Lady Raiders had 14 bench points compared to just eight by the Lady Musketeers. Leading the way for the Lady Raider reserves was freshman Lakira Boyd, who finished with a career-high 11 points.

GRAY MAKES START: Senior Ciara Gray drew her first start of the season and her first in nearly a year. Gray last started a game on Feb. 7, 2004, against Florida International in Murfreesboro. The Lady Raiders defeated FIU, 73-47.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Members of the working media voted Patrice Holmes the Alexander Automotive Family Player of the Game. Holmes finished with 22 points, six assists, and three steals.

INSIDE THE PAINT: The Lady Raiders moved to 2-0 this season against teams from Ohio (wins over Cincinnati and Xavier) ... Sophomore Krystle Horton failed to start for the first time in 19 straight games dating back to last season ... Patrice Holmes played in her 104th career game tonight, which ranks 6th all-time at MT ... The Lady Raiders lost the battle of the boards for the fourth time this season by double digits when Xavier outrebounded MT, 36-23. It was, however, the first time the Lady Raiders have won a game this year when getting beat by double figures on the glass ... The Lady Raiders topped the 50 percent shooting mark against Xavier for the second time this season with the other game coming against Cincinnati - both Ohio schools ... Tonight's starting lineup was the third different one of the season.

QUOTES:

HEAD COACH STEPHANY SMITH: "Xavier is a very good basketball team, and this is a huge win for us against a team that has been on a roll. I think we were a little fresher down the stretch at the end of the game and that was a key to the win. I thought we did a pretty good job of getting their runs stopped and the difference between tonight and the game against South Dakota State is that we made some big shots down the stretch."

"Xavier double teamed Tia [Stovall] on several different occasions and Lakira [Boyd] was wide open on several different occasions for easy lay-ups and chip shots and she made them. Lakira connected on them. Also we had players like Ciara Gray and Ditte Jakobsen stepping up and knocking down three-pointers."

FRESHMAN FORWARD LAKIRA BOYD: "When I get into a game I just want to play the role I have been assigned and do what I am supposed to do to help out the team. Having a game like I did tonight gives you a lot of confidence and it feels great."

SENIOR GUARD PATRICE HOLMES: "I think we played harder than we did a couple of days ago and came up with loose balls because against South Dakota State we didn't do that. Everybody made an effort to box out and get the offensive and defensive boards. I think it was good for us to get a win after the disappointing loss against South Dakota State and gave us confidence going into conference play."

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