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Holmes Nets 28 in 59-51 Victory

January 20, 2005 · MT Media Relations

NEW ORLEANS, La. - When it matters most, the Middle Tennessee Lady Raiders know who to call on for big buckets and lots of them - senior Patrice Holmes.

 

The Bishopville, S.C., native scored a season-high 28 points, including a career-high six three-pointers, helping the Lady Raiders defeat a stingy New Orleans club, 59-51, here at Lakefront Arena Thursday night.

 

Holmes scored 16 points in the first half, including a buzzer-beater to give Middle Tennessee (11-5, 3-0 SBC) a 32-30 halftime edge. She added two more three-pointers in the second half, helping the Lady Raiders open up a close game and start Sun Belt play 3-0 for the second time in three seasons.

 

No other Lady Raider scored in double figures, but the Middle Tennessee defense limited UNO to just 38 percent shooting from the field, including 26 percent in the second half. The Lady Raiders used an 11-2 run in the middle portion of the second half to open the lead to as many as 13 and pushing the club's winning streak to four games.

 

"I've been struggling lately offensively, but I just wanted to go out and do whatever I could for the team tonight," Holmes said. "My three-point shot was on and the basket looked really big, so I kept on shooting. Once I hit the first two [three-pointers], I knew it would be a good night."

 

The first six minutes of the second half were tight, with the Lady Raiders holding a 35-34 edge. Holmes then hit her fifth three-pointer of the contest and Chrissy Givens followed that with a bucket. Freshman Starr Orr then added two free throws and a jumper to push the lead to 10. Holmes' last trey of the game made it 53-40 with nine minutes remaining.

 

Le'Della English kept UNO in the game with 22 points, including 7-of-9 from the foul line. April Eason added 12 points for the Privateers (0-15, 0-4).

 

Middle Tennessee head coach Stephany Smith was glad to get the victory, no matter how it looked.

 

"I don't think we played very well as a team, but I'm pleased to get the win because it's tough to get wins on the road," Smith said. "We have to be mentally and physically ready to play every team in our league.

 

"Patrice played extremely well and I though Starr Orr showed us some glimpses of the player she can become."

 

Holmes scored seven of the first 10 points of the game for the Lady Raiders, but then went without a bucket until the 2:07 mark in the first half. At that point the senior netted her third three-pointer of the half and scored the final eight points of the half for Middle Tennessee, including a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Lady Raiders a 32-30 edge at the break.

 

Middle Tennessee led 18-9 at the 11:43 mark of the first half, but did not score another point for 4:47, allowing the Privateers to get back into the game with a 14-2 run. The Lady Raiders went without a bucket for over seven minutes, but Holmes' spurt at the end of the half put Middle Tennessee back ahead. April Eason scored 10 of UNO's 30 points in the opening 20 minutes, including a pair of three-pointers.

 

Givens scored nine points and Krystle Horton added seven for the Lady Raiders.

 

Middle Tennessee finishes the two-game road swing with a 7 p.m. contest against South Alabama in Mobile, Ala., Saturday.

 

GAME NOTES

Senior Patrice Holmes knocked down a career-high six three-pointers in the contest. Her previous high of five last came at Louisiana-Lafayette on January 31, 2004 ... The Lady Raiders held UNO to 38 percent shooting for the contest, improving to 8-1 when holding an opponent under 40 percent from the field. Middle Tennessee is holding opponents to 53 points per game over the last 11 contests ... The Lady Raiders improved to 3-0 in Sun Belt play, the second time in three years the squad has started SBC play 3-0 ... Holmes scored 28 points in the contest, tying for the team high this season with Tia Stovall, who tallied 28 in the season-opener against South Florida ... Middle Tennessee shot just 39 percent from the floor, the second-lowest percentage this season (38 percent vs. Austin Peay) ... Holmes moved into a tie for fourth on the all-time assists list with Kim Webb. She has 399 heading into Saturday's contest at South Alabama ... Ciara Gray tied her career-high with six three-point attempts ... Freshman Starr Orr set season-highs for rebounds (6) and assists (3) and tied her season-high for free throws made (2) and steals (3) ... Chrissy Givens tied her career-high with a team-high five assists ... Holmes had a season-high 28 points and tied her season-high for FG made with nine ... Freshman Lakira Boyd played a career-high 23 minutes.

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