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Winning streak reaches a dozen in victory at UNO Saturday

Blue Raiders have won 12 straight, including all nine Sun Belt games

January 24, 2009 · Athletic Communications

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Middle Tennessee women's basketball team pushed its current winning streak to 12 games and maintained its perfect Sun Belt Conference record with an 87-53 victory at New Orleans Saturday afternoon inside Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, La. The winning streak is the Lady Raiders' longest since they paced the nation with a 27-game run during the 2003-04 campaign.

Junior Brandi Brown sparked the MT offense with a career-high 28 points on 9-of-15 field goals, including a 6-of-9 effort from behind the 3-point arc. She surpassed her previous season best by halftime, converting 6-of-7 triples, in helping the Blue Raiders pad a 26-point halftime cushion. Middle Tennessee (17-4, 9-0 Sun Belt) connected on eight treys as a team at the intermission, tying for the third most in school history in the first half.

Brown was joined in scoring by Alysha Clark, the reigning Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week. Clark poured in 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season and 47th of her career. The pair's combined 51 points was just two shy of the Lady Privateer team total.

Chelsia Lymon and Jackie Pickel also added multiple 3-pointers to the MT arsenal, knocking down three and two to finish with nine and six points, respectively.

Brittany Helm paced New Orleans (9-11, 4-5 Sun Belt) with 14 points, but 10 came from the foul line on 11 attempts. Helm only made two of her 13 field goal tosses, while also leading UNO with eight boards.

Backcourt mate Jada Frazier matched Helm with 14 points on a team-high four field goals. The Lady Privateers made just 13 field goals the entire game in shooting 13-of-45 (28.9 percent) compared to identical 15-of-29 halves for Middle Tennessee to finish 51.7 for the game from the floor.

Candice McGee opened the game with a 3-pointer from the wing for New Orleans, but the Lady Raiders rattled off the next 11 points to take an early 11-3 advantage with just over four minutes passed. After UNO closed within four, 11-7, MT surged to a 22-point lead behind an 18-0 run for a 29-7 score at 8:47 on a Clark layup.

Three foul shots by Rachele Monroe brought the Lady Privateers within 15, 31-16, but they would not get any closer the remainder of the game and trailed 44-18 at the half.

After a slow start to the second stanza, Middle Tennessee continued to knock down shots and built a 28-point, 50-22, lead on a three-quarter court steal and ensuing layup by Brown at 15:54. Brown pushed the lead over 30 for the first time at 10:56 on a jumper and the Lady Raider defense never allowed UNO to get within 26 again. New Orleans used an old-fashioned three-point play by Brittany Helm to close the gap to 26 at 4:50.

In addition to Brown's career night, Shytoria Davis also had a career-best effort with six points on 3-of-3 field goals in just four minutes.

The Blue Raiders will return to the friendly confines of the Murphy Center for their next two games, also against opponents from the Pelican State. Middle Tennessee will kick off the string at 7 p.m. Wednesday when it plays host to Louisiana-Lafayette before welcoming Louisiana-Monroe to Murfreesboro for a 5 p.m. Saturday contest.

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