Lady Raiders Drop 66-55 DecisionFebruary 7, 2005 · MT Media Relations
MIAMI, Fla. - Florida International's LaQuetta Ferguson scored a career-high 19 points off the bench, leading the Golden Panthers to a 66-55 win over Middle Tennessee in Sun Belt women's basketball action Monday night at Pharmed Arena.
FIU (14-7, 4-4 SBC) shot lights out from the floor in the game, including 67 percent in the first half, and dominated the glass in handing the Lady Raiders their second straight loss. The Golden Panthers used a 16-8 run in the second half to expand a three-point halftime lead, ending a three-game losing streak to Middle Tennessee in the process.
The Lady Raiders (14-7, 6-2) cut a 10-point deficit to six with 4:33 to play on a short jumper from Lakira Boyd, but FIU answered on three straight trips, getting a layup and a pair of 15-footers to open their biggest margin of the contest at 62-50 with less than three minutes to play.
Middle Tennessee was never able to get enough defensive stops against the Golden Panthers, as the home team shot 57 percent from the floor for the game. The two teams traded baskets in the first half, but the Lady Raiders were just 6-for-26 from the field in the second half, allowing the home team to expand a three-point halftime edge.
FIU took advantage of the cold shooting and executed offensively with the help of point guard Faeza Bonderra, who dished out a game-high six assists.
Ferguson was one of three Golden Panthers in double figures, with Milena Tomova adding 17 and Eva Makela scoring 11. FIU also blocked seven shots in the contest and outrebounded the Lady Raiders, 33-25.
Middle Tennessee head coach Stephany Smith was not pleased with her team's effort, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
"We were very lethargic and our defense, which we have been hanging our hat on since the start of conference play, was bad throughout the game," Smith said. "[FIU] had a ton of dribble penetration, and we were very lackadaisical.
"Our body language was bad, and [FIU] made a lot of great shots. They knocked down every open shot, and they got a lot of open looks.
Smith said her team did not play well in just about every aspect, and it showed on the final box score.
"It's a very disappointing loss. Our effort, leadership and execution were all poor, and there's not much positive to look at from tonight's game."
The Lady Raiders host Denver Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Murphy Center in a doubleheader with the men.
The Lady Raiders have used the same starting lineup - forwards Krystle Horton and Tia Stovall and guards Patrice Holmes, Chrissy Givens and Ditte Jakobsen - in 12 games this season, including five in a row ... The 38 points allowed in the first half is the second most this season, with Houston scoring 40 on November 28 ... Florida International shot 57 percent from the floor, the best for an opponent this season ... The Lady Raiders suffered consecutive losses for the first time this season and the first time since January 15-17, 2004, a span of 38 games ... Givens tied her season-high with 17 points in the contest, her second straight game and the third time in the last five contests the sophomore has tallied 17 points. Givens also set a career-high with 16 shot attempts and seven free throw attempts in the outing, and tied her career-high by making five free throws. She also played all 40 minutes for the second straight game ... Givens led the Lady Raiders in both points, rebounds and assists in the game, her fifth consecutive game to lead the squad in rebounds ... Senior Ciara Gray tied her season-high with four rebounds ... The loss ended a three-game winning streak for Middle Tennessee against FIU, dating to the 2002-03 season.
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