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Lady Raiders Lose in Final Minute, 72-69

February 19, 2005 · MT Media Relations

JONESBORO, Ark. - A 25-foot three-pointer by Patrice Holmes that would have tied the game was ruled no good, giving Arkansas State a 72-69 victory over Middle Tennessee Saturday night at Convocation Center.

 

Kelsey Lock's three-pointer with 22 seconds remaining gave ASU a 70-67 lead, but the Lady Raiders cut the deficit to one on a layup by Chrissy Givens. Ali Carter made the margin three again with two free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining, and Holmes heave from 25-feet came just after the buzzer sounded, giving ASU it's 10th straight win and sole possession of second place in the Sun Belt's East Division.

 

Middle Tennessee (17-8, 9-3 SBC) erased an 11-point halftime deficit in the first two-plus minutes of the second half, thanks to swarming defense. The game was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way, with the Lady Raiders taking a five-point lead with eight minutes to play, but the Indians would not go away.

 

ASU (18-8, 10-2) tied the game with 3:31 to play, and the teams traded buckets twice before Lock's wide-open three from the top of the key gave the home team the lead.

 

The second-half surge was led by senior Ciara Gray, who posted a career-high 17 points, including 15 in the second half. Gray led four Lady Raiders in double figures.

 

A major turning point in the second half came when Tia Stovall was called for her fourth foul with 15:55 to play, a call argued by Lady Raider head coach Stephany Smith. Stovall had 15 points and eight rebounds when she left the contest and sat out more than 10 minutes.

 

Middle Tennessee shot 63 percent in the second half and hit the boards all night long, scoring a 33-22 edge in rebounding. But 14 second-half turnovers was a big difference-maker in the game.

 

"We were very disappointed in ourselves in the first half," Lady Raider head coach Stephany Smith said. "We played tentative, not a characteristic of this team. We were playing not to lose instead of taking it to them to win.

 

"In the second half we hit a big shot early and that gives you then energy to be more aggressive on the defensive end. I feel great about the team that played in the second half, but we have to play that way for 40 minutes."

 

Lock, who was averaging just five points coming into the contest, scored 11, nine in the second half, while Adrianne Davie and Rudy Sims led the Indians with 18 points each. Carter added 11 for ASU.

 

Givens scored 16 points in the contest, 12 in the second half, while Stovall had 15 and Holmes added 13. Krystle Horton tallied nine rebounds, with Givens adding eight, five assists and four steals. Holmes also handed out six assists.

 

ASU scored the first five points of the contests, but the Lady Raiders weathered the early momentum from the home team and tallied the next 11 to take an early lead.

 

But the Indians were hot-as-fire from the field, knocking down four of their first six tries from three-point range. ASU took the lead with a 15-1 run, as Middle Tennessee went through an almost five-minute scoring drought midway through the half. The Indians shot 60 percent in the first 20 minutes to take a 41-30 edge at the break.

 

The Lady Raiders play their final two home games of the season next weekend, hosting Western Kentucky Thursday at 6 p.m. and Florida International Sunday at 2 p.m. at Murphy Center.

 

GAME NOTES

Senior Patrice Holmes moved into a tie for first in career starts with 116 and moved past Cortney Neeley into second place on the all-time assists list after recording six helpers in the contest. Holmes has 430 career assists with two regular season games remaining ... The Lady Raiders dropped just their second game this season when outrebounding an opponent, winning the battle of the boards in the contest, 33-22. The other loss came at Tennessee Tech on December 9 ... Holmes knocked down a three-pointer in the first half, her first in three games and only her fourth in the last seven contests. Holmes has also not been to the free throw line in the last four games ... Senior Ciara Gray set career-highs with 17 points, seven FG made, 12 FG attempts and three 3-point FG made. Gray also tied her career-high of six 3-point attempts. It was just the sixth double-digit scoring game of her career and second in the last three contests, and it was marked the first time in her career she led the Lady Raiders in scoring in a game ... Sophomore Chrissy Givens set a career-high with eight FG made in the game. Givens was 8-of-12 from the field for 16 points. She also tied her career-high with four steals ... The loss was the first this season on Saturday for the Lady Raiders, with the squad dropping to 7-1 ... Arkansas State's 41 points in the first half is the most by an opponent in any half this season. The previous high was 40 by Houston in both halves.

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