Lymon's first half shooting puts Blue Raiders over 90 for second-straight time

Four starters in double figures for second-straight game

January 16, 2010 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Senior point guard Chelsia Lymon dropped in five first-half 3-pointers, including three in the final 2:30 of the period, as Middle Tennessee placed four starters in double figures for the second-straight game in a 92-76 victory over Florida Atlantic Saturday afternoon in Sun Belt women's basketball action inside the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Lymon finished with 20 points, a season high, while adding six rebounds, five assists and two steals in only 24 minutes. She converted her only attempt of the second half, a 3-pointer, to help the Blue Raiders pad to their total of 11.

Senior All-American Alysha Clark registered another double-double with 37 points and 11 rebounds, while also leading all players with five steals. She now has 10 double-doubles this season, 27 at Middle Tennessee and 65 overall in her career. Clark has moved into a tie for 11th on the all-time NCAA list with her total, needing one more to join the Top 10.

Also netting double-digit points were senior Brandi Brown and sophomore Tina Stewart, who poured in 15 and 10 points, respectively. Brown recorded three triples, moving within 10 of the career Blue Raider mark, while Stewart added a pair as part of her second-straight double-digit scoring output.

Five Florida Atlantic players reached double figures, including a team-high 16 from Brittany Bowe. She was a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line and had one-half of the Owls' 10 assists. Jessica Knurick chipped in 13, Carla Stubbs and Breana Turner tallied a dozen each and Lyrell Barfield contributed 10. Turner hauled in a team-high 11 rebounds for a double-double.

Middle Tennessee started the game with its trademark pressure defense, forcing three turnovers on the first five Florida Atlantic (8-9, 4-3 Sun Belt) possessions. The pressure helped the Blue Raiders open a 19-4 lead just over five-and-a-half minutes into the game as Lymon capped a 10-0 spurt by hitting a 3-pointer, swiping a steal and making a layup and draining another trey.

The Owls managed to trim the deficit to 11, 29-18, at 8:59 following a steal and layup from Barfield. The 11-point cushion would be the closest FAU would get the remainder of the game, as Middle Tennessee (11-5, 6-1 Sun Belt) used a 15-7 run, capped by Lymon's 3-pointer at 2:27, to open up the margin.

Bowe hit a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining in the stanza to cut the gap to 17, 50-33, but Stewart nailed a 3-pointer with six seconds left to send MT into the intermission ahead, 53-33.

The second half lead quickly swelled to 25, 66-41, on a Clark steal and layup at 15:02. Back-to-back field goals from Stubbs pulled Florida Atlantic within 21, but the Blue Raiders then rattled off a 12-4 steak over the next four minutes for its first 29-point lead, the largest of the contest. MT would hold two other 29-point advantages and lead by as much as 26 when Clark connected on her final field goal with 4:45 to play for an 86-60 score.

Florida Atlantic took advantage of the Blue Raiders playing their subs down the stretch, outscoring Middle Tennessee 16-6 the remainder of the game to decide the final tally.

It marked the second-straight game in which the Blue Raiders topped 90 points and setting a home season high.

Middle Tennessee will return to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday when it travels to Monroe, La., to face ULM.

Middle Tennessee Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Rick Insell

On different players clicking offensively
You look down the lineup and Jackie Pickel who had 34 points the other night goes 1-of-10. We still had four in double figures. That gives you an idea that we have got; some kids who can score with the ball. I was real proud of them. We let them score 76 points and I did not like that.

On struggling from half court in the first half
They have got a good basketball team and I have said that. They came in and were able to get up in us. Stubbs is a very good player. Bowe is a very good player. And Barfield does a good job. They have got a tough team and I am very proud to have gotten this win. Now we have got to get our mind on Monroe.

On team response coming off a tough loss
I did expect them to get two wins. If there is anything, I am a little disappointed because we could have played better defense in the second half. Chelsia hit her shoulder again and I took her out, but we still had Jackie (Pickel) and Anne Marie (Lanning) who are two shooters.

Chelsia Lymon

On great team depth
After the Little Rock game, practice had a different atmosphere and we have done a lot of shooting in the past couple of practices, which has helped out everybody. It is all about shooting with confidence and knocking them down.

On team mindset after last week's loss
With that loss being early in conference play, you have got to flush it and let it go. You cannot let that one loss or bad game dictate the rest of your season. Everybody understood that and said that was a loss and we played bad, but we know what kind of team we have so let us just build on this and get better.

Alysha Clark
On whether the win resulted in better execution or a different mindset
We definitely had a different mindset. In this game, we pushed more in getting the ball out and getting going. That is what we have been working on. Coach has been timing us because three seconds max is the time it should take from the ball coming off the bottom of the net to coming down the floor. You see what kind of difference it makes.

On someone always having a great shooting game
That is the great thing about our team. You cannot just focus on one or two people. You have to focus on everybody because anyone can score. Tina Stewart came in and had 10 points. You just never really know. We knew that before, but we are now starting to see it.

Florida Atlantic Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Chancellor Dugan

On today's game
I did not know we would have such a hangover from Western Kentucky. We looked so wide-eyed at the beginning, it was almost like we were looking for someone to help us out. We worked on their press but we did not do a great job against it today. If you let them dictate what you want to do, you will have dug yourself a hole and that is what we did early.

On Brittany Bowe
She had a ton of adrenaline early, her ankle is probably really sore right now. But when she went down we had that deer in headlights look. But she came back in and we played them even in the second half, even with his starters in there.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.