Three Blue Raiders Voted Preseason All-Conference; Team Picked Third in East

October 24, 2005 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee women's basketball has been tabbed third in the East Division of the Sun Belt Conference women's basketball race by a preseason poll of the league's 11 coaches.

The Blue Raiders also had three players on the preseason All-SBC team, including first-team selection Tia Stovall and second-team picks Krystle Horton and Chrissy Givens. The Blue Raiders are tied with Arkansas State for the most members on the preseason team.

Middle Tennessee has won the Sun Belt Tournament the previous two years, in 2004 and 2005. The Blue Raiders received one first place vote in the poll and 33 total points. Western Kentucky led the East with 47 points and seven first place votes while Arkansas State followed with 38 points and two first place votes. Florida International was picked fourth with 22 points and Arkansas-Little Rock rounded out the East with 10.

"Third in the east side of the conference is probably where we should be," said Head Coach Rick Insell. "We have upset some people in the Sun Belt Tournament in the last couple of years, so the good part about this is our players know how to win big games."

North Texas was picked to win the West, receiving seven first-place votes and 56 points. The Mean Green are followed by Louisiana Lafayette with 49 points and three first-place votes, South Alabama (41), Denver (28), Troy (22) and New Orleans (14).

For the first time in her career, Stovall, a senior forward from Estill Springs, Tenn., was voted to the Sun Belt Preseason First Team. Stovall Started all 33 games for Middle Tennessee in 2004-05and reached the 1,000-point plateau when she scored 10 points in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game against Louisiana-Lafayette and ended the year with 1,027. She led the team in field goal percentage with 52 percent and rebounds with 5.7 per game and anked second on the team in points per game with 13.2 and scored a total of 435 points, the most points in a season for Stovall.

"Being picked preseason first team is a great motivation for me," Stovall said. "I think something like this will give me more focus for the season because I will want to live up to the expectations everyone has for me."

Horton, a junior forward from Murfreesboro, received her second consecutive preseason nod. In the 2004-05 she ranked third on the team in points per game with 11.3 and led the team in offensive rebounds with 2.6 per game.

Givens is making her first appearance on a preseason Sun Belt poll, being voted to the second team. She ended the season ranked fourth on the team in points per game with 10.8 and second on the team in rebounds with 5.5 per game. Givens also ranked second in assists with 3.0 per game.

Middle Tennessee opens the 2005-06 season on November 18 when the Blue Raiders play at Chattanooga. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.


Sun Belt Conference Preseason Women's Basketball Coaches Poll


East Division                                       Points

1. Western Kentucky (7)                       47

2. Arkansas State (2)                              38

3. Middle Tennessee (1)                        33

4. Florida International                         22

5. Arkansas-Little Rock                         10


West Division                                      Points

1. North Texas (7)                                 56

2. Louisiana-Lafayette (3)                      49

3. South Alabama                                  41

4. Denver                                                28

5. Troy                                                    22

6. New Orleans                                      14



*              Poll conducted by 11 Sun Belt Women's Basketball Coaches

*              First place votes in parentheses


Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Women's Basketball Team


First Team

Adrianne Davie (Arkansas State, Jr., C)

Crystal Kelly (Western Kentucky, So., F)

Jocelyn Love (UALR, Jr., G/F)

Tiffany Porter-Talbert (Western Kentucky, Sr., G)

Tia Stovall (Middle Tennessee, Sr., F)


Second Team

Erika Bobo (North Texas, Sr., G)

Ashley Blanche (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., G)

Chrissy Givens (Middle Tennessee, Jr., G)

Krystle Horton (Middle Tennessee, Jr., F)

Rudy Sims (Arkansas State, Jr., G)


Third Team

Amber Abraham (Arkansas State, Sr., G)

Faeza Bouderra (Florida International, Sr., G)

Le'Della English ( New Orleans, So., G)

Lasma Jekabsone (Florida International, Jr., C)

JoAnna Williams (South Alabama, Sr., G/F)


Preseason Player of the Year:          Tiffany Porter-Talbert (Western Kentucky, Sr., G)


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