Blue Raiders Fall to #17 Georgia 90-72November 30, 2005 · MT Media Relations
The Blue Raiders started the game with a Johnna Abney three-pointer and both teams were off to the races. In the first 13 minutes of the game the score was tied six times with Middle Tennessee leading by as much as four, 19-15, with 11:53 to go in the half.
At the 7:34 mark, Blue Raider forward Lakira Boyd hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 26. Georgia answered with a jumper by Sherril Baker and never trailed in the game again.
With 1:15 remaining in the first half, Middle Tennessee trimmed the Lady Bulldog lead to three off a jumper by Latoya Barclay. Georgia turned around and got the bucket back when Desire Bostice scored on a jumper of her own with 56 seconds remaining in the half.
Senior Tia Stovall cut the Georgia lead back to four to start the second half when she hit a jumper off an assist by Abney. Georgia went on a 13-4 run in the span of five minutes to extend its lead to 13 and controlled the pace of the game the rest of the way. The Blue Raiders did cut the lead back to eight, the last time Georgia's lead would be in single digits, when Stovall hit two free throws but the Lady Bulldogs answered with a Bostice jumper to push the lead back to 10.
The Blue Raiders couldn't overcome the season-high 24 turnovers in the game. Georgia capitalized on Middle Tennessee's miscues, scoring 34 points off Blue Raider turnovers. Georgia also controlled the game inside, scoring 34 points in the paint to Middle Tennessee's 20.
Junior Chrissy Givens led the Blue Raiders with 24 points, shooting 10-of-22 from the field and also pulling down nine rebounds. For the second time this season, Stovall scored in double figures with 13.
Middle Tennessee travels to Brookings, South Dakota to take on South Dakota State on Friday, December 2. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
BIG CROWD: The Murphy Center crowd tonight to see Middle Tennessee take on No. 17 Georgia will go down in the record books. The announced attendance of 3,725 ranks as the second largest crowd for a women's basketball game in school history. The largest was 4,000 on Feb. 15, 1992 against Murray State.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Chrissy Givens was voted the Alexander Automotive Family Player of the Game against Georgia by members of the working media.
GIVENS HAS ANOTHER HUGE GAME: For the third straight game, junior Chrissy Givens topped the 20-point mark to pace the Blue Raiders against Georgia. Givens, coming off a career-high 30-point game against EKU, poured in 24 points against the 17th rated Bulldogs to go with nine rebounds and three steals in 40 minutes. Over the last three games, Givens is averaging 25.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.7 steals, and is shooting 50.0 percent from the field (29-for-58).
STOVALL MOVES UP: Senior Tia Stovall scored 13 points against Georgia to move up one more spot on the all-time scoring list. Stovall surpassed Carlita Elder for 15th place and now needs just 16 more points to take over 14th place from Joanne Aluka. Stovall now has 1,075 career points.
TIDBITS: The 90 points scored by Georgia tonight is the most given up by the Blue Raiders since allowing 92 against Xavier in 2001 ... MT is now 2-2 over the past two-plus seasons against nationally-ranked opponents ... The Blue Raiders had a season-high 24 turnovers against Georgia ... Krystle Horton failed to reach double figures in scoring tonight for the first time this season ... Lakira Boyd matched her career-high with five rebounds against Georgia.
HEAD COACH RICK INSELL:
About Georgia's athletic style of play: "You take their athleticism away and they are still a good basketball team. They made better shots and good rebounds even without their best player Tasha Humphrey."
About defending against Georgia's up-tempo style of play: "I played most of the kids for the last ten years. I knew coming in how tough they were and how tough it would be to defend them."
About Middle Tennessee's effort against Georgia: "I was proud of our players continuing to fight hard to the very end."
About the youth of Middle Tennessee playing #17 Georgia: "We got six young ladies that are freshman and sophomores with no Division I experience prior to this season. These kids had a lot of pressure to come right out of high school and to play the University of Georgia. I think they did a good job."
FORWARD TIA STOVALL:
About making turnovers against Georgia: "I did think we were our own worst enemy. We would get our momentum going and make a turnover or make a bad decision that they would capitalize on."
About getting better from tonight's loss to Georgia: "It is games like this that prepares you for the next game. Tonight's game will teach us what we will have to work on. We got to gain the momentum and keep the momentum throughout the game."
On Georgia's ability to find open shots: "I think our defense let down so many times tonight. I think that is the main reason we got beat because we were giving up easy threes or easy baskets. We let them knock down a lot of shots and that took us out of the game."
GUARD CHRISSY GIVENS:
About playing an aggressive Georgia basketball team: "I just think it was the offense we were running. My strength is to shoot over people because I am tall; usually the guards are smaller than me. They [Georgia] were physical and a lot more aggressive on defense than the teams we have faced so far this season."
About the contributing factors that led Georgia to capture a win over Middle Tennessee: "I think our defense let down many times tonight. I think that it is the main reason we got beat because we were giving up easy threes or easy baskets. We let them knock down a lot of shots and that took us out of the game."
GEORGIA HEAD COACH ANDY LANDERS:
About playing without some of Georgia's key players: "We started with five guards tonight. We had to move [Cori] Chambers to the number 5 position; and she struggled. It's understandable, I am not trying to be mean, but she had to play that position tonight because of her experience. When you're on the road and you are playing a good team, you can't play kids who don't have experience."
About playing a tough schedule: "Anything that can kill you will make you stronger. It gives your kids confidence. Tonight was good for us because Middle Tennessee played defense on the perimeter and it showed us a new look which we haven't seen this season."
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