Blue Raiders Fall 69-64 to North TexasFebruary 8, 2006 · MT Media Relations
Trailing by one point, 65-64, with 56 seconds remaining, Middle Tennessee had a chance to take the lead after Starr Orr picked up a steal. Senior forward Tia Stovall had two chances under the bucket but couldn't convert and the Mean Green's Mia Ajekwu pulled down the defensive rebound. North Texas' Mian Williams raced down for the bucket putting her club up by three, 67-64 with six seconds left.
Like so many games before, the ball was in junior guard Chrissy Givens' hands at the end of the game. This time there wasn't any buzzer beater heroics as her three-point attempt missed the rim and rolled out of bounds. Middle Tennessee was forced to foul and Williams drained two free throws to ice the game for North Texas.
Middle Tennessee built a nine point lead with 9:17 remaining in the game, but hit a scoring drought that lasted for over six minutes allowing North Texas to claw back into the game. North Texas went on a 15-0 run during the Blue Raiders scoreless streak to take the lead and balloon its lead to six, 61-55 with four minutes left.
Givens ended the Blue Raider scoring hiatus when she hit a three-pointer with 2:56 to cut the Mean Green lead to three, 61-58. Prior to Middle Tennessee's last-ditch efforts in the final minute of the game, the Blue Raiders did cut the Mean Green lead down to one when Givens hit two free throws to help the squad trail 63-62 with 1:12 left.
It was an auspicious start for the Blue Raiders, as Middle Tennessee controlled the tip but freshman point guard Johnna Abney turned the ball over in the open court to North Texas' Erika Bobo for the Mean Green's first points of the game. North Texas forced three Blue Raider turnovers in the first two and half minutes of the game that helped the squad build a seven-point lead to start the game.
The Blue Raiders trailed by as much as twelve in the first half before Middle Tennessee battled back to take the lead, 21-20, when Monique Martin hit a lay-up with 6:33 left in the half.
Middle Tennessee led by three, 26-29, with 21 seconds remaining when North Texas' Senetra Jackson hit desperation three-pointer as the shot clock ticked down to tie the game at 29. Givens gave the Blue Raiders the lead headed into the locker room with her jumper as time expired.
North Texas hit a scorching 58.3 percent from the field and scored 20 points off 23 Blue Raider turnovers. The game was won at the free throw line as Middle Tennessee couldn't convert at the charity stripe hitting just 8-of-14.
Givens led all scorers with 31 points, her fourth game this season to score 30 or more points, and also had six rebounds and five assists. Sophomore Latoya Barclay came off the bench to score 10 points and tied her career-high with two 3-pointers.
Middle Tennessee returns to the friendly confines of the Murphy Center on Saturday to host the University of Denver. Tip-off is set for 4:15 p.m.
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