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Givens Hits 1,000-Point Mark in Blue Raider Win over ASU

February 16, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Junior guard Chrissy Givens tied her career-high with 32 points, and became the 19th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau in Middle Tennessee women's basketball's 95-59 victory over Arkansas State (11-13, 5-6 SBC) Thursday in the Murphy Center.

The Blue Raiders improve 16-8 overall and 9-2 in the Sun Belt Conference to remain tied for first place in the Sun Belt East. The 95 points against Arkansas State is the most the Blue Raiders have scored in a Sun Belt game since joining the conference.

Middle Tennessee pressured Arkansas State from the first tip of the game and never relented against the Lady Indians. The Blue Raiders forced Arkansas State to turn the ball over 31 times, which resulted in 34 points for Middle Tennessee.

The tone was set early in the game after the contest was tied at two, as the Blue Raiders went on a 13-0 run to build a 15-2 lead with 15:03 left in the first half. Middle Tennessee led by as much as 17 before Arkansas State put on a mini run to go into the locker room down by 11, 46-35.

Arkansas State cut the lead down to nine, 57-48, when the Lady Indians went on a 13-9 run with 14:56 left in the second half, but Middle Tennessee's pressure defense defused the ASU threat. The Blue Raiders scored 19 straight points to end Arkansas State's threat and build a 28 point lead with 8:52 remaining.

Givens, who came into the game needing 26 points to reach 1,000 scored 19 in the first half alone. She went over the 1,000-point mark when she hit a three-pointer with 13:01 left in the game. Givens not only put the ball in the hole, she also dished it out as she had seven assist in the game.

The Blue Raiders had five players score in double figures in the game. Krystle Horton had 15 points and also had four steals. Tia Stovall added 12 points and LaCondra Mason tacked on 10. Freshman point guard Johnna Abney drained three treys in the game for an 11-point night and also had three assists and two steals.

Middle Tennessee plays its final home game of the season when the Blue Raiders host Arkansas-Little Rock at 7 p.m. Lone senior Tia Stovall will be honored prior to the game.

NOTES:

STREAK CONTINUES: Middle Tennessee's Sun Belt Conference home-game winning streak remained in tact Thursday night with the victory over Arkansas State. The Blue Raiders have now won 17 straight games at the Murphy Center against Sun Belt competition. The last time Middle Tennessee dropped a home game in league play was on Feb. 5, 2004 in double overtime against Western Kentucky.

GIVENS REACHES 1,000: Junior Chrissy Givens, who leads the Sun Belt Conference in scoring and ranks third nationally, joined an elite group following Thursday's win over Arkansas State. With 32 points, Givens became the 19th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark. Givens joins current teammates Tia Stovall and Krystle Horton in the 1,000-point club to become the first trio on the same team in school history to have topped the 1,000-point mark. Givens now has 1,008 career points heading into Saturday's game against Arkansas-Little Rock.

STAT SHEET STUFFER: Chrissy Givens, who topped the 30-point mark for the fourth straight game, filled up the stat sheet in the win over Arkansas State. Along with her 30 points, the junior registered seven rebounds, seven assists, and two steals.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Chrissy Givens was voted the Alexander Automotive Family Player of the Game against Arkansas State by members of the working media.

TIDBITS: Chrissy Givens has now scored 20 or more points in 11 straight home games ... The Blue Raiders have now won eight straight games at home ... Senior Tia Stovall scored in double figures tonight for the 65th time in her career.

QUOTES:

HEAD COACH RICK INSELL:

Thought's on Thursdays 95-59 win over Arkansas State: "We've been working hard on defense. We've spent most of our practices working on our defense, while trying not to ignore our offense. We haven't done any active defensive pressure, but were just trying to get to the right positions. I thought the players did a good job doing that. I was pleased with the effort the players gave tonight. We didn't match up well in the second half like we did against Denver, so we will work that tomorrow."

About the play of Arkansas State: "They are a little bit down right now, they lost one of their better players and they knew coming in here it was going to be tough. We shot very well tonight and our post positions did a good job making some baskets. Rebound wise, even though we got out rebounded, we limited Arkansas State from getting many defensive rebounds."

On the intensity of the Blue Raiders: "We are an intense basketball team. All of our coaches are very intensive, including myself, and I believe our players are grabbing on to that as well. You can see they are more excited now when they get a steal or make a basket. When we smell a team panicking a bit, we pressure them more and we create turnovers, which in return gives us some baskets."

On the effort by the team: "We put a team away tonight. We haven't been doing that. I'm real pleased with our athletes because their not out there to be the referees, or draw attention to themselves. They are out there to play basketball. They don't have attitudes. Our players have a passion for the game and they want to win every game they play. I'm fortunate to have those types of players."

About Saturday's game versus Arkansas-Little Rock: They have a good basketball team. They have a great post player and Joceyln Love. Arkansas-Little Rock beat us earlier in the year, so I don't think I have to motivate our team, they are already motivated. Plus, it's Rick Insell look a like contest, so we are going to see how many people look like me.

GUARD CHRISSY GIVENS

About clinching her 1,000th career point: "It was great. The atmosphere, the intensity, and fire we came out with tonight was great. How often do you see five players in double figures? I can't say enough about the team effort we had tonight."

About the performance of the Blue Raider defense: "I always say our defense is what pumps us up. The feeling was no matter how close they came back, we knew it was a matter of time before we were going to break away. Our defensive pressure really forced them [Arkansas State] to make bad passes and create turnovers, which allowed us to capitalize on them. It's good when you can play all ten players and still have the same intensity that you had with your five starters."

Thoughts on what Middle Tennessee must do differently against Arkansas-Little Rock on Saturday: "I would say we must show up. I didn't show up and a couple of other players didn't show up. I think when we show up it makes all the difference of the world. A couple of the older girls didn't show up, it was a game that Krystle [Horton] had to do by herself. I feel that if we showed an effort like we did tonight, we will have put ourselves in a good position to win on Saturday."

FORWARD KRYSTLE HORTON

On involving the post game: "In practice we have been working on our post to get them more oriented and involved in our offensive and defensive styles of play. We feel like we can take a shot, just as well as our guards can. I think our posts are beginning to gain our confidence back, which makes us a better team as whole."

About Saturday's game against Arkansas-Little Rock: "We know what we have to do Saturday to win that game. There is no doubt that we will be pumped up to win that game."

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