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Freshmen Lead Lady Raiders to 90-39 Win Over Morris Brown

January 29, 2002 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Four freshmen scored in double figures to lead the Middle Tennessee Lady Raider's (12-9) to a 90-39 win over Morris Brown College (3-15) Tuesday in Murphy Center.

Renee Hall, a freshman from Charlotte, NC, had the first double digit scoring night of her career as a Lady Raider with 10 points. In her 11 minutes of work she went 5-7 and also grabbed one defensive rebound.

Patrice Holmes led the Lady Raiders with 15 points, Tiffany Fisher had 13 points and Eboni Kirby also pumped in 10. Sophomore Jennifer Justice also scored in double figures with 13.

It was a night of streak breakers and streak maker's as the Lady Raiders equaled their number of wins in a row for the season with their third straight tonight. In a streak breaker, senior Jamie Thomatis ended her streak at 33 straight games in double figures, as she only scored five.

For the long struggling Morris Brown the game was over for the Wolverines before it actually began, as the Lady Raiders opened the game with a 10-0 run before Samantha Frazier hit jumper with 16:16 left to play in the first half.

The Lady Raiders shot 51.9 percent from the field to Morris Brown's 26.7 percent. It was a wide-open game for most part as both teams were called for a total of 10 fouls for the whole 40 minutes of play.

Middle Tennessee will try to continue their streak when the team travels to Miami, FL to take on Florida International at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Golden Panthers beat the Lady Raiders 82-72 on January 5 in Murfreesboro.

THREE IN A ROW:With tonight's win over Morris Brown, the Lady Raiders extended their winning streak to three games. That matches the longest winning streak of the season for MT as it won three straight in late November, early December against Austin Peay, Ole Miss and UT-Martin. The Lady Raiders will try to make it four in a row Saturday at Florida International.

ALUKA PASSES LINDLEY-ALLEN:With four rebounds tonight, senior Joanne Aluka surpassed Cyndi Lindley-Allen for ninth place on the all-time rebound list at MT. Aluka now has 635 career boards.

FRESHMEN STEP UP:The Lady Raider freshmen came up big against Morris Brown on Tuesday night. The group of Tiffany Fisher, Ciara Gray, Patrice Holmes, Eboni Kirby, Renee Hall and Jessica Schlueter combined for 55 points on 26-for-47 (.553) shooting and 29 rebounds. Holmes led the charge with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Tiffany Fisher followed with 13 points and seven boards. Kirby equalled her career-high with 10 points and Hall set her personal best with 10 points.

HITTING THE GLASS:The Lady Raiders ripped down a season best 61 rebounds tonight against Morris Brown. That total ranks as the most under Stephany Smith and the most by the Lady Raiders since they collected 62 against Furman on Jan. 15, 1997. The 61 caroms by MT tonight also ranks as the second most this season by a team in the Sun Belt Conference (Arkansas State had 70 against Mississippi).

THIS -N' THAT: Freshman Jennifer Justice recorded her eighth double figure scoring game of the season and her fifth in the last six games - Patrice Holmes has now hit for double figure points in five straight games - The Lady Raiders placed five players in double figures - Senior Jamie Thomatis only played 13 minutes and scored just five points on 2-for-2 shooting, which broke a streak of 33 straight games scoring in double digits - The 90 points scored by the Lady Raiders tonight is a season-high, while the 39 points by Morris Brown is an opponent low against MT.

MT Head Coach Stephany Smith: "They are great kids and are a lot of fun to be around." "I feel good. I feel a lot better tonight to be quite honest than I did at Little Rock or several other games this season. I think that had to do with my strategy and substitution is why we put ourselves in, I wouldn't say bad situations, but not as positive as tonight. Now granted, the competition was little less tonight as well compared to Little Rock, Lafayette, David Lipscomb, Martin and some other teams that we have played. This is only about the fifth opportunity that our entire team has gotten to play. I was really proud of their performance. I thought that tonight, more than any other night, they executed well and played extremely hard. They valued the possessions they had on the floor."

Renee Hall: "I'm looking forward to next year. I know I need to hit the weights, that's my main thing. I'm looking to step it up and be what I need to be and taking the place of Jamie (Thomatis) and Joanne (Aluka)." "High School basketball was a good experience for me. I got a chance to be an all-star and play different roles. I got to be a leader. Here, I came in thinking that I wouldn't be able to help my team but I have been able to show that I can work hard. One thing I do well is run the floor. I think that even though we have strength, that is something we need to work on."

Patrice Holmes: "I expected to step right in and play. I knew this was a good program from the beginning, but I thought I could contribute." "The biggest adjustment for a freshman to make coming in here out of high school is you have to be mentally tough."

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