Downtown Brandi Brown Leads #25 MTSU

"Downtown" Brandi Brown nailed five 3-pointers, and three others (Johnna Abney-3, Chelsia Lymon-2, Jackie Pickel-2) connected from trifectas land, as Middle Tennessee (12-3, 4-0) remained perfect in Sun Belt Conference action with a 90-55 win over Troy University (8-7, 1-4) at Murphy Center on Saturday.

Brown, BlueRaiderZone.com's player of the game, tallied 19 points to lead the women in blue, while senior All-American candidate Chrissy Givens chipped in 13 before going down with a knee injury midway through the second half. Givens inched her way up the list on the career-scoring ladder at MTSU, passing Sherry Tucker (92-95) for 9th place. She needs just 11 points to pass Sharon McClanahan (76-79) and Stephanie Capley (88-91) in order to move to the 7th-place slot.

The BlueRaiderZone has learned that following a MRI Saturday night the prognosis is very good for Givens. She will most likely sit out of practice Sunday and Monday, but look for her to play against Florida International.

Freshman Jackie Pickel also tossed in 13 points, Amber Holt had 10, Abney 9, Krystle Horton 8, Starr Orr 6, Lymon 6, and Lakira Boyd 6 to round out the scoring. Latoya Barclay saw action but did not score.

Troy sophomore Kylie Morrissy of Geelong, Australia, had a whale of a game, leading all scorers with 22 points, hitting on 9-of-10 from the field. Amy Lewis, of Hamilton, Australia, added 10 points. The Lady Trojans shot 70% from the field in the second stanza and 61% for the game, but hit just 10-of-20 from the charity stripe. Unfortunately for Troy, they committed a season-high 35 turnovers compared to MT's 13. Prior to the contest, Troy, at 8-5, was off to its best start since the 95-96 season.

Middle Tennessee's high-octane half-court press dismantled the Trojans. Starr Orr shined on the defensive front, garnering three steals, while Givens cleaned 11 boards before 3.780 rowdy fans. The Lady Raiders are ranked #25 in the nation in attendance. MT's bench outscored Troy 44-17.

MTSU has currently won 24 straight conference games at home, and head coach Rick Insell is a perfect 13-0 versus Sun Belt competition in Murphy Center. The Blue Raiders last lost an SBC home game on 2/5/2004 in double-overtime to Western Kentucky's Lady Hilltoppers.

USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll #25 MT looks to move to their highest ranking ever in the national polls (AP & Coaches) this week. Several teams above the Lady Raiders lost over the weekend, including #17/17 Texas A&M, #19/18 Michigan State, #20/23 Arkansas, #21/21 California, #22/22 Pittsburgh, #23/24 Depaul, and #25/NR New Mexico.

The Sun Belt is currently the 7th-best women's basketball conference in the nation, according to RealTimeRPI.com.

Middle Tennessee is sixth in the nation in 3-pointers made per game (as of 12/31/06) and will be embarking on a 3-game conference road swing, starting with Tuesday's encounter at Florida International (9-5,3-1). FIU defeated MTSU 73-57 in last season's final regular season contest. Troy will return home to face in-state rival South Alabama on Thursday.


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