DENTON, Texas-- No. 19 Middle Tennessee went on a 26-6 run to start the second half, opening up a close game and waltzed to a 70-56 victory over North Texas in the Super Pit on Wednesday. MTSU (18-3, 10-0) tied a school record with its 15th straight win, a feat that equaled a run from January 12-March 4, 1987.
All-America candidate and www.BlueRaiderZone.com player of the game Chrissy Givens once again led the Lady Raiders with 26 points, while Duluth (GA) junior Amber Holt netted 16. Murfreesboro native Krystle Horton, a 6-2 forward, garnered 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 points, and 3 steals.
"North Texas was putting it to us, and we weren't giving a very good effort in the first half," said senior Horton. "We let our teammates know that we needed to pick up our game and get going".
Horton was referring to a lackluster first stanza in which UNT cut a 12-point lead down to one point in the final 7:00 of that frame.
North Texas (5-13, 2-6), who had defeated the Raiders 69-64 in Denton last season, used a size advantage to win the battle of the boards 37-35.
Amber Jackson led the Mean Green with a double/double, including a career high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting. The 6-2 sophomore from Indianapolis also caromed 12 rebounds. Jo Hall added 17 points, while Tricia Lee added 8 points and 5 steals. The Lady Green, with only one senior, had played 12 of their 17 games on the road prior to Wednesday evening's contest.
"It got loud in our locker room at halftime and I got their attention," admitted MTSU skipper Rick Insell, "but we played a good second half."
"We have played 10 games in the month of January, and 5-of-6 on the road has been tough. I'm awfully proud to be 18-3 and 10-0 in the conference, though."
MT superfrosh "Downtown" Brandi Brown connected on two more 3-pointers, giving her 50 for the season. Brown leads the Sun Belt Conference in 3-pointers made. Johnna Abney was good on two trifectas and tallied 6 points.
The Lady Raiders are 6-0 away from home in the Sun Belt this season, and the MT men's hoops program is a perfect 5-0 on the SBC road. The Blue Raider football team was also unblemished in-conference outside of Murfreesboro. Combined, Middle Tennessee has the nation's only undefeated streak of its kind.
Givens and company return home to face a very talented University of Louisiana squad on Sunday. The Lady Cajuns (16-5, 8-2) have won 6 in a row, and have not lost in 2007.
"We will be glad to get back to the Glass House," said Insell. "UL may have the best team in the conference right now and we need about 7,000 in the stands."