MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (1/30/10) - Middle Tennessee simply couldn't miss from 3-point and the Mean Green ladies just couldn't keep up, falling to the Blue Raiders 119-51 at a snow-covered Murphy Center on Saturday.
MTSU (15-5, 10-1 Sun Belt East) strengthened its lead in the Sun Belt East Division by landing a school-record-tying 20 three-pointers against a North Texas (6-16, 3-8 Sun Belt West) team that didn't do itself many favors. The Mean Green allowed an early 28-0 run, and gave the Blue Raiders 53 points off 34 NT giveaways.
The 119 MTSU points are the most ever given up by a North Texas squad, as well as the most ever scored by Middle Tennessee. The 68 point loss is the largest in program history.
Niq'ky Hughes was NT's best option, threading the Blue Raider full-court pressure for 19 points. The junior was 9-of-13 from the floor with a trio of steals.
The Blue Raiders countered with 28 from Jackie Pickel and 27 from Brandi Brown. Alysha Clark, who entered the game as the nation's fourth leading scorer, had 20.
The Mean Green came out with the defensive intensity, jumping out to a 4-0 lead thanks to two Kellum free throws and a fast-break bucket after a steal on the other end of the floor.
That's when the Blue Raiders opted to match the Mean Green full court pressure, turning four NT turnovers into a four-pack of 3-pointers and a 17-6 lead just four minutes into the game.
MTSU would stretch that run to 28-0 over the next five minutes thanks to sniper-like 3-point shooting and a host of Mean Green turnovers. The Blue Raiders hit 12-of-18 from downtown in the opening frame alone, and turned 19 NT turnovers into 31 points.
North Texas returns to action at the Super Pit on Thursday against Florida Atlantic. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m.