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59.6 percent shooting lifts Middle Tenn. St. to victory

MONROE, La. (AP) -- Amber Holt scored 25 points and Chrissy Givens had 22 as Middle Tennessee State (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today; No. 19 AP) shot 59.6 percent from the field in an 83-70 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday night.

Krystle Horton added 13 points and Chelsia Lymon 11 for Middle Tennessee (22-3, 14-0 Sun Belt).

Nedra Winston paced Louisiana-Monroe (14-10, 4-9) with 15 points. LaJeanna Howard scored 14 and Shannon Lloyd 13.

Both offenses came out firing, but the Warhawks' 15 first half-turnovers helped Middle Tennessee build a double-digit lead with just over 5 minutes remaining in the half.

Louisiana-Monroe got to 21-18 with 9:41 remaining in the half, but Middle Tennessee went on a 12-4 run over the next 4 minutes to push its advantage back over 10 and the Blue Raiders never looked back.

Louisiana-Monroe trailed 45-32 at halftime despite connecting on 65 percent of its first-half shots.

The teams played even over the final 20 minutes.