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011-25-07 Middle Tennessee Recap
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/25/2007
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Box Score

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Tucson , Ariz. ?C Freshman Ify Ibekwe finished with 22 points, but Arizona could not stop a late 10-2 second half scoring run by Middle Tennessee, falling to the Blue Raiders, 70-60, on Sunday afternoon in McKale Center.? The loss drops Arizona to 2-4 overall, as Middle Tennessee improves to 3-1.

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As a team, Arizona shot 55.6 percent (25-45) from the field, including a blistering 68.8 percent (11-16) mark in the first half, and outrebounded MTSU 28-27.? The Blue Raiders shot 43.3 percent (26-60) from the field, with a 56 percent mark (14-25) in the second half, and finished with eight steals off of 20 Arizona turnovers.

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Ibekwe led the Wildcats with a career-high 22 points (16 in the second half) on 10-of-11 shooting from the field, the second-best shooting percentage in school history, to go with seven rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.? Sophomores Rhaya and Rheya Neabors added 10 points apiece, and senior Ashley Whisonant finished with eight points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

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Senior Amber Holt led Middle Tennessee with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field.

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Arizona and Middle Tennessee played close the entire first half as the teams combined for six ties and six lead changes.? The Wildcats held a 30-27 lead over the Blue Raiders at the 3:04 mark, but a layup by Starr Orr at the 2:30 mark, and a three by Brandi Brown with 1:29 left gave MTSU a 32-30 lead at halftime.? Arizona shot 68.8 percent (11-16) in the first half, holding MTSU to a 34.3 percent mark (12-35), but the Blue Raiders sank five three pointers.

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Middle Tennessee expanded its slim lead to six points early on in the second half, but Arizona stayed within striking distance much of the half and trailed 46-44 after a layup by Ibekwe with 8:46 left on the clock.? The Blue Raiders then scored seven-straight points which translated into 10-2 scoring run over the next 1:59 to take a commanding 56-46 advantage.? The Wildcats battled to cut the deficit to 63-58 with 1:57 left in the game, but the Blue Raiders hit 6-of-7 free throws down the stretch to hold off an Arizona comeback attempt.

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The Wildcats will next face Northern Arizona on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. in McKale Center.
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