Blue Raiders' Holt leads upset of LSU with career-high 41 points

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- After coming a point shy of Middle Tennessee's single-game scoring record, all Amber Holt could think of was the free throw she missed.

Oh, what could have been.

Holt had a career-high 41 points and nine rebounds to help Middle Tennessee upset No. 8 LSU 67-56 on Friday night, finishing a point from Kim Webb's school record set in 1987 against Eastern Kentucky.

Holt admitted she would have liked to have her name on the top of that list.

"If I had just made one more free throw," Holt said. "But it's OK. It doesn't matter."

She finished 9-for-10 from the free-throw line, and could have broken the mark if coach Rick Insell let her shoot the technical free throws in the game's final minute.

"It was very special what she did," Insell said. "She'll have plenty more chances if she keeps playing like this, I promise you."

The senior guard finished 15-for-25 from the floor for Middle Tennessee (7-5), which snapped the Lady Tigers' (9-3) six-game winning streak. Holt's previous career high came earlier this season, when she scored 33 points in Middle Tennessee's win over Austin Peay.

"When she's going we're going to keep throwing her the ball," Blue Raiders guard Starr Orr said. "Can't nobody stop her one-on-one."

Holt's effort was helped by the absence of LSU's All-American center Sylvia Fowles, who injured her right knee last Wednesday in the second half of LSU's win over Miami in Cancun, Mexico.

The Lady Tigers struggled in their first game this season without Fowles, but will have to learn to adjust quickly.

LSU's senior shot blocker will miss two to four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on her knee. Fowles, who has led LSU to three straight Final Four appearances, did not make the trip to Murfreesboro.

"I thought when Sylvia got hurt, it would be a blessing in disguise," LSU coach Van Chancellor said. "But it doesn't matter. We're going to have to change our attitude, or it's not going to matter."

If given a second chance, Chancellor said he would have changed his game plan against Holt.

"We made up our mind that we were going to give Holt some points and try to take away the 3-ball," he said. "We just didn't realize we were going to give Holt so many points."

The first-year LSU coach hinted that he was upset at the officiating, and said he "seriously doubts" he'll ever return to Murphy Arena. Middle Tennessee shot 29 free throws, compared to just nine by Lady Tigers.

He refused to answer questions about the referees.

"I ain't facing the fine, and I ain't getting reprimanded," he said.

Brandi Brown had eight points, and Johnna Abney added five to give the Blue Raiders their first win over a ranked opponent this season. Middle Tennessee improved to 3-31 against teams ranked in top 10.

Allison Hightower led LSU with 13 points, and Quianna Chaney added 11 points and six rebounds.

The Blue Raiders stretched their lead to 42-32 with 11:40 to play on a layup by Orr. The Lady Tigers then went on a 17-7 run that tied the game at 49, and took a 54-53 lead on Chaney's third 3-pointer of the game with 4:32 left.

But Holt was too much, answering back with a 3-pointer to help Middle Tennessee go back ahead 56-54. With Fowles out, LSU couldn't stop the physical guard.

"To have one of the best game's in school history is something I will always remember," Holt said.