The Blue Raiders came up short Friday night in their opener against the Arizona State Sun Devils, dropping the contest 81-67.
Middle Tennessee (0-1) started two new players in freshman forward Rebecca Reuter and junior guard Brea Edwards.
Overall, MTSU had three players in the lineup making their first career start, as returning sophomore guard Ty Petty joined Reuter and Edwards in the starting lineup.
Arizona State (1-0) raced out to a 22-11 lead midway through the first half and controlled the tempo of the game from that point on.
Middle Tennessee picked up the intensity in the second half as sophomore guard China Dow drilled two threes and sophomore forward Olivia Jones converted a layup to cut the Sun Devils’ lead t0 47-37 with 16:10 left on the clock.
Arizona State would not be denied, going on a 9-0 run to increase their lead to 58-37 with 13:55 left in regulation, a lead the Sun Devils would hold throughout the remainder of the contest.
The Blue Raiders shot an abysmal 38 percent (24-of-63) from the field. Their three-point shooting proved to be worse, going 3-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Arizona State made one more shot than the Lady Raiders (25-24). The Sun Devils man-handled the Blue Raiders at the charity stripe, outscoring them 28-16 at the free-throw line.
The Sun Devils also capitalized on 17 MTSU turnovers, converting them into 14 points.
Jones was one rebound shy of a double double with 19 points and nine rebounds. Dow contributed 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. Caya Williams chipped in with a solid effort off the bench, scoring 10 points and corralling five rebounds.
The Blue Raiders are set to take on Miami on Monday. Tip off is at 7 p.m. CT at the Murphy Center.
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