Blue Raider Women’s Basketball Rolls over North Texas

Middle Tennessee's Blue Raider women's basketball faced Southern Mississippi on Thursday, January 15 in Murphy Center. The Blue Raiders fell to Southern Miss 77-75 in overtime after a close game. (Greg French/MTSU Sidelines)

By Rickey Fuquay, Jr.//Contributing Writer

MURFREESBORO – Olivia Jones and the Blue Raiders (17-6, 11-2 C-USA) used an all-around effort to cruise to their fifth straight home win, routing North Texas (3-20, 2-11 C-USA), 85-59.

The Blue Raiders jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead before sophomore forward Eboniey Jeter put North Texas on the board, trimming the deficit to five points with 15:44 left in the first half. Middle Tennessee extended their lead with a trio of scoring runs to take control of the game 45-24 with 1:56 left in the first half. They would eventually take a 48-24 lead at the half thanks to a China Dow three-pointer.

The Blue Raiders went on a 12-5 run coming out of the locker room 60-29 advantage with 15:02 left in the second half. They would lead by as many as 32 points in the second half. North Texas scored a quick six points to cut the deficit to 26 points. Middle Tennessee answered right back with a 9-5 scoring run of their own to take a 76-46 lead with 3:42 left in the game. A 13-9 run by North Texas at the end of the half was not enough to stop the Blue Raiders 85-59 victory.

Sophomore guard Olivia Jones led the team with 23 points along with seven rebounds and four steals on 9-of-19 shooting from the field as well as 3-of-9 from beyond the arc.

“I think I could have did more on defense, but overall I think I’m getting back into the groove of my game,” Jones said.

Also in double figures was freshman forward Gabby Lyon, who experienced a career day, tallying 15 points of her own. Senior forward Cheyenne Parker recorded 14 points along with nine rebounds, two assists, three blocks and three steals on 5-of-8 shooting from the field.

North Texas was led by junior forward Acheil Tac, who tallied 14 points along with seven rebound on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Sophomore guard Terra Ellison recorded 13 points along with four rebounds.

Once again the inside performance by the Blue Raiders played a critical factor, as they tallied 40 points in the paint, while also holding a 44 to 29 rebound advantage.

Middle Tennessee will look to continue their winning streak, as they travel to Huntington, West Virginia for a Thursday morning matchup with the Marshall Thundering Herd. Tip-off is set for 10 a.m. CST.

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To contact sports editor Connor Grott, email or follow him on Twitter at @Connor_Grott.

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