Blue Raiders put on defensive showcase, win third straight game

Ty Petty

Story by Jonathan Clark // Staff Writer

Middle Tennessee (12-7, 6-2 C-USA) took on the Marshall Thundering Herd (13-6, 3-5 C-USA) at home, continuing conference play. The Blue Raiders took the win 65-54, behind a near triple-double performance from Junior guard Ty Petty.

Ty Petty had a stellar performance in this one, finishing with 17 points, eight assists, and a career -high seven rebounds.

“My main thing is trying to stay consistent from here on out and just coming out and being the point guard,” Petty said regarding her performance. “I was just reading how they were [playing] the screens. If I had the lay-up then [I took it]… I started seeing that they were packing up the lane. That opened up a lot for our shooters.”

Senior guard Caroline Warden scored a career-high tonight with 12 points. Warden went 3-for-6 from the field, including two huge three-pointers in the first half.

“Ty did a good job of getting me the ball so I tried to have confidence and knock down some shots … You have to have a champion minds … You can’t think about it,” Warden said.

The Blue Raiders dominated the Thundering Herd in the paint, as MTSU out-rebounded the Thundering Herd 40-27 and outscored them 32-14. Middle Tennessee tied their season-high of 12 steals against Marshall, while forcing a total of 18 turnovers.

MTSU held Marshall to only nine points in the third quarter. The Blue Raiders began to pull away in the second half, as they outscored the Thundering Herd 38-28 in the second half.

“I’m proud of our defense,” head coach Rick Insell said. “We held them to nine points in the third quarter. Second quarter [we held them to] ten points … That’s what put us back in the game because with twenty-three turnovers, we sure didn’t take care of the basketball.”

Going into Thursday, Marshall led Conference USA in scoring, but the Blue Raiders were able to hold the Thundering Herd to their second lowest scoring output of the season.

Middle Tennessee will look to continue the same defensive intensity against Western Kentucky on Saturday. The Blue Raiders will take on their rival Hilltoppers on Jan. 30 at home. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

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