Photo by Tyler Lamb / Sports Editor
Ty Petty is the one of the most accomplished point guards in Middle Tennessee State Women’s Basketball history. The senior will play her final game at the Murphy Center on Sunday. The Glass House is owned by Petty going all the way back to her high school career.
The High School State Championships are held at Murphy Center and Petty won three in her four years as a member of local Riverdale High School. During her senior season, she led the Lady Warriors to a perfect record and finished her career on a 58-game win streak. Her final game of her high school career was at Murphy Center, and now she is once again preparing to play her final home game as a MTSU Lady Raider in the same place.
Petty wears the number 20, which has significance in its own right. A former guard at MTSU, Tina Stewart, was killed in 2011 by her roommate. Petty was a fan of MTSU women’s basketball long before she committed, a big factor in why chose MTSU. Petty knew Stewart and how much she meant to the program.
Stewart wore number 20 and so did Petty in high school. So when Petty got to college, she called Stewart’s father for permission to wear the number.
“I’ve done it to keep Tina’s legacy alive for her family, her teammates, and the fans,” said Petty. “She was a part of the foundation that was put out for me.”
In Petty’s freshman year, she saw limited action as a Lady Raider. She averaged just over five minutes per game and scored 31 points during the whole season.
“She had all the intangibles that I looked for, but she didn’t have the knowledge of the system,” Coach Insell said.
Although she wasn’t leading the charge, the Lady Raiders appeared in the conference championship game against Tulsa that year. The team captured their first C-USA title since moving from the Sun Belt Conference.
In her sophomore season in 2014, Petty bursted onto the scene as the starting point guard. She averaged 11.5 points per game and was fifth in C-USA for assists.
In the Lady Raiders second C-USA championship season that next year, Petty was at the helm. She was the leader of the team and was the driving force behind their championship run as a junior. She was named the MVP of the C-USA Championship and was also named to Second-team All-C-USA for the regular season.
Now in her final season, the Lady Raiders are poised for another run at a conference title. The Rutherford Co. legend’s final game at Murphy Center will be against UAB this Sunday at 4 pm. Petty has given the Glass House memorable moments and performances all throughout her playing career and have cherished each of them.
“It’s emotional. I’ve won championships in this gym. This is the last time my family can see me play here,” Petty said. “It’s going to be a bittersweet moment playing here for the last time ever.”
Her impact with the Lady Raiders will be felt and her legacy will continue to grow as time passes. She has been a member of two championship teams and is hoping to bring a third in her final season.
Petty has set a new standard and precedent on what it means to be a Lady Raider, setting the bar very high. One person who is very aware of how special Petty is and what she has meant to MTSU is Coach Insell.
“Best guard in all of my career,” said Insell who has been in the coaching business for over four decades.
On the other side, Petty hopes her playing career is far from over. She’s not ready to hang up her basketball dream forever and has big goals that lie ahead.
“I definitely want to continue to play if I get the opportunity to play overseas.”
Petty has 94 wins as a Lady Raider. She is also three assists away and six steals away from being the only player in Lady Raider history to have 1,000+ points, 500 assists, 300 rebounds and 180 steals. Her stats have improved in almost every category throughout her career. One thing she wants her teammates and future Lady Raider’s to remember and take away from her is simple:
“Seeing the process.”