Scouting Southern Miss: Three things to watch

Photo by David Chamberlain / MTSU Sidelines

After a hard-fought win against Rice, the Lady Raiders prepare to square off against Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA Semifinals.

The last time these two teams met, Middle Tennessee was blown out in Hattiesburg by a score of 81-61.

Southern Miss is a good team, placing third overall in the conference this year so expect a tough game for the Lady Raiders today.

Here are a few keys if the Lady Raiders want a different result this time around.

Playing Lady Raider Basketball

The Lady Raiders will have to cut down on the turnovers in order to win this time around. In the last match-up, they turned the ball over 24 times. Ty Petty wasn’t immune to the turnover bug, as she committed 11 turnovers by herself, the most she had all season.

The Lady Raiders will also have to play inside more in this game. They took 27 three-pointers but only made 6. This formula almost doomed them in their quarterfinal game. Alex Johnson was great in that game, as she shot a blistering 90 percent from the field and led the team with 25 points. Going inside is their game and they must stick to it.

The Role Players Must Get Involved

Outside of Alex Johnson and Ty Petty, the Lady Raiders scored only 19 points. The other players will need to get involved if they want to win this game. It starts with Ty Petty driving and getting shooters open, but they then have to knock down their shots.

The shooting can’t be as bad this time around, as Abbey Sissom went 1-8, Jess Louro shot 0-3, and Gabby Lyon was 1-4. That cannot happen again if the Lady Raiders want to win.

Defense Has To Play Better

The Lady Raiders allowed Southern Mississippi to shoot almost 57 percent from the field. You won’t win many basketball games giving up those types of numbers, as they also allowed 43 percent from behind the arc.

All-Conference Defensive player Abbey Sissom will be relied upon once again. The two leading scorers from Southern Miss combined for 41 points and shot 17-25 from the field in their last game against the Lady Raiders.

The game is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.

Follow MTSU Lady Raider beat writers David Chamberlain (@D_Chamberlain_), Jonathan Clark (@JonDemetries) and Keenan Taylor (@keenantaylor_) on Twitter for more coverage.

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

To contact Sports Editor Tyler Lamb (@Tlamb35), email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

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