Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines
The Middle Tennessee Lady Raiders (3-0) hosted the Lipscomb Lady Bisons (1-4) on Sunday in the Murphy Center. MTSU had the three-point shot working on offense, as they ran away from the Bisons in dominating fashion by a score of 72-48. This is the team’s first 3-0 start since 1998.
Middle Tennessee started fast and separated themselves early, jumping out to a quick 10-2 lead over Lipscomb.
With star Alex Johnson absent for the second straight game, Gabby Lyon and Rebecca Reuter were asked once again to step up for MT. They answered the call, as Lyon finished with 10 points and Reuter added 16.
After knocking down seven three-pointers in the first half, the Lady Raiders took a 34-15 lead into the locker room.
Middle Tennessee was dominant on the defensive end the first half, as they held Lipscomb to just 24 percent shooting. Thanks to the performance on both ends of the court, they led by a comfortable margin for the rest of the contest and walked away with a 72-48 win over the Lady Bisons.
Lady Raiders start fast with focus and intensity
The Lady Raiders started fast in the first quarter, which is something that MT struggled with in the last game against Tennessee Tech. They only scored 14 points in the first quarter of that game and held a lead simply because Tennessee Tech’s offense (seven points in the frame) was even worse.
Senior guard Abbey Sissom knew they needed to play their game and only worry about themselves to start fast.
“Coach was not pleased with our focus and intensity last game,” Sissom said. “That’s been the main point this week, to run our system no matter what the score is. I think everyone did a much better job of coming out and doing that tonight.”
The emphasis on being focused and intense was apparent, as MTSU closed the first quarter on an 18-2 run.
Solid depth leads to great shooting performance
In the first half, six different Lady Raiders hit a three, and by the end of the game, that number was up to seven.
Lady Raider head coach Rick Insell was pleased with how practicing the three-point shot translated into the game.
“We work on it everyday,” Insell said. “They know they have the green light, and if somebody backs off of them, shoot the ball. You’ll get taken out if you don’t shoot the basketball.”
The great showing from the perimeter players helped out the post players, as it allowed them to have a lighter load on the offensive end.
“That’s really big for us when we knock down open threes,” Rueter said. “It helps everybody out.”
Lockdown defense clinches game early
The Lady Raiders held Lipscomb to just 29 percent shooting from behind the arc and 32 percent overall from the field.
Against a team that can shoot the ball well, Insell was pleased with the way his team stepped up their intensity.
“I thought our team defended pretty good,” Insell said. “This is a tough team to play … Their record doesn’t show it, but they can shoot the heck out of the basketball.”
— Logan Ward 🐊 (@lward98_ward) November 19, 2017
The Lady Raiders will be on the road on Nov. 29 in Asheville, North Carolina, where they will look to continue their hot start against the University of North Carolina-Asheville Bulldogs.