Photo by David Chamberlain / MTSU Sidelines
Story by Darius Horton / Sports Reporter
The Middle Tennessee Lady Raiders (14-9, 6-4) traveled to Boca Raton, Florida, to take on the Florida Atlantic Owls (10-10, 4-5) on Thursday following a loss against Louisiana Tech. Though the Lady Raiders held a double-digit lead at one point, they held off a late rally by the Owls and won by a final score of 69-65.
The first quarter was close, as Middle Tennessee led by a score of 14-8 after junior Alex Johnson went one for two from the charity stripe to end the frame. Neither team was able to get consistent offense going, and the Lady Raiders had a two-minute stretch where they failed to score.
MTSU started to pull away late in the second. Freshman Anna Jones knocked down a three with two seconds left in the quarter to give the Lady Raiders a 33-20 lead heading into halftime.
The Owls would not go away easily, as they cut the lead down to four heading into the final quarter. That was the closest they would get however, as Middle Tennessee used solid three-point shooting to hold them at bay.
The Lady Raiders sealed the deal with two free throws that gave them a 69-62 lead with six seconds left, and they walked away with the win by a final score of 69-65.
Three-point shooting stroke returns to form in win
The Lady Raiders were deadly behind the line, as they made 12 of their 26 shots from behind the arc.
The Lady Raiders are a great three-point shooting team and after their struggles against LA Tech, they appear to have broken that trend. If teams plan on stopping them, it will be tough if MTSU is making three-point shots with consistency.
Efficient scoring leads to victory
The Lady Raiders had four players in double-digit scoring against FAU, as Sissom led the way with 16 points on the strength of four three-pointers.
Louro was great as well, as she added 15 points and eight rebounds. Senior Gabby Lyon and Johnson were great in the trenches, as they scored 14 and 10 points, respectively. Johnson also grabbed five rebounds, and Lyon was efficient from the field in making seven of her nine shots.
As a whole, the Lady Raiders shot 45.1 percent (23-51) from the field. Additionally, a 46 percent clip from three boosted their all-around game as well. It showed that MTSU can shoot from anywhere on the floor and that they are not a team that relies solely on put-backs.
They were also efficient at the free throw line, making 11 of their 15 attempts from the charity stripe.
The Lady Raiders play Florida International on Saturday in Miami, Florida. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.
To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis, email email@example.com.