By Connor Ulrey//Contributing Writer
The Blue Raider women’s basketball (4-3) started strong but got down late in the first half on Friday night, but couldn’t climb out of their hole. They fell to eighth ranked Kentucky (9-1) 78-62.
The Blue Raiders didn’t flinch early and battled with the Wildcats and were tied 16-16, but fell asleep defensively leading to an 8-0 run by Kentucky, who stretched their advantage to 41-26 at the half.
Cheyenne Parker was a strong figure for the Blue Raiders finishing with a double-double as she amassed 15 points and 12 boards. Parker previously faced the Wildcats when she was at High Point University, so Friday night was nothing new, and she proved that early on, fighting for rebounds on the offensive glass.
The second half was strong for Middle Tennessee who finished shooting 45% from the field in the second half, compared to their 32 percent performance in the first half.
Both sides had bad turnover games as the Blue Raiders turned the ball over 25 times. However, the Raiders forced 28 turnovers, resulting in 30 points for Middle. The Wildcats were strong in rebounding, as they outshined the Blue Raiders, 47-31.
For the Wildcats, Jennifer O’Neill was the key, scoring 22 points and leading all scorers on 8-14 shooting Friday night. O’Neill’s performance was backed up by the fact that the Blue Raider bench, a strong point for most of the season so far, was outmatched by the Wildcats 31-10.
Ty Petty provided her season high 14 points, and Olivia Jones continued to provide for the Blue Raiders, adding 12 points, and 8 rebounds.
The Blue Raider women will look to rebound on Monday as they head to South Dakota to take on the Jackrabbits.
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