Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines
The Middle Tennessee Lady Raiders (6-4) lost to the Tulane Lady Green Waves (6-5) in a 62-44 blowout on Sunday. It was a game where MTSU never found a consistent presence on the offensive end of the floor, and they couldn’t get multiple defensive stops in a row to make the comeback.
Senior Rebecca Reuter led Middle Tennessee with nine points and five rebounds, while Abbey Sissom, Jess Louro and Jadona Davis each scored seven points. Charity Savage also had a solid night, chipping in five points and a team-high six rebounds.
The offense struggled the entire night, as no Lady Raiders cracked double-digits in the scoring column. The defense struggled as well, allowing Tulane to shoot almost 50 percent from the field en route to the 18-point defeat.
With a tough slate of games remaining before their conference schedule begins, the Lady Raiders will need to find a consistent offensive threat in order to perform to the expectations of being the preseason Conference USA favorites.
Offensive, defensive struggles doom Middle Tennessee from the start
This was one of the worst shooting nights of the season for the Lady Raiders. They went 12-44 (27.3 percent) from the field and shot 4-23 (17.4 percent) from three. They also had a total of 25 turnovers, second only to when they had 31 turnovers against Louisville on Dec. 9.
In the absence of Alex Johnson, the elite shooting tandem of Sissom and Louro failed to get anything going from the perimeter as they made only two of their 14 three-point attempts.
The Lady Green Waves were the complete opposite, as they shot 24-50 (48 percent) from the field. Kolby Morgan led both teams with 19 points.
Tulane used a strong fourth quarter to put the game away. They scored 22 points and only allowed the Lady Raiders to score a mere 14 points.
Davis’ solid performance becomes team’s lone bright spot
One player that stood out in the loss was Davis. Standing at 6’5″, the freshman provided the Lady Raiders with quality minutes by scoring seven points and grabbing two rebounds in seven minutes of action.
Davis also proved to be a reliable option at the free throw line, where she made five of her six attempts.
She fell just short of having her best game as a Lady Raider, as she scored eight on Nov. 19 against Lipscomb. With her performance, the young forward could be setting herself up for more playing time. Without Johnson to lean on for offense, Davis’ improved play is coming at the right time for Middle Tennessee.
The Lady Raiders will have a short turnaround for their next game, as they will play the University of Southern California on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the opening game of the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley Holiday Classic.
For more Lady Raider Basketball stories, follow David Janes on Twitter at @David_Janes20