Following the announcement pre-game that Anastasia Hayes would sit after a root canal Friday, little sister Aislynn once again stole the show with a dominant performance Saturday night.
Hayes finished with a career and team-high 25 points, following up on her 24 points on Thursday night against UTEP, in MTSU’s (15-7, 7-3 C-USA) 69-48 win over the UTSA Roadrunners (6-14, 2-7) Saturday night in the Murphy Center.
“The first time I ever saw her, I wanted her. When we struggled, she took over..and got some rhythm for the team,” MTSU Head Coach Rick Insell.
The Lady Raider offense struggled in the first quarter before Hayes caught fire and helped lead MTSU to a 24-4 run to finish the first half up 37-24.
“I knew I had to step up because that’s what (Anastasia Hayes) does, and that’s what I did,” Hayes said.
MTSU’s defense forced 32 turnovers resulting in 30 points off said turnovers, a key factor in the three-game winning streak the Lady Raiders have put together.
“It gives you a lot of energy to get down on the defensive end and then come back and work hard on the offensive end. We made it an emphasis after the first quarter,” senior Charity Savage said.
Savage returned to team MVP form with a great effort putting up 17 points, 13 rebounds, as well as a career-high six steals for her ninth double-double on the year after dealing with foul trouble Thursday night vs UTEP.
“It does not feel like I got a double-double. In the first half, I felt like I couldn’t get a rebound and I couldn’t make a layup. My coaches got onto me at halftime, so I made more emphasis on getting on the offensive boards,” Savage said.
The Lady Raiders hit the road for Texas with two matchups against North Texas and league-leaders Rice. The away stretch will give MTSU an opportunity to move further up the standings as the second half of conference play begins.
“Not to sound arrogant, but we need to work on ourselves. Because other people don’t beat us, we beat ourselves,” Savage said.
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