MTSU’s quest to get a high seeding for the Conference USA Tournament took a hit Thursday night in the Murphy Center after a nip and tuck win from UAB.
The Blazers (17-9, 9-5 Conference USA) did not make a field goal for the last 4:48 of the fourth quarter but outlasted the Lady Raiders (17-9, 9-5) after Aislynn Hayes’ potential game-winning 3-pointer missed at the buzzer.
Both teams were near even in shooting (39.6 to 36.2 in favor of MT), but the difference maker for UAB came from its advantage on the glass. The Blazers outrebounded MTSU 44-33 including a 14-4 lead in offensive rebounds. This led to UAB having a 17-5 edge in second-chance points.
MTSU’s frontcourt suffered from foul trouble with starting forward Courtney Whitson limited to 21 minutes of action due to four fouls accumulated over the contest.
Rellah Boothe saw increased game time with Whitson’s absence and put up nine points and six rebounds in a career-best performance for MTSU.
UAB’s Rachael Childress led the Blazers with 16 points, thanks in part to four 3-point makes in a bounce-back performance following a loss to MTSU in the team’s last outing.
For MTSU, Aislynn Hayes continued her run as the alpha dog of the team on offense with 18 points in 37 minutes despite being unable to convert her final shot for the win.
The result now means a three-way tie for 4th place in the Conference USA standings as bonus play begins for the final four games of the regular season between MTSU, UAB, and Charlotte.
MTSU travels to UTEP on Saturday to begin its final stretch of games before the Conference USA Tournament. The Lady Raiders topped the Miners in late January in Murfreesboro 76-60.
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