Saturday, February 4, 2023

Blue Raiders dominate in preseason


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Story by Britton Barnette / Contributing Writer

The Blue Raiders faced off against Lane College in their preseason matchup on Friday, controlling the game start to finish with a 103-49 win.

In the opening period, neither team seemed to take control, as the score was even throughout, finishing the period. In the second period the game remained tied until 18-18, and then The Blue Raiders stormed off to a 19-0 run, led by freshman guard Jalynn Gregory with eight points, giving them a 37-18 lead which they never gave up.

The second half was all Blue Raiders, outscoring Lane College 57-27, led by freshman guard Courtney Blakely who put up 13 points in the second half. Sophomore forward Kseniya Malashka also had her best production in the second half, scoring 10 of her 15 points after the half.

The Blue Raiders opened the game with a strong defensive performance, notching four steals in the opening quarter while running an attacking half-court press where they doubled the ball-handler at the midline. Sophomore forward Courtney Whitson grabbed two steals off of Lane College, while freshman guard Skye Payne and junior Guard Alexis Whittington got a steal as well.

Foul trouble plagued the Blue Raiders early, sending Lane College to the line 12 times in the opening period while only getting to the line four times themselves.

Anastasiia Boldyreva, playing her first season following her highly touted recruitment from Russia, was called for two early fouls, limiting her time on the court. Kseniia Kozlova, redshirt-freshman center also from Russia, was other Blue Raider to get two fouls early.

By the end of the first half, the Blue Raiders were firmly in control with a 46-22 lead.

The second half proved to be more of the same for the Blue Raiders, who began the half on a tear, outscoring Lane by a margin of 49-23 in the third period. The run was led by Blakely and Malashka, each dropping ten points. Skye Payne delivered seven points in the period, with Jalynn Gregory putting up six herself.

By the fourth quarter, the game was already decided, and neither team put up much of an effort, with the Blue Raiders only scoring eight-points, five of which came from the line, and Lane College putting together four, with two coming from the line as well.

Up Next: The Blue Raiders will finish the preseason on November 4th against UT Southern at the Murphy Center at 6:00 pm, before starting their regular season on November 9th against Eastern Carolina at home.

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