Saturday, February 4, 2023

Lady Raiders First Half Explosion Blasts Florida Atlantic


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Story by Quenterious Mabone / Contributing Writer

The fans know how good the Blue Raiders women’s basketball team is, and they continued their winning ways against the Florida Atlantic Owls on Saturday.

The Lady Raiders scored early and often. They hit a barrage of three pointers in a 72-49 win; cruising to their 19th win of the season. Head Coach Rick Insell praised his team for their efforts and how far they have come since the beginning.

“I was told we wouldn’t win five games this year, but I’ve been told that a lot,” Insell said. “I thought we played pretty good defense the whole game.”

The Lady Raiders shot 11-for-17 from beyond the arc in the first half. The six players who played in the first quarter all scored while taking advantage of an eight to four advantage on the boards to score eight second chance points.

 In the second quarter, they held the Owls to six points while hitting four more three pointers to continue the offensive prowess in the first half. 

The second half got off to a rough start, with the Lady Raiders missing all six of their third quarter three pointers.

In the final quarter, the Owls were limited to just three makes on seven shots. The Lady Raiders made seven field goals of their own to win the quarter and the game.

A player to watch as the regular season comes to an end is senior Alexis Whittington. She scored 17 points, drilling a season high of five three pointers while adding seven rebounds and three steals to her stat sheet. 

“I feed off of it,” Whittington said. “If my first shot is going in, then my second shot is going in, I’m like ‘ok, it’s going to be a hot night for me.”’

Another player to watch out for is junior Courtney Whitson. She was on a triple-double watch late in the game, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds, and a career-high eight assists. She also added three steals to her impressive team performance.

“I don’t care if I score another point in my career,” Whitson said. “But if I see and get those assists for my teammates, that’s basketball to me.”

The Lady Raiders head towards a critical stretch in the last part of the season. The Conference USA tournament is in three weeks, and the team is in the zone.

“We’re all on the same page,” Whittington said. “That honestly blows me away for having such a young team. They are so focused, and they want this just as bad as us who’ve been here.”

The Lady Raiders hit the road to play Marshall in West Virginia on Thursday at 5 p.m.

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