Story by Calvin White/Sports Editor
Murfreesboro, TN- Courtney Blakely’s near triple-double was just one of the talking points on Thursday night as Middle Tennessee women’s basketball (11-2, 4-0 C-USA) received huge contributions from multiple Lady Raiders to thrash UTSA (3-9, 1-2 C-USA) 80-41 in the Murphy Center.
With Savannah Wheeler being sidelined due to injury for the second straight game, Blakely was once again inserted into the starting rotation and she did not disappoint. The sophomore guard posted a stat line of 11 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds, and zero turnovers while playing all 40 minutes.
“She was in total control of the game,” Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Insell said of Blakely. “I thought it was one of the best games she has ever played for us. Total control.”
Six Lady Raiders finished the game in the double-digit scoring column. Kseniya Malashka led the way with 18 points off the bench, followed by Anastasiia Boldyreva (16), Jalynn Gregory (14), Blakely and Courtney Whitson (11), and Ta’Mia Scott (10).
After leading by just three points at the end of the first quarter, MTSU poured it on in the second frame. The Lady Raiders started the second quarter on a 13-0 run and eventually took a 42-22 lead into intermission. UTSA made just one field goal attempt in the frame while turning the ball over six times.
As it usually does, the MTSU defense held a firm grip on its opponent. The suffocating Middle Tennessee defense held the Roadrunners to just 25.4 percent shooting from the floor. MTSU outscored UTSA 38-16 in the paint to further tighten its grip on UTSA.
With the win, MTSU stays undefeated vs. the Roadrunners in the all-time series with a 9-0 record.
“Very proud of our basketball team,” Insell said. “UTSA is not that bad a team. We came out and played pretty good defense the whole game. The first quarter, (UTSA) hit some shots, but I’m very proud of what (MTSU) did.”