Friday, February 23, 2024

No. 23 MTSU holds on for 15th straight win

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Featured Photo by Emily Cole/MTSU Athletics

Story by Jenna Roberts

The Lady Raiders were not entirely pleased with its winning performance at home Thursday night against FAU despite winning 63-48 to cap off its 15th consecutive win. 

The Lady Raiders started off strong in the first half scoring 38 points, 16 of which were scored by Savannah Wheeler. MTSU did a good job defensively, holding the Owls to only seven points apiece in the first and second quarters. 

The second half rolled around, and the Lady Raiders seemed to have lost a little momentum, allowing 23 points by FAU in the third quarter alone. However, the Lady Raiders stood its ground, thanks to Kseniya Malashka’s dominant performance with 12 points in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.

“I was real happy with our first half. The second half was terrible,” Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Insell said. “Probably the worst second half we’ve had in a long time. We had 25 points in the second half, they scored 23 points in the third quarter. So we didn’t do a good job. We didn’t do a good job defensively and we didn’t do a good job offensively.”

While the scoreboard wasn’t up to the high standards that the Lady Raider’s have, it did manage to grab 14 steals, the most steals the Lady Raiders have had in a C-USA game, Middle Tennessee was able to capitalize on those steals by scoring 25 points off of 23 FAU turnovers. 

Courtney Whitson swiped a career high with four steals while Wheeler and Jalynn Gregory were not far behind with three steals each.

“We just were in our gaps, playing our principles,” Malashka said. “For me, when I got my steal, the ball just came to me. I wasn’t even moving as much.”

No. 23 ranked MTSU takes on FIU at home on Saturday at 1:00pm. By its standards, the Lady Raiders look to bounce back against the Panthers. 

Jenna Roberts is a sports reporter for MTSU Sidelines. If you have information for a story, you can contact her at jennanroberts3@gmail.com.

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