Friday, March 24, 2023

MTSU wins 16th consecutive game in win over FIU


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Featured Photo by Lucas Larkin

Story by Jenna Roberts

No. 23 Middle Tennessee women’s basketball earn its 16th straight win by defeating FIU in a 67-41 victory at home Saturday afternoon in the Murphy Center. 

The game started off a little slow for the Lady Raiders by trailing the Panthers 15-6 at the start of the first quarter. The Panthers pressed MTSU from the start making the game all about physicality. 

However, the Lady Raiders quickly began to build some momentum and score six unanswered points to end the quarter trailing 15-12. In the second quarter, the Lady Raiders found its groove, going on a 17-2 run to take a 29-21 lead at halftime. 

Coming out of the locker room, the Lady Raiders dominated the second half by scoring 38 points while holding the Panthers to only 10 points in each of the final two quarters. MTSU outrebounded FIU 43-28, which was the Panther’s lowest rebounding output of the season. This was also the third time Middle Tennessee has held a C-USA opponent to 41 points this season. 

“We know we are going to get everyone’s best shot, so what we try to do is go out and play it like every other game,” Courtney Blakely said of MTSU’s slow start. “We try to not put too much pressure on us, we just got to go out and execute.” 

Courtney Blakely played an outstanding game Saturday by first breaking up FIU’s press. After that, her phenomenal defense grabbed four steals. She finished the game with 11 total points including one three pointer, three assists, and six rebounds. Blakely led all players with a +/- of 29. 

Savannah Wheeler played another impressive game with 18 total points, three rebounds, one steal, and went 7-for-11 shooting. Ksenyia Malashka played a large role defensively Saturday afternoon grabbing four steals and swatting three blocks. She also finished off the game with 13 total points and eight rebounds. Courtney Whitson led the team with nine rebounds.

“I thought we played a pretty overall game tonight,” Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Insell said. “Four quarters, we had 12, 17, 18, and 20 points. First quarter, I don’t know if you’d call it a slow start. But I’ll tell you what we did, we played a really good defense all night long.”

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

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