Monday, February 26, 2024

UTEP snaps Lady Raiders’ 16 game win streak

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Featured Photo by Calvin White

Story by Jenna Roberts

The No. 21 Middle Tennessee Lady Raiders (18-3, 11-1 C-USA) watched its 16-game win streak come to an end after suffering a tough 65-62 loss against the UTEP Miners (14-6, 7-4 C-USA) via a buzzer beating 3-pointer made by UTEP’s Jazion Jackson. 

Both teams were battling the entire game, neither leading by more than nine points. The Lady Raiders once again had a slow start to the game but were able to find its groove by the end of the first half where it led the miners 34-32. 

An 8-0 run in the third quarter marked a turning point in the win for the Miners, who used the stretch to build a 44-36 advantage. From that point on, Middle Tennessee would never hold the lead.

Trailing by seven at the 4:27 mark in the fourth, a 9-2 Lady Raider run, which included big shots from Alexis Whittington and Jalynn Gregory, tied the game at 62-all with a minute on the clock. That’s when Jackson’s game-winning shot fell in with .4 seconds remaining.

“(UTEP) played well,” MTSU head coach Rick Insell said. “They got into us, they were aggressive, they rebounded the basketball, they hit their free throws, they deserved to win. We played alright but we didn’t play as hard or as good as they played.”

Jalynn Gregory paced MTSU with six rebounds, three steals, and 20 points. Courtney Whitson knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half for 18 points. Kseniya Malashka racked up seven rebounds and two steals and made her mark offensively with 13 total points. 

“It came down to the third quarter,” Insell said. “Coming out from half time, looking at the score right here they outscored us 19-11. We just have to have a better mindset coming out from halftime and to start the game off. Because we know we are getting everybody’s best shot, no matter who we play.”

“Ill give it to UTEP, they played a good game but we beat ourselves. We didn’t come out ready to go and that’s what it came down to.” Said Jalynn Gregory on their first conference loss.

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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