Featured Photo by Luke Larkin
Story by Jenna Roberts
Murfreesboro, TN- The Middle Tennessee women’s basketball team (22-4, 15-2 C-USA) dominated the FIU Lady Panthers (12-13, 7-9 C-USA) on its home court Saturday afternoon on its way to an 85-46 victory.
With the victory and the Western Kentucky loss, the Lady Raiders clinch at least a share of the regular season Conference USA title.
Despite the Panthers pressing for the majority of the game, the Lady Raiders led from the beginning after an 11-2 Raider run and never fell behind. MTSU finished the first half with a 12-1 run to stretch the lead to 35-20.
Savannah Wheeler and Courtney Whitson sparked the second half into motion with two layups each, to end the third quarter on a 17-2 run. The points just piled up, finishing the game off with three consecutive 3-pointers from Whitson and Jalynn Gregory.
Whitson scored 19 points, shooting 78 percent from the field while also pulling down six rebounds. Gregory accurately shot four 3-pointers, with 20 total points for the game, while also grabbing four steals. Savannah Wheeler added 14 more points, five rebounds, and two assists.
The designated player of the game, Courtney Blakely, scored a season high of 16 points and knabbed four steals and earned three assists.
“Courtney Blakely was the difference in the whole ballgame.” MTSU head coach Rick Insell said. “She came in after Courtney (Whitson) got in foul trouble. We put Courtney Blakely in and goodness gracious she was everywhere defensively, pushing the ball, getting the ball to people, scoring, she’s just so quick she went around defenders, she was just feeling it today. When she’s like that she’s unstoppable.”
This is the third game this season the Lady Raiders held a 40-point lead. MTSU also shot 25-for 27 free throws, while holding FIU to one 3-pointer all night.
Coming up, the Lady Raiders travel to Louisiana to take on the Lady Techsters Feb. 25. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. CT.
Jenna Roberts is a sports reporter for MTSU Sidelines. If you have any information for a story, you can contact her at email@example.com.