Saturday, May 27, 2023

Lady Raiders cap off regular season with overtime win over UTEP


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Featured photo by Luke Larkin

Story by Calvin White

Murfreesboro, TN- No. 24 Middle Tennessee women’s basketball battled all afternoon on Saturday to cap off the regular season championship with a 72-68 overtime win over the UTEP Miners at the Murphy Center. 

MTSU (25-4, 18-2 C-USA) led by 15 in the third quarter until UTEP (19-10, 12-8 C-USA) took a five-point lead in the fourth quarter. A Jalynn Gregory layup and an old fashioned 3-point play from Courtney Blakely tied the game to force overtime. 

The Lady Raiders took the lead in overtime with 1:20 remaining after a made free throw from Gregory. UTEP missed five free throws in the extra period while Middle Tennessee made seven of its eight foul shots to secure the victory. 

“It was one of those games where you’ve just got to gut it out,” MTSU head coach Rick Insell said. “We didn’t play well, we didn’t shoot well, we didn’t shoot free throws well. I was surprised we missed as many free throws as we missed. But the kids just gutted it out. Courtney (Whitson), she’s got a big knot on her head, good gracious, it was just one of those type of games where you’ve just got to hang in there and hope good things happen.  

Kseniya Malashka tied for the team lead with 17 points off the bench on senior night and made the layup that put MTSU up by three late. Alexis Whittington scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds in her final home game as a Lady Raider. Blakely, Courtney Whitson, and Anastasiia Boldyreva each finished with nine points. 

The Lady Raiders have won 31 straight games at home during the regular season, the second-longest regular season home winning streak in the nation behind No. 1 South Carolina’s 38 game streak. 

“”Our team was definitely playing for us today. I know it,” Whittington said. “They’ve been so supportive through this, going through everything and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I would do it all over again if I could. This season, it’s been a little crazy, up and down for sure. But we wanted to finish it with a win, especially at home, because we haven’t lost here (in the regular season) in two years, so it’s definitely something special that we showed pride in.” 

Calvin White is the sports editor for MTSU Sidelines. If you have information for a story, you can contact him at

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