Florida

Ranked Lady Raiders host Florida Atlantic

MURFREESBORO, Tennessee – In their first game since the program was first placed in a national poll since 2013-14, women’s basketball No. 23 from Middle Tennessee meets Florida Atlantic Thursday at the Murphy Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m

Tickets can be purchased at goblueraiders.com/tickets or by calling the Blue Raider Ticket Office at 615-898-5261. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and the Blue Raider Network.

LAST TIME-OUT

Middle Tennessee women’s basketball caught fire in the fourth quarter, beating LA Tech 31-12 in the final 10 minutes of the game to earn a 68-50 win at the Murphy Center on Saturday.

MTSU (16-2, 9-0 C-USA) trailed 37-38 after three quarters and opened the fourth quarter with a quick 7-0 run in under two minutes, putting LA Tech (11-8, 4:0) forced a time-out. 5 C-USA). The Lady Techsters were able to get within three points, but a pair clapped three pointers Alexis Whittington and Jalyn Gregory kept the Lady Raiders out of reach.

LA Tech fouled Savannah Wheeler while shooting a three-pointer at the 4:06 mark, and LA Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr earned a technical foul shortly thereafter when she protested what she perceived as a no-call on a trip. Calmly stepping forward, Wheeler smashed down four of their five free throws and followed those up with a floater dagger for the extra possession to give MTSU a 12-point lead with less than four minutes to play.

Wheeler led all scorers with a season-high 29 points and made 9 of 13 shots from the field, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Anastasia Boldyreva was huge at the post and scored 18 points while catching eight rebounds and blocking four LA Tech shots. Alexis Whittington did a great job defensively at Keiunna Walker, keeping her below her season average while adding nine points to her team’s effort on offense. Jalyn Gregory scored eight points while dishing out eight assists against LA Tech’s 3-2 zone. Courtney Whitson was kept scoreless but clinched 11 rebounds to lead all players.

IN COURT

Overall Stats Guide:
Points – Kseniya Malashka (16.2 PPG)
setbacks – Courtney Whitson (8.2 role play)
assists – Savannah Wheeler (3.6APG)
Steal – Jalyn Gregory (1.8 SPG)

LADY RAIDER NOTES

  • With the nation’s third-longest active winning streak of 14 games and a 3-0 record last week, NCAA.com and USBWA recognized the Lady Raiders as their Jan. 24 team of the week.
  • Rick Insell was named Coach of the Week in ESPN.com’s weekly college women’s basketball roundup on Monday.
  • junior guard Savannah Wheeler was named Conference USA Player of the Week on Jan. 23 for the second time this season and third in a career Steal in Middle Tennessee’s 3-0 week, including a season-high 29 points against Louisiana Tech on Jan. January.
  • With her 135th appearance on January 16th at UAB, Alexis Whittington is now the program’s all-time leader in games played. In her fifth season, the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native has started 75 games. She goes into Thursday’s game with 798 career points, 156 steals and 530 rebounds in 3,596 minutes played. Whittington was also on the roster of attendees for the 2023 WBCA So You Think You Can Coach program taking place March 30-31 during the WBCA conference in Dallas, Texas.
  • Middle Tennessee leads the overall Conference USA and ranks 11th in the nation by a points margin of 19.7. In their 16 wins, the Lady Raiders average a 22.6 point difference.

OBSERVATION OF OWLS

  • After an 8-1 start to the season, Florida Atlantic ended non-conference play with a 46-81 loss in Illinois on December 21. After a four-point win over North Texas early in conference play, the Owls lost four of their next five games. Last week, Florida Atlantic split its games against UTSA (W, 81-66) and UTEP (L, 78-79 OT).
  • As a team, the Owls lead the standings in 3-point defense percentage (28.1 percent) and second in the conference in rebounds per game (40.5). • Aniya Hubbard is second in C-USA in steals per game (2.4) and averaging 13.8 points per game.
  • Middle Tennessee leads the all-time streak 29-1 against Florida Atlantic. The only loss in the series came on February 21, 2009 in Boca Raton, Florida. Since then, the Lady Raiders have won 23 straight games against the Owls, including both of last season’s matchups (W, 60-56, Jan. 13). and (W, 72-49, February 19).

UPCOMING ACTIONS

The Lady Raiders will wear “We Back Pat” pre-match jerseys ahead of Thursday’s game in recognition of Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt and the Pat Summitt Foundation. The foundation supports research and promotion of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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