The Lady Raiders advanced to the championship game with a hard fought physical 68-59 win over a talented Florida International University team at noon Sunday in Hot Springs, Ark.
After a slow start, the Lady Riders were tied during much of the first half before falling behind by a 30-24 count at the half.
MTSU finally caught up with eight minutes left and pulled away to win 68-59 in front of a crowd of mostly fans dressed in blue and white.
Stars and heroes were many for MTSU led by Kortni Jones who had 26 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
Also making big contributions for MTSU were Ebony Rowe with another double-double (21 points and 10 rebounds), Icelyn Elie with 10 points and eight rebounds and Caroline Warden with 10 points and three assists.
The Lady Raiders shot 47 percent (20-44) from the floor and an improved 84 percent (21-25) from the free throw line.
The Lady Raiders take on Arkansas Little Rock at 1 p.m. Monday in championship action Monday with an NCAA bid possibly at stake.
It’s the 10th time MTSU has been in the championship game.