The MTSU women’s basketball team made it four wins in a row with a 75-36 victory over Marshall tonight at the Murphy Center. With the win, the Lady Raiders stay in first place in the Conference USA standings. It was the first ever meeting between the schools.
“We just came out, and they changed defenses a lot,” MTSU head coach Rick Insell said after the win. “We had a good scout from our coaches. They had them well prepared, and we came out with the right intensity. We were playing at home and I think they knew they had three home games left. They wanted to make the most of it.”
During the first half, the Lady Raiders went on a couple of big runs to open the game up. First it went on a 12-3 run to take a 24-12 advantage, which included three pointers by senior guard Laken Leonard and senior center KeKe Stewart.
After Marshall closed the gap to 24-16, the Lady Raiders went on a 13-0 run, which included long distance bombs by Leonard and junior guard and former Siegel star Shanice Cason to give MTSU a 37-16 lead. The Lady Raiders entered the halftime break at 43-20.
In the second half, MTSU senior forward Ebony Rowe set her 10th school record when she scored on a made field goal to put it ahead 55-29. With the field goal, Rowe is now the program’s all-time leader in made field goals with 882.
The Lady Raider defense held the Thundering Herd offense to only 36 points. It the least amount of points MTSU has given up this season against a C-USA opponent. Its previous low was 41 against UTSA on Jan. 22. It also held Marshall to 15.4 percent shooting in the second half, and no player scored in double figures.
“We wanted to get back and take little bit more pride on what we were doing defensively,” Insell said. “We had a lot people on the perimeter. Everyone we had did something by getting a hand in the lane, and getting a deflection. That is what we were looking for on the defensive end and that is what we got tonight.
The Lady Raiders were led by Stewart with 19 points, while Rowe added 14 points and Cason had 10.
With the win, the Lady Raiders improved its impressive home conference record under MTSU head coach Rick Insell to 74-3.
“We just come out and listen to our coaches,” Cason said after the win. “They do a good job of putting out a scouting report. We just execute our plans, and give it everything we got.”
Earlier this week, the Lady Raiders swept the weekly C-USA awards. For the fourth time this season, was named Player of the Week after averaging 27.5 points and 12 rebounds in last week’s two wins over Florida Atlantic and Florida International.
Former Riverdale star and current freshman forward Olivia Jones was named C-USA Freshman of the Week after averaging 13 points and 7.5 rebounds in the same two wins last week down in the Sunshine State.
With the win, the Lady Raiders improve to 22-4, 11-1, while the Thundering Herd drops to 9-16, 2-10. MTSU hosts Charlotte on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. on Fox Sports Net.