Defense keys Lady Raiders 72-56 over FIU

MTSU sophomore Taylor Sutton scored 19 points in Saturday's 72-56 victory at home over FIU. MTSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

MTSU's Lady Raiders defense stymied FIU for their 13th straight victory over the Lady Golden Panthers 72-56 at Murphy Center on Saturday.

MTSU improved to 12-6 overall and 4-2 in Conference USA play, while FIU dropped to 4-13 and 1-5.

“Both teams played hard and I am always happy to pick up another conference win,” MTSU coach Rick Insell said. “We ran our offense well it just took us a time to get into it.”

MTSU forced 24 FIU turnovers, which turned in 26 points.

“Our press breaks got us going and getting steals in passing lanes helps build momentum,” sophomore guard Anastasia Hayes said.

The Lady Raiders grew their lead to as big a 20 midway through the third period with the deep ball. Taylor Sutton scored twice from long range during an 18-6 run to open a 55-35 lead at the 4:06 mark of the third quarter.

“We kept our head in the game and did not get down on any missed shots,” Sutton said. “My teammates kept me in the game and I kept shooting it when I was open.”

FIU chipped away at the lead, eventually getting the score within 11 in the early stages of the fourth. Sutton stayed in the groove, however, scoring five more times from 3 and led the Lady Raiders down the stretch with a game-high 19 points.

Courtney Whitson hit three treys just two days removed from her five 3-point night against Florida Atlantic. The freshman contributed 11 points and four rebounds.

Three more Lady Raiders scored in double figures — Anastasia Hayes totaled 15 points on 5 of 9 shooting, Charity Savage grabbed another double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds and Aislynn Hayes poured in 11 with six assists.

BOX SCORE

FIU (56): Jiselle Thomas 18, Chelsea Guimaraes 12, Cheyanne Daniels 6, Diene Diane 6, Fujika Nimmo 5, Paula Orenes Sanchez 5, Bre’Osha Scott 2, Alexus Wykoff 2

MTSU (72): Taylor Sutton 19, Anastasia Hayes 15, Charity Savage 14, Courtney Whitson 11, Aislynn Hayes 11, Kiya Turner 2

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