USTON, La. - MTSU's women suffered a tough road setback, 78-60, at Louisiana Tech as the Lady Techsters used a strong finish to the third quarter to take control of the game here Thursday.
The Lady Raiders (12-7, 4-3) led 43-41 with 4:06 remaining in the pivotal third frame but the remainder of the quarter, and the game, belonged to Louisiana Tech (10-7, 2-4). The Lady Techsters closed the quarter on a 18-5 run to carry and 11-point lead, 59-48, into the final quarter.
MTSU was unable to turn the tide in the fourth quarter as Louisiana Tech continued its push to build a 71-52 lead with five minutes remaining and cruised to the win.
The loss overshadowed a career-high 25 points from Anastasia Hayes, who connected on 8-of-15 field goals. Hayes entered the game 15th nationally in free-throw attempts with 117 and added 11 more as she canned nine-of-11 attempts.
Sophomore Taylor Sutton continued her 3-point barrage with four trifectas on 4-of-7 shooting beyond the arc. Sutton has connected for three or more treys in 11 games this season and four-plus in three straight contests. She finished the game with 12 points.
Aislynn Hayes rounded out the double-figure scoring for MTSU with 10 points. Charity Savage had another stat-sheet stuffing performance with six points, 12 rebounds, five blocked shots and three assists. The five blocks tied her career high.
An exciting and high-scoring first half saw the Lady Techsters carry a 33-31 lead into the locker room at intermission. LA Tech had the hot hand in the first half and used its 3-point shooting to gain the slim lead. The Lady Techsters shot 67 percent (6-of-9) from beyond the arc in the first half. They were 5-of-19 (26 percent) from inside the arc.
MTSU kept pace by shooting 53 percent (9-of-17) from inside the arc. The Lady Raider guards were chiefly responsible for the first-half scoring as Aislynn Hayes, Anastasia Hayes and Sutton combined for 29 of the team's 31 points in the first two quarters.
MTSU will look to salvage a split on the road trip when it faces Southern Miss Saturday. Tipoff is 4 p.m.