MT player slain, devastates team

 

On Wednesday, March 2, Middle Tennessee State University lost a member of the Lady Raiders basketball family.

On Wednesday, March 2, Middle Tennessee State University lost a member of the Lady Raiders basketball family.Junior guard Clantina (Tina) Marie Lapae Stewart, born October 17, 1989, died Wednesday following a lethal stabbing, which occurred in her Raiders Crossing apartment. Shanterrica Madden, 18, a freshman at MTSU and roommate of Tina Stewart, was arraigned Thursday morning in connection to the stabbing, claiming she acted in self defense.Friends of Stewart said the two women had problems in the past."It was just a simple warning that Tina gave her roommate," men's basketball player KC Anunu said. "Tina told her that if it happened again I'm just going to call the courtesy office at the front desk," Anunu explained. "It happened again and she called the courtesy office. I guess that's when the roommate got mad."A source close to Stewart said they believe a disagreement between the two girls over the use of drugs in the apartment may have led to the stabbing.Madden is being held without bond at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center and is scheduled to appear in court again March 11.Stewart, a native of Memphis, is survived by her parents Ida and Adrian Jackson, and sibling Adrian, Monika and Miesha.'Her smile lit up a room'As a high school basketball player at Memphis Central, Stewart averaged 18 points per game as a senior and was named Best of Preps by the Memphis Commercial Appeal as a junior and senior."I don't think a lot of schools had been recruiting her," Lady Raider head coach Rick Insell said. "I saw the toughness she brought to the team and I thought that's what we need here at Middle Tennessee."When we recruited her I didn't know we were getting all the other things she brought on board, with her personality and her leadership and her smile."Insell also talked about the strides Stewart had made just this season. The junior started a career-high 14 games for the Lady Raiders and had career highs in scoring, rebounding and assists on the season.Stewart was a big reason for the Lady Raiders victory of Western Kentucky in the regular season's final game."They had cut it to four points and had the momentum," Insell said. "She came off a pick down low and knocked down a 3. "More than anything, the bench got so excited and her team got so excited because it looked like we were kind of faltering and she's the one that picked us up."Insell also told the media Wednesday, in the absence of Anne Marie Lanning, Stewart had her best practice since coming to MTSU. Insell said he challenged Stewart to lead the team and she responded very well."She became the best player on the floor," he said. "She did some things that we didn't know she could do as a coaching staff." Lanning spoke fondly of Stewart on behalf of the women's basketball team. "Her humor, her smile lit up a room. She's greatly going to be missed," she said. Of the team's decision to play Sunday in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, Lanning said, "We know Tina would want us to go out there and play. We're going to go out there and play for Tina and give it our all."The Lady Raiders will play in the Sun Belt Tournament at noon Sunday in Hot Springs, Ark. in hopes of receiving their sixth invite in seven years to the NCAA tournament.Stewart was Anunu, who reflected on his time with Stewart at a vigil held in the Murphy Center Thursday night."When I first met her about three years ago, she didn't like me," Anunu said. "She didn't like me at all, but I grew on her. I always told her I'm going to get you. In August, her freshman year I snatched her up and got her and never let go since then."She would always tell me I'm the only person she can confide in, in Mufreesboro and I took that and I cherished that. I loved that girl to death."Everybody's been telling me not to remember the bad things, to remember the good things. It's hard to remember the good things when you know they could have lasted forever," he said through tears in MTSU's Murphy Center Thursday night. "I know that's my guardian angel."Anunu spoke briefly about the events leading up to Thursday night's tragic death in a press conference prior to Thursday's vigil."I think the person who did this to her just got mad and took it out of hand, way out of hand," he said. "She was just trying to do the right thing."Men's basketball player James Washington also spoke of Stewart's smile and how fun a person she was to be around."She would brighten your day whether you were down or not," Washington said. MP

© 2011 The Murfreesboro Post

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