MTSU women rain 3s in 84-59 win at Lipscomb

MTSU's Alexis Whittington puts up a shot during the Lady Raiders' 84-59 win at Lipscomb Sunday. MTSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

NASHVILLE -- One of the nation's most prolific 3-point shooting teams, Middle Tennessee put on its most productive long-range display of the season in an 84-59 win at Lipscomb Sunday afternoon.

The Lady Raiders (7-1) entered the game ranked No. 22 for 3-point field goals per game and knocked down a season-best 16 3-pointers while shooting a sizzling 44.4 percent beyond the arc to match the program's best start since 1995.

"We have some outstanding shooters so it doesn't surprise me how well we shot the 3-ball today," Lady Raider coach Rick Insell said. "We had good ball movement, shared the ball and were able to get some open looks. Lipscomb is a much-improved team, so this is a good road win for our basketball team."

The victory was also the 950th in Lady Raider history, making Middle Tennessee one of 28 Division I teams with 950 or more all-time wins.

"There have been a lot of great players and coaches associated with Lady Raider basketball through the years," Insell said. "This program has sustained success through four decades. There are 351 Division I basketball teams so to be one of 28 with 950 or more wins puts you in some elite company."

Every Lady Raider scored with Jalynn Gregory and Courtney Whitson leading a balanced attack with 15 points each. Six Lady Raiders scored eight or more. Gregory poured in 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, while also pulling five rebounds and dishing three assists.

Whitson added 15 points, grabbed five rebounds, added a team-high four assists, and collected two steals. Dor Saar added 14 points on the strength of four 3-pointers and had four steals. Courtney Blakely notched nine points and snatched two steals. Kseniya Malashka tallied eight points and a game-high eight rebounds, while Alexis Whittington finished with eight points, two assists and two steals.

The 84 points were the highest point production for Middle Tennessee this season with 16 of its 28 field goals coming from 3-point range. The Lady Raiders had 15 assists on their 16 made field goals.

Middle Tennessee's harassing defense forced 26 Lipscomb turnovers and scored 28 points off the miscues.

Nursing a 32-27 halftime lead, Middle Tennessee stormed out of the locker room and blitzed the Bisons (2-5) 10-0 to start the frame and break the game open. Middle Tennessee outscored Lipscomb 29-12 in the third quarter to establish a 61-39 advantage. The Lady Raiders were 6-of-9 from 3-point range in the third quarter as they seized control.

Middle Tennessee will return to action at Troy Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.