Sutton's 25 points help propel Lady Raiders past Southern Miss

MTSU senior Charity Savage had 19 points and 10 rebounds against Southern Miss on Saturday. MTSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Taylor Sutton entered Saturday's game ranked 17th nationally for 3-point field goals made.

The sophomore standout showed Southern Miss why she is one of the top shooters in the nation as she led MTSU to a 77-69 triumph with a game-high 25 points on the strength of three 3-pointers. She also added six rebounds, two assists, one blocked shot and one steal.

Sutton's long-range shooting prowess helped the Lady Raiders (13-7, 5-3) secure victory at a place it had never won as they were previously 0-4 against Southern Miss at Green Coliseum.

"Southern Miss is always a tough place to play and our young ladies had to play tough to secure this victory," Lady Raider Rick Insell said. "It was a hard-fought game and one we really needed to gain a split on this road trip.

"I thought our defense was pretty sound and it was a big team win, but Taylor Sutton connected for some key baskets at crucial points in the game. Charity Savage was also a force inside. This was one we really needed."

Sutton led all scorers with her 25 points and was solid from the field, going 10-of-17 overall and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. It marked the 24th time of Sutton's career to hit three-plus 3-pointers in a game, including 12 this season.

Charity Savage was also paramount with another sterling performance with her eighth double-double of the season. Savage netted 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to go with three assists and two steals. She entered the game third nationally for total rebounds with 214.

Not only were Savage and Sutton scoring but they were providing points at crucial times to stop Southern Miss runs while starting those for the Lady Raiders, who improved to 6-1 after a loss this season.

"One mark of a good team is its ability to bounce back," Insell said. "I thought we came back focused and had a really good practice Friday after a tough loss at LA Tech. We were solid all-around today and this was a win our young ladies really earned."

Anastasia Hayes joined Savage and Sutton in double figures, marking the 20th straight time she has reached double digits in the scoring column. Hayes finished with 14 points, pulled five rebounds, and dished four assists.

Aislynn Hayes tallied nine points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in a solid all-around game.

Sutton keyed a 12-2 run to close out the third quarter as MTSU stretched its lead to 15 54-39, its largest of the game. Sutton was instrumental in the run with eight of 10 points in a 2:15 stretch, including a pair of back-breaking 3-pointers.

MTSU hosts UTEP on Thursday and Texas-San Antonio on Saturday.

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