HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Middle Tennessee women’s basketball wraps up its three-game road stretch at Southern Miss Jan. 22. Including Saturday’s game, the Lady Raiders have spent five of the past seven games away from the Murphy Center.
The Blue Raiders (12-4, 4-2 C-USA) are looking to bounce back from a two-point loss at FIU. The Golden Eagles (11-5, 3-2 C-USA) sit in second place in Conference USA’s west division while Middle Tennessee is currently fourth in the east coming into the weekend.
Last time out – Jan. 15 at FIU (L, 54-56) RECAP
Middle Tennessee dropped its second conference game of the season in a 54-56 overtime loss at FIU.
Down by 14 in the first half, the Blue Raiders led twice in the fourth quarter and once in overtime despite 18 turnovers and just six made 3-pointers.
Anastasiia Boldyreva had one of her best performances with MT, finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Alexis Whittington was the other Lady Raider to score double figures with 12 points along with four rebounds.
Putting Middle Tennessee on the map
How good has the Blue Raider defense been? The following is where Middle Tennessee ranks nationally in several categories.
- Ninth in the nation in opponent 3-point percentage (24.2 percent).
- Tied for 25th in the country in scoring defense, holding opponents to 55.2 points per game.
Offensively, MT is ninth in 3-point field goals per game (9.6) and 11th in 3-point field goals made (154). Courtney Whitson plays 38.6 minutes a game, which leads the country. Saar is tied for 25th in 3-point field goals made (43).
Blue Raider notes
- Middle Tennessee has made 18 consecutive postseason appearances.
- This season’s roster includes five international players from five different countries.
- Kseniya Malashka was named Conference USA Player of the Week on Jan. 10. Malashka played a significant role in the wins vs. Rice and North Texas by averaging 17.5 points, three blocks, 2.5 steals and four rebounds.
- Jalynn Gregory has been named Conference USA Freshman of the Week twice. The Lafayette, Tenn. native is putting up 11.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
- MT’s bench has been strong this season with the Lady Raider bench averaging 23.5 ppg., which is almost three times its average last season.
The Lady Raiders are 147-80 overall on the road under Head Coach Rick Insell. In C-USA play, Insell’s teams are 51-16.
This season, MT is 6-4 in both away and neutral site games.
Scouting Southern Miss
Southern Miss carries a three-game winning streak into Saturday. The average margin of victory during the streak is 5.6 points. The Golden Eagles are 7-1 at home with the only loss coming against Arkansas Pine Bluff Nov. 26.
Southern Miss leads all of Conference USA in field goal percentage, shooting 43.4 percent as a team. Defensively, the Golden Eagles are fourth in field goal percentage defense, right behind the Lady Raiders, by holding teams to 36 percent.
Southern Miss is second in both rebounding margin (+6.38) and assists per game (14.81).
Individually, Domonique Davis leads the team in several stat categories including scoring average (15.0), total assists (69) and 3-pointers made (19). Melyia Grayson scores 11.8 points and grabs 7.4 rebounds per contest.
Joye Lee-McNelis has led the Southern Miss women’s basketball program since 2004 and is 263-239.
- Middle Tennessee trails the all-time series vs. Southern Miss, 6-9. The Lady Raiders won three straight matchups before falling 61-69 back on Jan. 16, 2021 at the Murphy Center.
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