The Lady Govs played the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in their home opener Tuesday, Nov. 16. A slow start helped the Blue Raiders jump ahead early and build a lead the Lady Govs could not overcome. The Lady Govs lost to the Blue Raiders 74-60.
Junior guard Whitney Hanley was one of three Lady Govs to score double-digit points. She led the team with 18 points. Senior guard Brooke Faulkner added 14 points. Junior forward Jasmine Rayner came off the bench and scored 12.
The majority of those points came in the second half. No one on the Lady Govs looked sharp early. They produced only 19 points in the first half along with 16 turnovers.
Conversely, the Blue Raiders opened the game firing from both inside and three-point range. The Lady Govs got within four points, 11-7, before the Blue Raiders exploded with a 21-0 run. They led 32-7 with 9:23 remaining in the first half.
The Lady Govs responded with a 10-0 run before the end of the half and were down 41-19 at halftime. Kortni Jones led the Blue Raiders with 10 first half points. However, freshman Ebony Rowe led all scorers with 18 points in the game. She scored her second double-double in a row, adding 12 rebounds as well.
The Lady Govs came out in the second half rejuvenated. Faulkner opened the half with five straight points. Next, Rayner followed suit scoring six more. At the 13:42 mark the Lady Govs had reduced the Blue Raiders lead to 12 points, 46-34. They would get within nine points before the Blue Raiders recovered.
Anne Marie Lanning got the Blue Raiders recovery started with a long three-pointer to make the score 53-40 with just under 11 minutes left in the game. Then forwards Icelyn Elie and Rowe started taking control of the paint as Rayner got into foul trouble.
According to APSU Sports Information, head coach Carrie Daniels felt the team did not execute until late.
“I think we played a half of a game. The second 20 minutes we played well,” Daniels said. “I don’t think we were ready at the tip, but we played better in the second half and we were able to finish strong.”
The Lady Govs will hit the road next to participate in the Preseason Women’s NIT in Beaumont Texas that starts Friday, Nov. 19.