The MTSU women’s basketball team used a big performance from Rebecca Reuter to edge Tennessee Tech, 58-44, in its home opener at Murphy Center on Tuesday night.
In the absence of leading scorer Alex Johnson, Reuter had a career-high in points (23), field goals (eight) and free throws (seven). MTSU now has won 13 straight games against Tennessee Tech.
MTSU (2-0) held a 28-16 lead at halftime, using a 14-2 run toward the end of the first quarter to gain separation.
But Tennessee Tech (1-1) wouldn’t go quietly. The Golden Eagles began the third quarter on a 12-3 run to get within 31-28. A few minutes later, Yaktavia Hickson drained a long 3-pointer from the wing to tie the score at 33.
Soon after, MTSU clamped down. The Blue Raiders, leading 37-35 toward the beginning of the fourth quarter, pulled away with an 8-0 run, capped by a straightaway 3-pointer by Jess Louro and layup by Reuter.
Hickson had a team-high 14 points for Tennessee Tech, and Akia Harris had nine points, five assists and five rebounds. The Golden Eagles (1-1) had been coming off an 84-66 win over Tennessee Weslyean in their season opener on Nov. 10.
LaSonja Edwards had 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting and Abbey Sissom had nine for MTSU, which now leads the all-time series against Tennessee Tech, 42-38.
The first half was ridden with sloppy play and turnovers on either side. MTSU committed 12 turnovers in the first half, while Tennessee Tech committed 18.
MTSU finished with 23 turnovers to Tennessee Tech’s 27.
For MTSU, Louro had six steals and Sissom had four and Gabby Lyon and Jordan Majors each had two. Kesha Brady and Akia Harris each had two steals for Tennessee Tech.
Insell and Johnson honored
Rick Insell and Alex Johnson were honored before the start of Tuesday’s game.
Insell was presented with a commemorative basketball for winning his 300th game at MTSU. Insell reached the milestone last Friday when the Lady Raiders went to Vanderbilt and knocked off the Commodores, 65-54.
Johnson also was presented with a commemorative ball for reaching 1,000 career points, a feat she accomplished toward the end of last season.
MTSU without Johnson again
Alex Johnson, the C-USA Preseason Player of the Year, was sidelined with an ankle injury she suffered less than five minutes into MTSU’s game at Vanderbilt last Friday. Johnson had her left foot in a boot Tuesday.