MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Middle Tennessee women’s basketball team placed all five of its starters in double figures and tied a season-high with 14 3-pointers en route to a 94-69 wire-to-wire win over visiting Marshall Saturday afternoon at the Murphy Center.
The Blue Raiders improved to 17-9 overall and 12-3 in Conference USA, while the Thundering Herd dropped its sixth in a row to fall to 12-13 and 4-10 in the league.
Ty Petty overcame first-half foul trouble to finish with 22 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range to lead the home team. Kyla Allison added 13 points, while Alex Johnson, Gabby Lyon, Abbey Sissom and Jess Louro all scored 12. Rebecca Reuter had a game-high 10 rebounds and Petty had eight assists to go with Lyon’s four steals.
Marshall was led by Shayna Gore’s 21 points on 6-for-10 shooting, including 4-for-6 from downtown and 5-for-6 at the free throw line. Talequia Hamilton added 18 points and Asheika Alexander chipped in a season-high 14 and team-high three assists in 27 minutes off the bench. Kiana Evans had a team-high eight rebounds and Taylor Porter posted three steals.
Middle Tennessee had big advantages in paint points (40-16), assists (23-8) and steals (12-6). Marshall finished with 19 turnovers, but only seven came in the second half.
Gore hit two free throws in the first quarter to chop the Middle Tennessee lead to 17-12 at the 2:44 mark, but the Blue Raiders scored nine of the game’s next 11 points to take a 26-14 lead through one quarter of play. Middle made 10 of its 16 shots (62.5 percent) in the quarter to Marshall’s 4-for-14 clip (28.6 percent).
Middle Tennessee ballooned its advantage to 20 (44-24) by halftime and led by as many as 27 late in the fourth quarter.
The Thundering Herd showed some resolve in the contest’s final 10 minutes, shooting 56.3 percent (9-for-16) from the field, including 5-for-9 from the arc (55.6 percent) and 5-for-6 (83.3 percent) at the charity stripe.
“I was proud of our effort, for the most part, all day. Poor decision-making and the inability to convert easy plays really hurt us in the first half. In the second half, we were better in those areas and our productivity increased significantly. Even with the health of our team being so banged up, I don’t believe we are that far off from better days if we play with the effort we did today. There is a reason Middle Tennessee is dominant at home.”
Gore’s four 3-pointers gave her 110 for her career and moved her into eighth on the school’s all-time list. Next up is former teammate Norrisha Victrum (2012-16) in seventh with 115. Akers made two to give her 127 and is within four of Cindy McCauley’s (1994-98) third-place mark of 131.
The Thundering Herd will head back to the Cam Henderson Center for its final C-USA homestand of the year when Old Dominion (13-11, 8-5) visits Thursday for a 6 p.m. ET tip and Charlotte (17-7, 9-4) follows on Saturday at 1 p.m. Those two teams play each other Sunday in Charlotte at 1 p.m. ET.