Lady Jags Fall At Home For First Time This Season

January 6, 2009 · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The USA Lady Jags would jump out to a quick lead making the first basket but that would be their only lead of the game, falling to the Lady Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State 80-57. This loss puts the Lady Jags at 11-4 for the season and 2-2 in the Sun Belt Conference.

After USA made the first points of the game, the Raiders would go on a 25-8 run over the next seven minutes to take control of the game. MTSU had the hot hand early making their first seven shots which included three 3-point field goals, a couple by Brandi Brown early in the half. While USA was cold and only shot 2 of 9 during the same stretch. At the end of the run MTSU was up 25-11.

They did not stop there, Chelsia Lymon would make two 3-pointers in the closing minutes, one of them at the buzzer, to lead the Blue Raiders into the locker room with a 19 point lead, 40-21. Lymon’s buzzer beating shot was the ninth of the first half for the Blue Raiders on 13 attempts.

The Lady Jags came out of the locker room and tried to rally, cutting the lead down to 15 at 50-35 about five minutes into the second half. But the Blue Raiders would not let the Jags get any more momentum. The rest of the half was all downhill until the Jags were down by 30. USA would trim the lead back down to the 23 point margin of victory for the Blue Raiders.

Coach Pietri was in disbelief a few times at the Jags shooting and defensive woes. He made several substitutions and defensive changes in the second but the Blue Raiders would exploit different holes in the defense and continue scoring.

Alysha Clark lead the game in scoring for MTSU with 23 and adding 18 rebounds for a double double going 8-19 from the floor and 7-9 from the charity stripe. Other top scorers for MTSU were Brandi Brown scoring 17 on 6-8 shooting from the floor and 5-7 from outside the arc with 5 rebounds, Jackie Pickel scoring 14 on 5-9 shooting and 4-7 from 3-point range, and Chelsia Lymon with 11 points on 4-6 shooting and 3-4 from 3-point range. MTSU ended the game shooting 12 of 22 from outside the arc.

USA was lead in scoring by Jessica Starling who had 18 points on 5-14 shooting and hitting 3 of 7 from 3-point range and making all five of her free throws. Seidah Banks was the next highest scorer with 9 on 4 of 4 shooting and hitting her only attempt from 3-point range. Karina Sproal had 8 points, six of them on two early 3-pointers in the first half, but could not hit any of her later shots until two free-throws late in the second half.

MTSU shot 45% for the game from the field to a woeful 27% for USA, with a blistering 51% to 28% in the first half. The Blue Raiders also lead in 3-point FG percentage 55% to 28%, going 9-13 in the first half. MTSU lead with points in the paint 24-14 and points off turnovers 19-10. But USA did outscore MTSU on 2nd chance points 24-14 and fast break points 4-0. Plus USA’s bench scored 19 compared to MTSU’s bench scoring only 7 points for the game.

The Lady Jags will travel to Monroe, Louisiana to take on Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday with Tip-off set for 7:05pm.

One high point to the game was that the Thunderjags.com co-founder Matt had a visitor come sit next to him during the first half.

Matt with South Paw at the Lady Jags game.