MTSU Upsets No. 6 Seed Louisville with Third-Largest NCAA Tournament Comeback

MTSU Upsets No. 6 Seed Louisville with Third-Largest NCAA Tournament Comeback

BATON ROUGE, La. — Middle Tennessee women’s basketball took it on the chin early, but showed resiliency in the Pete Maravich Athletic Center on Friday afternoon, coming from 18-points down to defeat Louisville 71-69 in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. The win is MTSU’s first in the tournament since 2007.

The No. 11 seed Lady Raiders (30-4) were punched in the mouth early, with the No. 6 Cardinals (24-10) dominating the first quarter 28-12, including a 12-0 run that was finally broken up when Jalynn Gregory was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all three free throws. Louisville shot 11-for-19 in the quarter, while holding MTSU to just 4-for-14 from the field. A 7-0 run to end the second quarter while holding the Cardinals scoreless for the final 4:18 of the first half, however, cut the deficit to 38-27.

It was MTSU, however, that would reverse fortunes in the third quarter, doubling up Louisville 24-12 in the frame to take the lead with 10 minutes to play. Savannah Wheeler, after only having two points at halftime, scored 14 points in the third quarter on 4-for-5 shooting, including 3-for-3 beyond the arc. Louisville and MTSU traded baskets the whole fourth quarter, though the Lady Raiders were able to build a lead as large as eight with 2:07 to play. Missed free throws and some tough shots gave the Cardinals a chance late, but the three-quarter court heave clanged off the iron to clinch the win for MTSU.

Gregory led all scorers with 24 points, shooting 5-for-8 from the floor including a 4-for-7 day from beyond the arc, while also leading the Lady Raiders with four assists. She was also MTSU’s best shooter at the free throw line down the stretch, making 10-of-11 attempts. Wheeler finished the afternoon with 22 points, 20 of which came in the second half. Anastasiia Boldyreva posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, also blocking three Cardinal shot attempts.

Source: MTSU
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