Lady Raiders opt to play for Tina Stewart in Sun Belt Tournament - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Lady Raiders opt to play for Tina Stewart in Sun Belt Tournament

MURFREESBORO, TN ( — The MTSU women's basketball team will play in the upcoming Sun Belt Conferece tournament in Hot Springs, Ark., following the stabbing death of Lady Raider player Tina Stewart.

Less than 24 hours removed from the junior guard's murder at her apartment near campus, the Lady Raiders decided just prior to a 5 p.m. press conference on Thursday to play in the postseason tournament in Hot Springs, Ark., which begins this weekend.

"We knew Tina would want us to go out there and play," senior guard Anne Marie Lanning said. "We just talked about it and looked at each other, and said that's what we want to do. We wanted to make sure it was a collective decision, and not just five of saying yes and five saying no. Now, we're going to go out there and play for Tina and give it our all."

The Lady Raiders will play at noon on Sunday in the Sun Belt quarterfinal versus the Arkansas State/Florida Atlantic first-round winner.

MTSU coach Rick Insell said the team would leave Friday for the Sun Belt tournament as planned, but his squad won't be on a structured schedule.

"We're not on a time schedule. I don't know if we'll practice before we play," Insell said. "We may get together one time. But they are a good group, really hard-nosed, they are all business and they love each other. When they put their shoes on Sunday afternoon, they'll give the fans, their parents, this school everything they've got."

The Sun Belt will provide black ribbons to wear for each men's and women's coaching staff, as well as league staff and institutional administrators. A moment of silence will be observed prior to the first game of the women's session on Saturday, along with both MTSU games on Sunday.

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