Middle Tennessee (7-5) rode their strong first half performance Sunday afternoon to a solid 65-47 win over Tennessee State (2-10).
The Blue Raiders started strong on Sunday, getting out to an 18-0 lead before the first Tiger points were scored by Zackary Lee. Middle was hot right out of the gate, making their first four shots before missing, leading to a 11-0 advantage, and went on to make 11 of their first 13. They continued to shoot well, finishing the first half shooting 54.2%.
Senior Jacquez Rozier led the way for the Raiders with a game high 18 points, on 6 of 7 shooting, and grabbed 5 rebounds. Sophomore Reggie Upshaw, Jr. was also key to the win, adding eight points and a team high 11 rebounds, while dishing out four assists, part of a 17 assist season high for the Blue Raiders.
Middle led 36-23 at the half and that lead proved to be pivotal, as they were off in the second half, only shooting 31 percent, and missing 20 shots. They were solid at the line however, making 10 of 12 down the stretch.
Tennessee State cut the lead to as low as 9 points with 5:21 left in the game, but the Blue Raiders finished strong in the last few minutes, extending their lead to as much as 17 on the way to their seventh victory of the season.
The Blue Raiders shot well from 3 in the first half, making 7 of 16, but only made 1 of 12 in the second half, a dismal 8%.
Middle’s bench showed consistency again, scoring 27 of their 65 on the day, a big advantage over the Tigers bench who only tallied 15.
The Blue Raiders get ready to go back on the road with another tough test at Auburn on December 29. The game will be shown on the SEC Network and is schedule to start at 8 p.m.
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