Shooting woes were the downfall for Middle Tennessee’s men’s basketball (7-7) Sunday as they fell in the Conference USA opener 54-49 to University of Alabama-Birmingham (5-9).
The Blue Raiders were cold from the field for both halves Sunday afternoon and couldn’t rally to win in front of the home crowd at Murphy Center. Middle Tennessee shot only 19 percent in the second half, on 5 of 26 shooting, finishing with a dismal 29.2 percent from the field.
Junior Jaqawn Raymond led all scorers on the afternoon scoring 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting, and added three assists. Freshman Giddy Potts was the only other Blue Raider to score in double figures on the day, contributing his 12 points and three rebounds off the bench.
The Blue Raiders started strong in the first half, getting out to as much as a 10 point advantage before the under 12 media timeout, but the Blazers fought the rest of the half towards a 28-25 lead for UAB at halftime.
Middle Tennessee came back to start the second half and tied the game with 16:32 left in the game, earning as much as a four point lead before the Blazers would rally and take the lead back from the Blue Raiders.
Both teams would fight back and forth in the latter stages of the game and would be tied with 2:52 left in the contest, but the Blazers finished with a five-point lead, ending the game 54-49.
Robert Brown led UAB, scoring 13 points and grabbing six rebounds. Free throws were crucial for the Blazers in the second half, as they made 15 of 17 in the second frame.
The Blue Raiders will look to rebound against FIU on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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