Blue Raiders Falter in Second Half at Louisiana Tech


Middle Tennessee's Blue Raiders gather on the court during their January 10 game against Florida Atlantic University in Murphy Center. (Greg French/MTSU Sidelines)

Middle Tennessee (10-8, 3-2 C-USA) couldn’t keep up in the second half and fell behind, eventually losing 75-68 to Louisiana Tech (14-4, 5-0 C-USA).

The Blue Raiders were solid in the first half as they battled back and forth with Louisiana Tech, with neither team leading by more than four in the first frame. Middle Tennessee led 35-32 with a minute left in the first half, but a quick and-1 by Alex Hamilton would secure a tie for the two teams leading into the break.

Hamilton was pivotal for Tech on the afternoon, finishing with a game-high 30 points on only 5-of-9 shooting, but capitalized at the line, making 20-of-23 free throws. Hamilton also grabbed six rebounds.

The second half was controlled by the Bulldogs. They capitalized after a timeout early in the second frame. The Bulldogs went on a quick 12-0 run out of the timeout to take a 57-44 lead over Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders would rally late in the second half, and senior Marcus Tarrance cut the lead to four with less than two minutes to go in the contest. Louisiana Tech would again go on a quick run extending the lead to nine again at 73-64.

Three Blue Raiders finished in double figures on the day and combined for 37 of Middle Tennessee’s 68 points. Freshman JaQuel Richmond led the Blue Raiders with 14 points on the afternoon and added three rebounds. Sophomore Reggie Upshaw Jr. scored 12 points while grabbing five boards and junior Jaqawn Raymond would also add five rebounds to go with his 11 points.

The Blue Raiders were outshot on the afternoon, shooting 36 percent on 21-of-58 from the field. However, Middle Tennessee would shoot 80 percent from the charity stripe, converting on 21-of-26 free throws.

Middle Tennessee will look to rebound on the road again, as they travel to Old Dominion on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

For more Blue Raider sports, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Sport.

To contact sports editor Connor Grott, email sports@mtsusidelines.com

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