By Rickey Fuquay, Jr. // Contributing Writer
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – While it may have been cold outside the Murphy Center on Thursday, Middle Tennessee (14-13, 7-7 C-USA) heated things up inside, blowing out Marshall, 90-51, and ending their three-game losing streak.
The game started out tight. The two teams were tied at eight points apiece with 14:48 left in the first half, however, the Blue Raiders would use a trio of scoring runs to take a 29-17 advantage with 3:35 left in the opening frame.
The Thundering Herd (9-17, 5-8 C-USA) would answer with a 9-5 scoring run of their own to cut the deficit to eight points at the half, 34-26.
The second half started with the game remaining fairly close. At the 15:28 mark, the score was 42-32 in favor of Middle Tennessee.
This is where the whole complexion of the game changed. The Blue Raiders would use an unprecedented 50-7 run en route to a 90-51 blowout victory.
In the second half, Middle Tennessee made 14 from behind the arc, a new school-record for most three-pointers made in one half.
It was a career night for freshman Giddy Potts as he led the team with a career-high 28 points along with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. He shot 10-of-14 from the field on the night. Potts also made a MTSU freshman-record eight three-pointers on 11 attempts.
“I just felt good coming out from halftime, and I was just shooting the ball,” Potts said. “My teammates gave me confidence, and we just came out and played this good.”
Junior Perrin Buford was also in double figures, tallying 13 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists. Junior Darnell Harris also reached double digits, scoring 12 points. Harris also grabbed four rebounds and blocked two shots.
J.P. Kambola led the way for the Thundering Herd with 12 points, while also recording three rebounds and two blocks. Ryan Taylor scored in double figures as well, finishing with 10 points to go along with five rebounds and two assists.
It was an all-around effort on both sides of the ball. The Blue Raiders recorded season-highs in assists (21) and three-pointers (14). The 14 three-pointers is tied for third most in a game by an MTSU team. They also outrebounded Marshall, 46-27.
Middle Tennessee will look to make it two in a row when they host Western Kentucky in the Murphy Center for their home finale Sunday. The game will also be Senior Day, where three seniors will be recognized. Tip-off is set for noon CST on Fox Sports Net.
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