Middle Tennessee (1-1) continued their road trip against Tennessee State (2-2) on Saturday night in Nashville.
The Blue Raiders came out strong in their second game after their tough loss to Murray State in their season opener, hoping to even their record. Middle Tennessee took an early 5-0 lead, and they maintained a solid lead throughout the first half.
The Blue Raiders only shot 44.8 percent from the field in the first half, but they were able to hold the Tigers to only 36.4% shooting. Middle Tennessee also out-rebounded Tennessee State 17 to 15 in the first half, en rout to a 37-30 lead at the half.
Giddy Potts dropped 19 of his 21 points he scored in the first half, but seemed non-existent after the break.
The second half began with a sluggish Blue Raiders squad allowing the Tigers to open the second half on a 6-0 run. The Blue Raiders battled back and forth with Tennessee State, but Tennessee State was able to get the better of the Blue Raiders with under 4 minutes left on the clock, as TSU took their first lead at 59-58.
Both teams traded buckets in the final three minutes of the game, but the Blue Raiders were able to hit shots and grab rebounds when it counted, even though Middle Tennessee shot a measly 57.9 percent from the free throw line in the second half.
Harris led the Blue Raiders in second half, scoring 13 of his 16 points in the second half, while Reggie Upshaw snagged 8 rebounds after the break.
The Blue Raiders were able to hold on to the 69-66 victory, even though they shot 55.6 percent from the free throw line and 41.5 percent from the field. The Blue Raiders will need to continue to improve in these areas moving forward.
The Blue Raiders head out west to Anchorage, Alaska, to compete in the Great Alaskan Shootout Nov. 26-28.
To contact Interim Sports Editor Connor Ulrey, email firstname.lastname@example.org.