Photo by Sarah Grace Taylor | Sidelines Archive
Middle Tennessee (17-7, C-USA 9-3) took a road trip to visit Louisiana Tech (18-6, C-USA 7-4) Thursday night. The Blue Raiders had won three straight coming into tonight’s game but the streak was brought to a halt after suffering a 73-63 loss to the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs outwitted the Blue Raiders in this contest, playing efficient basketball and controlling the pace and tempo all night long. Louisiana Tech were creating high percentage shots at will. and the Blue Raiders, however, couldn’t get in sync which led to poor offensive possessions nearly every time down the floor.
The Bulldogs also drew the Blue Raiders to foul in abundance, getting to the free-throw line 31 times, managing 17 points. The Blue Raiders only mustered four on the night.
Despite a dismal offensive performance in the first half, the Blue Raiders only trailed by three at the half. Middle Tennessee couldn’t turn the tide in the second and their struggles continued to mount.
At one point in the second half, the Bulldogs led by 17, the largest of the game, and the Blue Raiders couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole. Darnell Harris and Reggie Upshaw tried their hardest to rally the Blue Raiders back, but their efforts fell just short.
The Bulldogs seized a much needed and well-deserved conference victory over the Blue Raiders at home. The Blue Raiders missed the opportunity to inch one game closer to first place in the conference.
As a team, the Blue Raiders shot 27-of-68 and 5-of-21 from behind the arc, converting 40 percent from the field. Harris led the team with 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Upshaw tallied 13 points with 12 boards in the loss.
The Bulldogs shot 26-of-48 and 4-of-17 from three-point range, converting on 54 percent of their shots. Every starter for the Bulldogs cracked double digits in points, with Erik McCree leading the team in rebounds with 12, and Alex Hamilton leading with 11 assists.
The Blue Raiders will hope to regroup and restart a win streak at Southern Miss on Saturday. The Blue Raiders will take the court at Reed Green Coliseum at 7 p.m.