Story By David Chamberlain // Staff Writer
Photo by Gregory French // Staff Photographer
Middle Tennessee (14-7, C-USA 8-2) took a road trip on Thursday night to take on the struggling Florida Atlantic Owls (11-10, C-USA 3-7). The Blue Raiders came into this matchup stringing together four-straight wins, and they extended it to five with an 83-73 victory.
The Blue Raiders came scorching out of the gates, taking nine-point lead minutes into the first quarter. The Blue Raiders gained momentum and carried it through the entire first quarter. The Blue Raiders were taking high percentage shots, moving the ball, and playing efficient basketball, converting 64% of their shots in the first half.
For FAU, they struggled to penetrate the Blue Raiders defense. The Owls couldn’t develop an offensive rhythm, which led to a dismal shooting percentage and low scoring in the paint. The Owls received production when they turned to their bench, but it was not enough to overcome the Blue Raiders’ fantastic shooting performance.
The Blue Raiders held a double-digit lead throughout the entire game. At one point, the Blue Raiders led by 20 and seemed untouchable. Even with a massive lead, Rick Insell made his team continue to pressure the ball and create turnovers.
In the final minutes, the Owls kicked into desperation mode, slashing the Blue Raiders lead, but FAU could not get within single digits of the Blue Raiders.
Brea Edwards led the Blue Raiders in points with 23 (7-13 FG, 4-5 3pt) and Alex Johnson just behind with 19 (7-9 FG). Ty Petty shot a perfect three-for-three from behind the arc and tallied six assists. As a team, the Blue Raiders shot 59% from the field and 64% from three point range.
Middle Tennessee will stay in the sunshine state over the weekend, taking on Florida International on Saturday. The Blue Raiders will look to extended their win streak to six against the Panthers at 1 p.m.
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