Raymond sinks buzzer-beater, MTSU clinches tournament bye

Middle Tennessee (21-9, 13-5 C-USA) beat Florida International (13-18, 7-11 C-USA) 61-58 in Miami on a buzzer-beating three-pointer from senior guard JaQawn Raymond.

Raymond and senior Perrin Buford finished the game with 10 points. Junior forward Reggie Upshaw recorded yet another double-double, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

The Blue Raiders won this game despite the fact they were outscored off the bench 24-11. Both teams struggled to make shots throughout the game. MTSU shot 41 percent from the field, while Florida International only connected on 39 percent of their shots.

MTSU will now look forward to the Conference USA tournament. The tournament is scheduled to begin on March 8 in Birmingham, Alabama. The Blue Raiders will either be the number 2 or 3 seed at the tournament, depending on the outcome of Louisiana Tech and Western Kentucky.

The biggest threat for the Blue Raiders in the tournament will be University of Alabama at Birmingham. The conference tournament will be on UAB’s home floor, where they are a perfect 16-0. The last time UAB and MTSU met, MTSU lost 67-77 at home.

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To contact Sports Editor Connor Grott, email sports@mtsusidelines.com or follow him on Twitter at @Connor_Grott.

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