Photo by Tyler Lamb / Sports Editor
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (24-4, 14-1) used a balanced scoring attack to defeat the Marshall Thundering Herd (15-12, 8-6) by a score of 97-86, giving Kermit Davis his 300th win with MTSU.
Senior JaCorey Williams led the Blue Raiders with 25 points and eight rebounds, his tenth 20-point game of the season. Giddy Potts scored 19 points, with Reggie Upshaw adding 12 of his own. Tyrik Dixon, Brandon Walters and Xaver Habersham rounded out the six double figure scorers for MT with 10 points apiece.
The game was all MTSU from the jump, going into halftime with a 47-26 lead on the strength of 16 points from Williams. The Blue Raiders used a massive 20-3 run to take their first 20-point lead of the night at 31-11 with 9:30 to go in the half.
The defense was the biggest key, as the Blue Raiders held Marshall to just 27 percent shooting in the opening frame. Middle took advantage of Marshall’s struggles as well, shooting a scorching 59 percent from the floor.
The second half saw Middle Tennessee push the lead as high as 23 at one point on a Dixon three to make it 74-51. The Thundering Herd refused to give up and made a big push to cut the lead down to nine with a little under a minute remaining in the game. It was too little too late however, and the Blue Raiders won their fourth straight game by a final score of 97-86.
The Blue Raiders have won their first two games on this three-game road swing and for them to continue this streak, they will need every player on the team to step up and contribute as they did this game.
The Blue Raiders will return to Murfreesboro for a week of practice before leaving on Saturday for Birmingham to play the UAB Blazers on Sunday; tip-off is set for noon and the game can be viewed on the CBS Sports Network.