Photo by David Chamberlain / MTSU Sidelines
Story by David Jones / Contributing Writer
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders rolled to 2-0 after defeating the Milligan Buffaloes 102-70 on Friday at Murphy Center. The Blue Raiders reached 100 points in a game for the first time since last year against Trevecca. Head coach Nick McDevitt also picked up his 100th win of his career. Junior guard Antonio Green lit it up again, going 9-19 adding another 24 points and matching his total from the first game.
The Blue Raiders started the game up tempo and got the fans rising to their feet after Green threw a pretty alley-oop pass to junior forward Reggie Scurry. The Milligan Buffaloes tried to keep the game close and took the lead at one point, forcing Coach McDevitt to call a timeout. After that time out, Middle Tennessee went on a 16-0 run and never looked back.
“We have guys that can shoot guys, that can rebound and dunk at the rim,” McDevitt said.
Fourteen of those 16 points came in the paint as starting forwards James Hawthorne and Reggie Scurry dominated inside. The undersized Blue Raiders out rebounded the Buffaloes 56-34.
Green catches fire after slow start
Green finally got a bucket after nine minutes into the game. Green started the game 1-5 from three point range and missed multiple wide open shots.
“I feel I can make shots in any offense,” Green said.
The way the Blue Raiders ran the floor, it gave shooters like Green and Donovan Sims a lot of good looks from beyond the arc. Green caught fire quickly after he hit three three-pointers in a row and pushed the Blue Raider lead to 20 points. Green was dropping bombs from all over the court with a couple transition threes. Even when a man was in his face, Green managed to make a handful of contested three-pointers. Green went 6-13 at the end of the day from deep.
Senior vouches to step up
The only player still on the team that’s been around the Blue Raiders locker room over the last two years is senior forward Karl Gamble who was 6-10 from the field and grabbed 12 rebounds to add to his 16 points.
“Myself personally, I need to be more vocal to our team,” Gamble said.
Gamble played much better in this game after only having four points in the season opener. Gamble even managed to make a three-pointer at the end of the game.
The team looked better as a whole Friday morning even though they had 16 turnovers in the game. Middle Tennessee also racked up 24 fast break points after having 14 in the season opener.
The Blue Raiders will have to play this way and maybe a little better as they face off against the Belmont Bruins, their first Division I opponent of the season. The Bruins were 24-9 last year and were picked to win their conference this year. The Blue Raiders are sure to be ready after two blow out wins and the McDevitt era continues.
To contact Sports Editor David Chamberlain, email firstname.lastname@example.org.