Harris saves day, Blue Raiders sneak past WKU | Men’s Basketball

Perrin Buford MTSU Basketball
Perrin Buford handles the basketball, as the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders took on the North Texas Mean Green in Conference USA action at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on Jan. 21, 2016. (MTSU Sidelines / Darian Lindsay)

Photo by Darian Lindsay | Sidelines Archive

Middle Tennessee (15-6, 7-2 C-USA) took on their rivals Western Kentucky (11-11, 3-6 C-USA) Saturday in a conference USA showdown. The Blue Raiders edged past the Hilltoppers late 66-64 behind a great game from senior forward Darnell Harris.

The Blue Raiders came out of the gate firing by dominating both sides of the ball, and they lead at the half 36-18. This one looked like a blowout, however, after halftime, Middle Tennessee began to unravel on the defensive end. They allowed 46 second half points and let Western Kentucky to get back in the game.

Both teams struggled to shoot from the field in this one. Middle Tennessee shot only 38 percent while Western Kentucky shot 37 percent. The game came down to the final seconds as Darnell Harris made the play of the game by tipping in a basket with less than 10 seconds left to secure the victory.

Middle Tennessee had four players score in double figures Saturday night. Darnell Harris ended the game with 22 points on 50 percent shooting and grabbed five boards. Senior Perrin Buford scored 11 points, one game after his first career double-double.

Reggie Upshaw recorded his eighth double-double of the season by scoring 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Giddy Potts also chipped in 10 points.

The Blue Raiders will return home to host Florida Atlantic (6-16, 4-5 C-USA) next Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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To contact Sports Editor Connor Ulrey, email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

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