Photo courtesy of MT Athletics
Story by David Jones / Contributing Writer
“I have 15 players, but I don’t have 15 players ready to play,” Blue Raider Head Coach Rick Insell after his team lost to the Trevecca Trojans, a Division II school.
A huge 30-6 run at the beginning of the fourth period put the Trevecca Trojans over the top as they beat the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders 88-71 in an exhibition game on Wednesday, Halloween night, at home.
The Blue Raiders struggled in all phases, as the Trojans kept the game close until they closed it out in the fourth. The Blue Raiders looked out of sync and rarely showed any emotions during the game.
“We haven’t developed chemistry that we need to develop,” Insell said.
Slow start for the Blue Raiders
The Blue Raiders came out slow offensively, and the Trojans broke their trap defense fairly easy.
Middle Tennessee tried to get the ball down low as most of the buckets for the Blue Raiders came from the inside early. The Blue Raiders were forcing turnovers, but they just weren’t able to capitalize on them with points.
After the first quarter ended with the Blue Raiders trailing the Trojans by six, the Trojans were able to put up almost double the amount of shots. The Blue Raiders were 4-10 while the Trojans were 6-18 from the field.
Rising stars take over
The Blue Raiders come out in the second with a 9-2 run and took the lead from the Trojans. Freshman guard Taylor Sutton looked to be in control of the offense early in the period going 3-4 during that run.
The Blue Raiders still continued to bang down low, trying to take advantage of the height mismatch by throwing the ball inside to 6’5 sophomore Jadona Davis who had 15 points in the 14 minutes she played.
“If she goes to work, she’s going to have a good future,” Insell said.
The Trojans ended the half shooting at a dismal 29 percent while the Blue Raiders jumped from 40 percent to 51 from the floor.
The Blue Raiders took the lead before half despite Trevecca going 11-12 at the free throw line while Middle Tennessee was just 0-2.
Trojans dominate the second half
The Trojans immediately came out in the second half to a 4-0 run.
The Blue Raiders and the Trojans went back and forth swapping points until Trojan guard Calli Hacket hit a three to give them a three-point lead.
The Trojans came out with a sense of urgency, starting the fourth period on a huge 11-0 run that led to a 30-6 run in total.
Blue Raider head coach Rick Insell hadn’t called many timeouts during the game, but after that run by the Trojans, he had no choice.
That timeout didn’t seem to ignite the Blue Raider offense or defense as Middle Tennessee struggled and scored only four points the first seven minutes of the fourth period. The Trojans starters exploded as every starter was in double digits, and everyone but the center made at least one three-pointer.
The Blue Raiders hope to bounce back as they get ready for their season opener against Vanderbilt on Nov. 9 at the Murphy Center.
To contact Sports Editor David Chamberlain, email firstname.lastname@example.org.