Photo courtesy of MT Athletics
Story by David Jones / Sports Reporter
The Blue Raiders played another rivalry game as they made the short bus ride to Nashville to play the Vanderbilt Commodores on Wednesday night. The Blue Raiders lost four straight games going into the game, while the Commodoores were riding a hot 5-2 record. This is the sixth game against a top 100 ranked team in the nation for the Blue Raiders, and they are 0-5 against those teams this year so far. Vanderbilt came into the game looking to bounce back after losing to NC State last Saturday. The Blue Raiders started off strong for the first five minutes of the game, but Vandy was too much for the young and inexperienced Blue Raider team.
MTSU experiences early foul trouble
The Blue Raiders’ two young gaurds got into early foul trouble as Donovan Sims and Junior Farquhar only played 19 minutes combined in the first half. The Blue Raider forwards also struggled as forwards Karl Gamble and T.J. Massenburg went a combined 4-13 with only eight points for the night.
Junior forward James Hawthorne has been struggling shooting the ball and staying out of foul trouble the last couple of games for the Blue Raiders. Hawthorne had 43 points all together in the first four games, but has only managed 24 points over the last four games, with a zero point game on Wednesday.
Late Vanderbilt run creates separation before halftime
The Blue Raiders were only down 12 with a minute and a half to go until halftime when the Commodores went on a 8–0 run that ended with Vandy guard Saben Lee going coast to coast, untouched, for a lay-up to boost the Vandy lead to 20 and seal the game. The Blue Raiders continued to struggle in the second half, only scoring 30 more points.
The team as a whole went just eight for 26 from the field, scoring a season low 21 points at halftime.
Antonio Green gets hot late
Green struggled from the field in the first half, going zero for seven before getting his first two points from the free throw line just before the half ended. Green, the Blue Raiders’ leading scorer and go-to man from deep, was smothered on almost every possession.
The second half was a different story, however, as Green had went six for eight at one point in the second half, ending with 18 points for the game. Green was just two of eight from downtown, but he was 2-3 from deep in the second half. Those 18 points put Green just three short from being a 1,000 point scorer in his collegiate career. Green will have a chance to score his 1,000th point at home against Murray State on Saturday in front of his family, who will be in attendance.
MTSU will host the Murray State Racers on Saturday Dec. 8. The Racers will come into the game with a one game winning streak and a 4-1 record. The Blue Raiders are on a five-game losing streak and look to finally get back on the winning side.