Friday, May 17, 2024

Red-hot second half leads Blue Raiders past UTSA

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Featured Photo by Lucas Larkin

Story by Calvin White

Murfreesboro, TN- Middle Tennessee men’s basketball (15-9, 8-5 C-USA) scored 49 points in the second half to dominate UTSA (7-18, 1-13 C-USA) 84-60 Saturday night in the Murphy Center. 

UTSA came out of the gate in a 2-3 zone defense that the Blue Raiders were able to disassemble by getting the ball in the middle of the zone and finding space to attack the rim or pass out for open 3-pointers. 

Middle Tennessee was able to grab 44 total rebounds, including a season-high 20 on the offensive end, against the worst defensive rebounding team in Conference USA. The Roadrunners attempted 18 less shots than the Blue Raiders as a result of MTSU forcing 20 UTSA turnovers for 27 points. 

“It’s a game of math. It’s not art class,” MTSU head coach Nick McDevitt said. “It’s what I tell these guys all the time. There’s a lot of numbers on the stat sheet and when you win the battle on the offensive glass and the turnover battle it’s huge.”

Camryn Weston, Teafale Lenard, and Jestin Porter all scored 13 points, tying to lead all scorers. Seven Blue Raiders scored at least seven points while six Blue Raiders scored at least eight points. A total of 11 Blue Raiders scored in the game. 

MTSU shot 7-for-13 from beyond the arc in the second half. It is the second game in a row Middle Tennessee shot over 50 percent from 3-point range in the second half of a game (3-for-5 UTEP). 

“We started playing like us,” Porter said. “Pushing the ball more, sharing the ball more. Everybody got looks and everything fell into place.”

Calvin White is the sports editor for MTSU Sidelines. If you have any information for a story, you can contact him at wcwhite2002@gmail.com

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