Categorized | MTSU Basketball

MTSU tops OVU in opener 77-60

Posted on 15 November 2014 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee captured its seventh consecutive season–opening victory by defeating Ohio Valley Friday night inside Murphy Center, 77-60.

The Blue Raiders outlasted the Fighting Scots in a fast-paced, physical contest during the teams’ first ever matchup. After missing all 11 three-point attempts in the first half, MT drilled 4-of-9 in the second stanza and grabbed a 46-34 edge in rebounds to control the contest.

A Jaqawn Raymond dunk with 8:56 remaining put the Blue Raiders ahead 61-48 as Ohio Valley never got within 11 points the rest of the way.

Reggie Upshaw Jr. poured in 17 points, just one point shy of his career high, on 5-of-7 shooting. The sophomore forward finished with seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals to lead MT. Marcus Tarrance also reached double figures with 11 points in 18 minutes of action.

Both teams struggled to take care of the ball, combining for a total of 45 turnovers. The Blue Raiders held Ohio Valley to 38.6 percent from the field, while the home team shot 45.1 percent.

Upshaw got the Blue Raiders going in the opening minutes with two steals and seven points at the first media timeout when MT led 14-6. That momentum carried through for most of the half as the Blue Raiders scored nine points off turnovers.

MT managed to build a 13-point advantage with just over 10:00 minutes, but Ohio Valley stayed close and ended the half with five unanswered points which cut MT’s lead to three, 38-35.

Tarrance drilled the first MT three-pointer early in the second half, but turnovers prevented the Blue Raiders from pulling away as they held just a four-point advantage with 14:26 on the clock.

However, Middle Tennessee’s depth proved to be a factor as the blue and white eventually wore down the opposition, outscoring Ohio Valley 39-25 in the second half.

Starting freshman guard JaQuel Richmond recorded a team-high seven assists in the victory.

Ohio Valley was led by Darryl Walker’s 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

“We’ve got lightyears to go but we got the win and that’s what is most important,” Head Coach Kermit Davis said. “We have got to show toughness; toughness is shooting. We are a really good shooting team but we are very happy to be 1-0.”

The Blue Raiders take the court again on Tuesday night when they host Murray State (0-1). Tip-off is scheduled for 7 PM.

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