Categorized | MTSU Basketball

MTSU wins at Akron

Posted on 14 December 2014 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee picked up its second-consecutive thrilling road victory with a 62-61 win at Akron to improve to 5-4 on the season.

Sparked by a strong performance from the Blue Raider bench, MT shot 55 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range; the best percentage this season. Reggie Upshaw Jr. tyed a season-high with 17 points while adding 8 rebounds to lead the team.

The Blue Raiders were sparked by a 16-2 run in first half to give them 31-22 lead before the final media timeout of the half.

As Middle Tennessee went into the locker room with a 37-32 lead, 26 of those points came from the Blue Raider bench with Edward Simpson matching a career-high with 10 points to lead the team. Jacob Ivory also came off the bench to post a career-high in the half with seven first-half points.

The Zips would keep chipping away at the Blue Raider’s lead, bringing it within three points after the Blue Raiders would extend a big lead.

The final two minutes would be a nail biter as the Zips managed to tie the game 61-61. With a trip to the free-throw line by Jacquez Rozier to give MT a 62-61 lead, the Blue Raiders put up a great defensive stand with 11 seconds remaining to hold Akron shot less and hand the Zips their first home loss of the season.

“Our team is an improving basketball team,” Head Coach Kermit Davis said. “From the second half of Creighton we have really seen our team grow. We shot 55 percent against a really good team. That’s an NCAA tournament team that rarely loses at home, overall I’m really proud.”

Three Blue Raiders registered double digit scoring with Upshaw (17), Rozier (13) and Simpson (10).

Ivory ended with a career-night, with 9 points and four assists.

The Middle Tennessee closed the win with 38 points compared to Akron’s 21 bench points.

“We told our team that there bench was really good and they knew that our bench would have to be great tonight and they were,” Davis said. “Those three guys (Upshaw, Simpson, Ivory) really played well tonight and Reggie was able to do better at rebounding and that was key.”

The Blue Raiders continue this road swing with a nationally televised game at Oklahoma State on Tuesday, December 16 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. The Cowboys are currently receiving votes in the USA Today Top-25 Coaches Poll.

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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