Categorized | MTSU Basketball

MTSU loses to FIU on the road, 59-54

Posted on 06 March 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee men’s basketball suffered a 59-54 road loss at FIU on Thursday evening and move to 15-15 overall and 8-9 in Conference USA play.

The Blue Raiders saw their 19th different starting line-up of the season with Reggie Upshaw, Darnell Harris, Giddy Potts, Edward Simpson and Jaqawn Raymond on the court.
The first half would see three lead changes with both teams hanging within a couple possessions.

The Blue Raiders suffered a 4+ minute scoring drought near the end of the first half that allowed FIU to take a 16-14 lead.

MT was able to fight its way past the cold streak to hit six of its last seven field goals in the half to take a 30-24 lead heading into the locker room. Potts hit four of those final field goals in the closing minutes of to lead the team with 13 points.

Despite the early shooting woes for the Blue Raiders, MT finished the half shooting 41 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range (6-12).

The Panthers went on a 15-2 run to regain the lead in the second half at 40-36 with a 3-pointer by Ray Rodriguez at the 11:30 mark; FIU’s first trey of the night.
Once again the Blue Raiders were able to weather the storm as they tied the game at 52 with two free-throws from Perrin Buford.

Another four minute scoring drought in the final five minutes of the game ultimately doomed the Blue Raiders with the Panthers closing the game with a 7-2 run to get the 59-54 victory.

While the Blue Raiders finished with seven 3-pointers to FIU’s one, the Panthers won the battle at the charity stripe 20-5.

Potts (13), Buford (12) and Raymond (12) scored double figures, while Upshaw led the team off the glass with 10 boards. MT had a slight edge in rebounding with 34 boards to FIU’s 32.

The loss marked the first time the Blue Raiders fell to FIU since they faced each other in the Sun Belt Tournament in 2013 and the first time MT lost at FIU since 2008 when they FIU came away with a 66-60 win.

This is the Blue Raiders seventh-straight road loss with its last win away from the Murphy Center against Southern Miss (Jan. 15).

Middle Tennessee will close the regular season on Saturday at Florida Atlantic. The game is slated to tip-off at 6 p.m. CT. The Blue Raiders are on the hunt to finish the conference season at .500 with the C-USA Championship starting on Wednesday, March 11.

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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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