Categorized | MTSU Basketball

Raiders fall in Triple OT

Posted on 01 March 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee did not let UAB have its ninth-straight home win in Bartow Arena easy as the Blue Raiders fought the Blazers to a triple overtime battle, only to fall 100-95.

With the loss MT is now 15-14 overall and 8-8 in league play, while the Blazers advance to 16-13 and 12-4 in C-USA.

UAB pieced together a 9-0 run in a 2 minute span late in the second half to go ahead 35-22 with three minutes left in the half.

MT suffered a scoring drought soon after and went into the locker room trailing the Blazers 37-25. MT went 2-for-11 in the final six minutes of the half.

The Blue Raiders shot 33 percent from the field compared to UAB’s 54 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes.

Middle Tennessee went 7-of-7 from 16:44 to 11:19 in the second half to chip away at the Blazers lead and bring the game within five points.

The Blue Raiders fought back from a 15-point deficit in the second half.

Perrin Buford scored 15 second-half points, while DJ Jones added 13 in the half to propel the Blue Raiders to tie the game at 69-69 with a minute left in regulation. Both teams made quality stops in the closing minute to send the game into overtime for the Blue Raiders fourth overtime of the year.

MT trailed by as many as five points in the first overtime but fought its way back as Jacquez Rozier put in the game-tying bucket with 5 seconds left on the clock to eventually send the Blue Raiders into its second double overtime game of the season.

The Blue Raiders gained their first lead of the game since their first field goal of the game with 3 minutes left in the second overtime as Buford gave MT the 81-79 lead.

The Blazers were down by two with 11 seconds left in overtime and nearly turned the ball over twice as Hakeen Baxter was able to put away a lay-up at the buzzer to take the game into its third overtime at 86-86.

The third overtime saw five of the game’s 11 lead changes alone as the two teams continued back and forth as the Blazers ended on the winning end of the war.

Nationally, only 13 games have made it to triple overtime this year.

Jones and Buford annihilated their career-high with Buford finishing the day with 29 points to improve his former of 16 points, while Jones collected 24 points to best his former career-high of 11 points. Six of Jones’ seven field goals came from 3-point land. Buford led the team off the glass with nine boards.

With the help of Buford and Jones, the Middle Tennessee bench ended the game with 67 of the Blue Raiders 95 points, a season-high in scoring for the Blue Raider bench.

Four MT players ended the day in double figures with Buford, Jones, Upshaw (13) and Rozier (11), marking the fifth time this year four players have scored double figures in a game.

After shooting just 33 percent from the field and 20 percent from three-point range in the first half, the Blue Raiders improved to finish the game 41.3 percent from the field and 36 percent from behind the arc.

UAB win extended its home court winning streak to nine games as the Blazers are undefeated in conference play in Bartow Arena.

The Blue Raiders will continue with this road swing with a trip to Florida for the last two games of the regular season, FIU (Mar. 5) and FAU (Mar. 7).

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