Blue Raiders Get Road Win at Denver 80-68

February 9, 2003 · MT Media Relations

BIG WIN: Middle Tennessee picked up a big road win over Denver on Saturday night. However, the win was big for a few different reasons. First, the win keeps MT one-half game behind Western Kentucky in the East Division race. Secondly, the win is the seventh in the Sun Belt for the Blue Raiders, giving them the most in the league since joining three seasons ago. Third, the win is the third road win in the SBC this season, the most ever for the Blue Raiders since coming into the Sun Belt.


PIPPEN, JACKSON, MITCHELL OVERCOME: William Pippen and Steven Jackson battled a severe stomach virus for the past couple of days and Bryant Mitchell battled through a knee injury to help lead the Blue Raiders over Denver. Pippen and Jackson fell ill just hours after Thursday's win over North Texas. Pippen, who was the sicker of the two, didn't practice on Friday or participate in today's shoot-around. He took an IV to help with dehydration this afternoon and was able to play in the game. Mitchell was held out of Thursday's game with the knee injury and was limited in practice for the last two days, but was a contributor against Denver.


MAKING THEM COUNT: The Blue Raiders were 25-of-32 at the charity stripe against Denver, with 23 of the team's last 25 points coming at the charity stripe. The team's final fourteen points came with less than two minutes on the clock. Tommy Gunn led the team at the line with an 11-of-11 performance, tying him for third all-time on the MT single-game free throw percentage list.


HITTING THE BOARDS: Middle Tennessee has been especially strong on the glass of late. The Blue Raiders have outrebounded the opposition in five straight contests and have grabbed 43 or more rebounds in three of the last four contests. In fact, over the last five games, the Blue Raiders have put together an impressive +10.0 rebounding margin over this span and are averaging 41 boards per game during this stretch.


GUNN BACK IN FORM: After netting only five points on Thursday night, Tommy Gunn got back into form with 22 points to lead the Blue Raiders against Denver. Gunn has now scored 20 or more points six times this season. Gunn now has 959 career points, only 41 shy of 1,000.


DEFENSIVE EFFORT: The Blue Raiders once again turned in a strong defensive effort in a Sun Belt game. The team has limited the opposition to 38 percent or less from the field in three of the last four games. The Blue Raiders have played exceptional defense since the Sun Belt slate got underway. The team is holding the Belt to 39.5 percent in the Blue Raiders' 10 league games.


THIS AND THAT: Former Blue Raider player and assistant coach Gerald Harris, who is currently on the staff at Colorado, was in attendance at tonight's game ... Marcus Robinson grabbed a career-high six rebounds, while Eric Parham equaled his career mark with six boards ... The Blue Raiders 32 free throw attempts is a season high ... MT's 30 free throw attempts in the second half ranks third all-time in a single half ... Tommy Gunn's 11-for-11 night at the stripe gives him new career highs in both makes and attempts ... The Blue Raiders have won the opening tip in three straight games ... The Blue Raiders are now 2-0 when scoring 80 or more points and are 7-2 when scoring 70 or more ... The Blue Raiders are 2-1 in televised contests.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.