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MT Wins Exhibition 79-76

November 4, 2003 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Seniors Tommy Gunn and Michael Cuffee combined for 43 points and freshman Kyle Young snatched 11 rebounds to lead Middle Tennessee to a 79-76 exhibition win over Global Sports.

It was the first and only tune-up game for the Blue Raiders who will open the regular season on Nov. 24 at home against Covenant College.

Behind a strong shooting effort, Middle Tennessee jumped out to an impressive 34-19 lead with only six minutes left in the first half. Global Sports then went on a tear by outscoring the home team, 20-6, the final six minutes to close within one point at intermission. Former North Texas star Chris Davis led the way for GS with 14 first half points.

In the second half, the game went back and forth with eight different lead changes. Both teams enjoyed five point cushions before the Blue Raiders grabbed the lead for good on a Young jumper in the lane at the 4:13 mark.

After Gunn nailed two free throws to give Middle Tennessee a 77-74 lead with 2:05 to play, Global Sports' Eric Bush answered with a short jumper in the lane to make the score, 77-76. Senior Steven Jackson then took a pass from Cuffee and hit a shot on the right baseline to put the Blue Raider lead back to three points. The Blue Raiders then survived two three-point attempts by GS to come away with the victory.

GAME NOTES: Kyle Young led all rebounders with 11 ... The five Blue Raider freshmen who played combined for 21 points, 19 rebounds, five assists, and made 9 of 22 shots from the field ... Freshman Ben Britt led all rookies in scoring with eight points ... Global Sports fell to 0-2 ... The Blue Raiders out-rebounded the bigger visitors, 41-28.

QUOTES

MT Forward Michael Cuffee

"Every night we are going to come out and play hard. It doesn't matter who we are going to play. There was a little fatigue in the team at the end of the first half.  But, we came back and played with a killer instinct."

 

MT Forward Kyle Young

"With the size they had, it was surprising we got the number of rebounds that we did. But, that is our main focus in practice. It felt great to get back on the floor. I hated waiting a year to get to play.  The team really fought back in the second half, and that is not surprising with the way we practice."

 

MT Head Coach Kermit Davis

"Besides the Harlem Globetrotters, the is the best touring team in the country. It is only November 4, but if was like a league game. A lot of our rebounds were hustle rebounds. We have been doing that all week in practice. Our goal was to out rebound them by 10. We got them by 13."

 

"I thought what exemplified the game was Keith Connor's dive and timeout. Also, Tommy Gunn really hustled during those last possessions. This is a fun group to coach. This is also a team that the fans can connect with."

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