Blue Raiders suffer 59-52 setback to North Texas

Middle Tennessee falls in SBC semis

March 6, 2007 · MT Media Relations
LAFAYETTE, La. - Middle Tennessee's strong postseason run came to a halt in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Championships here Monday night when the Blue Raiders suffered a 59-52 setback to North Texas.

The Blue Raiders started slow and were forced to play catch-up most of the game; however, the Sun Belt's youngest team never wavered and was in the game until the end before finally seeing their strong finish end in a tough setback.

"I like what our team accomplished at the end of the season and I believe the experience gained in these three tournament games will benefit our team next season," said Middle Tennessee Head Coach Kermit Davis. "I like where we are going and I like the team we have coming back. We are very disappointed not to be playing in the championship game because we really believed we were as capable as any team in the tournament of getting there, but it didn't work out. Nonetheless, we have a good base and I see good things on the horizon for our program."

Freshman standout Desmond Yates was the only Blue Raider to tally double figures with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while sophomore Nigel Johnson, who played his best basketball down the stretch this season, finished with nine points. Another pair of sophomores, Theryn Hudson and Kevin Kanaskie, each finished with seven points.

North Texas never led by more than nine in the game and the contest was basically a two-possession game throughout; however, the Blue Raiders could never get over the hump against the Mean Green.

Trailing 29-22 at the half, Middle Tennessee came out strong to start the second half and pulled to within one, 32-31, on Kanaskie's jumper; however, North Texas followed with a 7-0 run to stretch the advantage back to eight.

Middle Tennessee made another strong run and, trailing 46-44 with under five minutes remaining, had a chance to even the slate; however, a missed layup that would have tied the game was followed by a 5-0 North Texas run and the Blue Raiders never got closer than six the remainder of the contest.

For a complete season recap recounting the 2007 season, check out GoBlueRaiders.com later this week.

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