Blue Raiders Suffer 69-62 Setback At UALR

January 15, 2005 · MT Media Relations
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Middle Tennessee's shooting woes proved costly in a 69-62 loss at Arkansas-Little Rock in front of 4,789 at Alltell Arena Saturday night.

The Blue Raiders (12-5, 2-1), who blistered the nets in an 85-50 win against Arkansas-Little Rock last Monday night, never found their stride from the field at Alltell Arena, where the Trojans (11-5, 3-1) have now won 16 straight for the nation's 10th longest homecourt winning streak.

Middle Tennessee trailed by as many as 17 on several occasions in the second half but rallied to narrow the deficit to as few as seven with under 10 minutes remaining; however, it was as close as the Blue Raiders could get until Marcus Morrison's long 3-pointer cut the deficit to 68-62 with 11 seconds to play in regulation.

Michael Cuffee registered his fourth double double of the season and second on the road trip as he led Middle Tennessee with 15 points, and 10 rebounds; Morrison added 13, Mike Dean finished with 11 and Steve Thomas added 10. Bryan Smithson finished with eight.

Middle Tennessee shot just 31 percent for the game and was 7-of-31 (22 percent ) in the first half as it fell behind 35-23 at intermission and fought an uphill battle the remainder of the game. The Blue Raiders actually outscored the Trojans in the second half, 39-34, but they never could get over the hump.

Middle Tennessee will return home to play South Alabama Thursday at 7 p.m.

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