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Blue Raiders fall to Belmont

Yates scores 20 in first appearance of season

December 8, 2009 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Three Blue Raiders scored in double figures as Middle Tennessee fell to Belmont 83-71 on Tuesday night.

Senior Desmond Yates scored 20 points in his first appearance of the 2009-10 season in 25 minutes of action. Yates pulled down four rebounds while going 9 for 17 from the field.

Freshman James Gallman went 4 for 6 from behind the arc and 7 for 10 overall notching 18 points. Senior Montarrio Haddock added 13 points of his own and was just one rebound shy of his first double-double of the year with nine.

For just the second time this season the Blue Raiders (3-5) shot less than 70 percent from the free throw line making 7 of 12 for a 58.3 percent. Haddock led the team at the line going 5 for 6.

As a team, the Blue Raiders shot 43.3 percent while Belmont (7-2) posted a 59.6 percent with four players in double figures. Ian Clark led the Bruins with 20 points after going 6 for 9 from the field.

"You just can't let a team come into your building and shoot 59%. Their two freshman guards dictated tempo and made plays when they had to. The biggest point was the free throw line. They go to the line in our building 26 times and we go 12. That was the difference in the game," head coach Kermit Davis said.

Middle Tennessee had 29 rebounds in the game with Belmont grabbing 35 but did have more offensive rebounds than the Bruins with 11.

Trailing 44-39, Emanuel hit a shot from the three-point line to cut the Bruin lead to two-points, 42-44 16:30.

A three-pointer by Gallman cut the Bruin lead to one-point, 50-49 with 15 minutes left, but Belmont pulled ahead again forcing the Blue Raiders to battle back. Middle Tennessee came back making it a three-point game, 57-54 with 11 minutes left on the clock.

A layup by Yates and a big stop by the defense put the Blue Raiders within two-points with nine minutes remaining, 62-60.

A late second half surge by the Bruins put them up 75-69 with 2:32 left in the game. A jumper by Yates closed the gap and made it a four-point game, 75-71.

The two teams traded points to begin the game but Belmont jumped out to an early six point lead with 16 minutes remaining, 10-4. Yates cut that lead to five 19-14 with 12:25 remaining in his first appearance of the season.

The teams continued to battle for the lead with three shots by Jones keeping the Blue Raiders within one point. Belmont kept ahead taking a six-point lead at the four-minute media timeout, 36-30. A dunk by Ottley kept the Blue Raiders within six-points at the half, 38-32.

Middle Tennessee shot 45.2 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes of action as Yates led the scorers with nine points. Yates was 4 for 6 from the field with three rebounds in his first 11 minutes of play in the 2009-10 season.

Gallman added eight points to the Blue Raider offense after going2 for 3 from behind the arc.

The Blue Raiders will be back in action on Friday, Dec. 11 when they play host to Tennessee at Nashville Arena in Nashville. Middle Tennessee then returns to Murphy Center to play Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 4 p.m.

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