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Blue Raiders cruise to 69-51 win over Bison

Four Blue Raiders in double figures Tuesday night

December 22, 2009 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Four Blue Raiders scored in double figures as they cruised to a 69-51 win over Howard on Tuesday night.

Freshman James Gallman led the way with 14 points while seniors Desmond Yates and Montarrio Haddock added 13 and 11 respectively. Junior Trevor Ottley added to the Middle Tennessee arsenal with 10 points.

As a team, the Blue Raiders (5-6) shot 46.4 percent from the field and 68.4 percent from the charity stripe. Howard (1-10) shot 47.6 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from the free throw line after struggling in the first half.

"I thought for about 27 minutes our team competed really hard defensively. We were up 52-19 and just played unselfishly. Everyone we put into the game had great energy," head coach Kermit Davis said. "We lost our way for the last 10 or 12 minutes which is disappointing. We are going to take all the positives from that first 27 minutes, build on a two game winning streak and enjoy our time off and come back ready to play."

The Blue Raider defense performed well grabbing 36 rebounds with Yates and Ottley leading the way. Yates ended the game with eight while Ottley had six.

Ottley also had two blocks on the night while the team recorded 10 steals. Senior Calvin O'Neil and junior James Washington each had three steals on the night with O'Neil recording four assists as well.

"The reason Trevor started is because he has been our best defensive player in practice. I thought he had a lot of energy. He is still making a lot of progress and he had been big for us since Theryn Hudson went down," Davis said.

In the second half the Blue Raiders extended their lead to 30, 55-25, with 11:01 left in the game as two players were in double-figures and two others were knocking at the door. The Blue Raiders were scoreless for almost six minutes but kept a large lead and after two field goals by O'Neil kept a 20 point lead, 62-42.

Middle Tennessee took an early nine-point lead in the first half and never looked back. A three-pointer by Williams put the Blue Raiders up by 14, 17-3, with 11:15 remaining.

A shot from behind the arc by Gallman put Middle Tennessee ahead by 19, 31-12, at the four-minute media timeout. Little hit a layup with one minute to put the Blue Raiders up 22-points, 34-12. At the half the Blue Raiders led by 20, 34-14, and it was the second lowest point total in half by Howard this season.

Yates led all scorers with seven points while Ottley added six and five rebounds.

The Blue Raiders will have until Thursday, Dec. 31 off to prepare for the opening of Sun Belt Conference action. Middle Tennessee will play at New Orleans at 7 p.m. before returning to Murphy Center on Jan. 2.

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