Blue Raiders fall to Owls on last second shot

Yates leads all scorers with 19; O'Neil pulls down nine rebounds

January 16, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Blue Raiders outshot Florida Atlantic in the second half but a last minute surge by the Owls gave them a 61-60 win on Saturday night.

Middle Tennessee shot 46.2 percent in the second half while the Owls shot 45.5 percent from the field but a layup by Alex Tucker gave FAU a one-point advantage with 3.1 seconds remaining on the clock.

As a team, the Blue Raiders (8-10, 3-3) shot 40 percent in the game and had a season high 46 rebounds. Middle Tennessee's 16 offensive rebounds made it the 14th time this season the team has had double figure rebounds on offense.

The Blue Raiders also had eight steals and a season high six blocked shots as they performed well on defense throughout the night.

"When you look at the stats we out-rebounded them 46-29 with 16 offensive rebounds. We hold teams to thirty-nine percent in league play; we're shooting seventy-nine percent from the free throw line and tonight go 13-28," head coach Kermit Davis said. "Boogie had 19 points and played twenty minutes, but we couldn't keep him out there because of fouls."

Senior Calvin O'Neil and junior Trevor Ottley each led the team with nine rebounds while O'Neil also had two steals. Ottley also had a team high three blocks and two steals. Senior Montarrio Haddock pulled down eight, blocked one shot and had two steals to further aid the defense.

Middle Tennessee held FAU (8-10, 4-3) to 39.6 percent from the field but the Owls capitalized at the charity stripe making 12 of 20 opportunities. The Blue Raiders shot under 60 percent from the free throw line for only the fourth time this season making 13 of 28 on Saturday night.

Senior Desmond Yates led the Blue Raider offense with 19 points going 8 for 15 from the field while Haddock added 11 points after going 4 for 8. Yates made both of his free throw opportunities (2-2) while junior James Washington made five of his team high seven attempts.

FAU took an early lead but the Blue Raiders went on a 10-4 run to tie the game at 12 with 12:15 on the clock. Then Yates scored eight straight points to keep MT within one, 19-18 at the nine minute mark.

FAU went on an 11-7 run to end the half taking a 30-27 lead making the three-pointer to take the halftime lead with just seconds remaining on the clock. Yates tied the game at 27 with 30 seconds on the clock before Richardson hit the shot to take the lead.

Yates led all scorers at the half with 14 as the team shot 34.5 percent from the field in the first half. The Blue Raider defense had 24 rebounds to FAU's 18 in addition to five blocks and steals.

FAU came back hot from the break but then cooled off as the Blue Raiders used a 14-0 run to its advantage taking a 44-38 lead with 12:30 left to play.

The Blue Raiders will be back in action on Monday, Jan. 18 when it plays host to Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. in the final game of a three game home stand.

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