Blue Raiders top Warhawks

Washington leads four into double figures

January 21, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications
MONROE, La. - Middle Tennessee took a 69-60 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday night with four players scoring in double figures.

Seniors Desmond Yates, Calvin O'Neil, Montarrio Haddock and junior James Washington all posted double figures in the game with Washington leading the pack with his third 20-point game.

"Tonight I thought we had one of our better nights in terms of balance with four guys in double figures. I thought we shared the ball well. We have been defending at a high level the past few games which is positive to see. We are still going through a six or seven minute scoring drought but I thought we got great shots," head coach Kermit Davis said. "We were up 16 or 17 with a chance to get up 20 or 22 and missed some easy shots. I love the way James Washington ran our team tonight, Calvin O'Neil stepped to the line tonight and made some big free throws and then Montarrio Haddock almost had a double-double. It was a really good team effort and a really good win on the road."

Washington made all of his eight free throws late in the second half to help keep the Warhawks at bay. Middle Tennessee missed just three free throws in the game shooting 88.5 percent after going 23 for 26.

"Before the Florida Atlantic game we were leading the Sun Belt in free throw shooting and are still shooting 72 percent. I thought tonight we stepped to the line with confidence and when game got to five or seven we kept them at bay and made it a two possession game," Davis said.

O'Neil also performed well at the charity strip missing just one of his nine opportunities while Haddock went 5 for 6. O'Neil posted 12 total points while Haddock had 11.

As a team, the Blue Raiders shot 36.4 percent from the field as Yates went 6 for 12 ending the game with 16 points.

Defensively, Middle Tennessee performed very well with 30 rebounds as Haddock led the way with eight.

Middle Tennessee began the second half by going on an 11-6 run extending its lead to 16, 43-27 with 14:40 to play. ULM closed the gap to five but a pass by Yates to Haddock put two more on the board and pushed the Blue Raider lead back to seven, 55-48 with less than four minutes remaining on the clock.

The Blue Raiders scored 14 free throws to end the game after not making a field goal after the three minute mark.

Middle Tennessee took an early 14-7 lead and never looked back taking an 11-point lead at the half, 32-21.

Washington and Yates led Middle Tennessee at the half with nine points while Haddock led the defense with four rebounds. The Blue Raiders shot 41.4 percent in the first half and 80 percent from the free throw line after going 4 for 5.

Middle Tennessee will have a quick turnaround as it travels to Bowling Green, Ky., to face rival Western Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 23. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 2 as the Sun Belt Game of the Week with tip-off set for noon.

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