Record-setting performance lifts Blue Raiders to consolation win at Minardi Classic

December 21, 2005 · MT Media Relations
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Led by the talented guard tandem of Fats Cuyler and Adam Vogelsberg, and a breakout game from redshirt freshman Brian Lake, Middle Tennessee put forth a school record-setting performance to dispose of Florida Atlantic, 90-76, in the consolation game of the Billy Minardi Classic Wednesday.

Middle Tennessee (6-3) established a new school record for 3-point field goal percentage (.650) on the strength of 13-of-20 shooting from beyond the arc, besting the previous record of 64.7 percent against Tennessee Martin and Arkansas State. The 13 treys made tied for fifth most in program history.

The hot-shooting touch was keyed by career performances from Cuyler, Vogelsberg and Lake. Cuyler tied his career high for points (23), field goals made (9), 3-point field goals made (5) and assists (8), while Vogelsberg established career highs for points (19) and 3-point field goals (5), while tying his career high with four assists. The dangerous tandem of Cuyler and Vogelsberg combined to shoot 10-of-15 from 3-point range.

"I was real pleased with how the team responded today after such a tough loss against Louisville last night," Vogelsberg said. "We had guys hurt, some were sick, but we were determined to come out and play and get out of this tournament with a win today. Everyone contributed and we leave here with a good feeling about ourselves."

Vogelsberg also was 4-of-4 from the free-throw line and has hit 17 straight overall. It's the second time this season the junior guard has had consecutive free throw streaks of 15 or longer.

While Cuyler and Vogelsberg continued to scorch the nets, Lake enjoyed a coming out party of sorts. The former Mr. Basketball in Tennessee registered career highs for points (17), field goals made (9) and 3-point field goals, knocking down 3-of-4 from long range after starting his Blue Raider career 0-of-6 from beyond the arc. Tim Blue also tied his career high with 12 points as four players tallied double figures, and Kyle Young added nine. Eight of the nine Blue Raiders who played scored.

"It was an outstanding offensive performance by our basketball team," Middle Tennessee coach Kermit Davis said. "It was a very good win for us with Bud Howard (ankle) not playing due to an injury. Adam Vogelsberg was sick in the locker room before the game and at halftime with flu-like symptoms, and then the team having to come back on short rest; however, I really thought Florida Atlantic brought it and played, especially after not getting out of the gym until after 1 a.m.

"We continued to share the ball, make the extra pass and when you do that you are going to get some high-percentage shots and we were able to knock them down. To shoot 65 percent from 3-point range, though, is really impressive. That was quite a performance offensively."

Not only did the Blue Raiders knock down 65 percent of their 3-pointers, but also nailed 65.3 percent (32-of-49) of their total field goals to secure victory against Florida Atlantic (3-4), which becomes a Sun Belt member next season. Middle Tennessee had 21 assists on their 32 field goals. In addition to Cuyler's eight helpers, Marcus Morrison tied his career high for assists with five.

Middle Tennessee, which shot 64 percent in the first half, led 43-34 at the break and was in control throughout. Florida Atlantic led once, 19-18 with 11:32 remaining, while the Blue Raiders led by as many as 18 and maintained a double-digit lead for much of the first half and throughout the second.

The Blue Raider bench continued to be a bright spot this season, delivering 21 points after contributing 20 points in the game against Louisville.

Middle Tennessee will return to action when it plays host to Austin Peay, Dec. 28, at 7 p.m.

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