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Blue Raiders cruise to 90-46 win

Hunt records double-double; Three in double figure scoring

November 12, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Blue Raiders started the 2010-11 season off in fine fashion on Friday night with three players scoring in double figures in a 90-46 win over Tennessee Temple.

Senior James Washington led the way with 21 points after going 7 for 11 from the field and 5 for 8 from behind the arc. The Saint Louis, Mo., native also had four assists, four rebounds and two steals.

Junior Kyle Hunt record the first double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while senior Trevor Ottley added to the arsenal with 12 points. Hunt was 6 for 9 from the field and 5 for 7 at the free throw line.

Middle Tennessee shot 45.1 percent from the field but as usual performed well at the charity stripe making 19 of 28 opportunities. The Blue Raiders crashed the boards well too with 53 rebounds and 19 of those coming on offense. Ottley was second on the team with eight rebounds five of which were on offense.

"I thought we missed a lot of easy shots tonight. We only shot 45 percent, and scored 90, but it was against a team that obviously not as big and physically talented as we are," head coach Kermit Davis said. "I thought we were very aggressive, but I thought early in the game we settled for too many jump shots and didn't use our size around the rim. I like our depth, and I was really comfortable with our 9-10 man rotation. I wanted to play Shawn Jones more, but he fouled carelessly and I couldn't. Shawn was very athletic the second time we put him in, and I thought Kyle Hunt showed some really good flashes."

The Blue Raiders held Tennessee Temple to just 29.2 percent from the field and just six offensive rebounds out of 31 total.

The Crusaders turned the ball over 21 times including nine steals by the Blue Raiders. Middle Tennessee who had 25 turnovers in the exhibition game cut that number by 15 on Friday night with no player committing more than two.

Washington led all scorers at the half with 14 points and also had three assists and two steals. S. Jones also aided the offense with eight points and had two offensive rebounds.

Middle Tennessee took an early lead but the Crusaders caught up and evened the score at 10 with 14:48 remaining on the clock. The Blue Raiders then kicked it into high gear going on a 10-0 run and never looked back. The team lead by as many as 26 before taking a 28-point lead at the half, 46-18.

An alley-oop by Hunt from Oden extended the Blue Raider lead 63-27 with 10:25 on the clock in the second half. Middle Tennessee continued to pour on the points as all 13 dressed players got in on the action.

Middle Tennessee will have three days to prepare for UAB before the game with the Blazers on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Murphy Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.

"We are going to need three days of really good days of practice, and are going to have to be more physical on the defensive end. We played nearly all zone tonight, which we needed to do," Davis said. "The UAB game is going to be a really high-level game. They beat us by one at their place last year. A week later, they beat Butler, and Butler didn't lose again until they played Duke (for the national championship), so we all know what kind of team Mike (Davis) is going to bring in here Wednesday night."

PLAYER QUOTES
Senior James Washington

For the first game, I thought we showed a lot of bright sides. The offensive rebounding was good, we got a lot of stops, we were able to push the ball in transition, and just have to carry all of this over to practice on Sunday, and get ready to play UAB on Wednesday.

It wasn't the game plan for me to shoot that much. The plan is for me to be the point guard and come out and lead the team. It just so happened that I was open and my teammates were finding me.

Junior Kyle Hunt
My first Division I game was a real experience, it was great. I just tried to contribute to the team. Coach Davis told me to get in there and rebound, because that gets my game going, and I tried to do that today. We played hard, and we'll get back in the gym and take three days to get ready for UAB on Wednesday.

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