Late Blue Raider rally falls short in 76-71 loss to UAB

Three score in double figures; Team turning attention towards weekend tournament

November 17, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A furious comeback rally in which Middle Tennessee outscored UAB 14-9 in the final two-and-a-half minutes fell short as the Blue Raiders fell 76-71 Wednesday night in Murphy Center.

R-Sophomore Jason Jones led the team in the rally with six points and ended the game with 14 after having just six at the half. Jones went 6 for 8 from the free throw line and aided the defense with five rebounds and three steals.

Senior James Washington and junior Kyle Hunt each had 12 points in the game with the Blazers with Washington making all seven of his free throw attempts. Hunt was just one rebound shy of recording his second double-double of the season and had six offensive rebounds.

Blue Raiders vs. UAB
As a team, the Blue Raiders shot 36.7 percent from the field and had 47 rebounds which were 17 more than their opponent. UAB's Cameron Moore scored 15 points after going 6 for 11 from the charity stripe Moore also had 10 rebounds. The Blazers' Jamarr Sanders added 19 points including four three-pointers in the appearance.

"This was a tough loss, a disappointing loss at home. I thought that (Aaron) Johnson, their guard, only going 1-6, dominated the game, made all the right decisions. It didn't look like our team for about 5 to 6 minutes to end the first half. We couldn't get five guys to compete defensively and gave up wide open three's," head coach Kermit Davis said. "Our returning guys have to play better, the guys who played here last year. Our guys, at times, played hard. I take sole responsibility for it. UAB's returning guys played well, but I thought we just didn't get enough out of our nucleus. I thought some of our new guys came in and tried to compete, Kyle Hunt and Shawn Jones for example. We had some good looks, but didn't shoot the ball very well on the perimeter."

View more photos

Sophomore JT Sulton did not score many points but was a tremendous asset to the defense with his nine rebounds and two steals.

UAB used a 19-10 run to end the first half and take a 35-26 lead. Hunt had a jumper with three minutes to go making it a two-point game and the two teams battled until the break. Hunt and Washington led all scorers in the first half with six points while Jason Jones aided the defense with five rebounds. For UAB, Fields went 4 for 8 from behind the arc to post a team high 12 points.

UAB shot 40 percent from the field in the first half while Middle Tennessee shot 33.3 percent. Defensively, the Blue Raiders came out on top with 16 rebounds compared to UAB's 16.

The Blazers used a 15-8 run to begin 2nd half and take 34-50 lead. UAB continued to perform well and took a 16-point lead, 64-38, after back-to-back dunks with 9:15 remaining.

A layup by Gallman started a 9-4 run by the Blue Raiders to cut the lead to eight, 63-53, with fewer than four minutes to play. Then a three-pointer by Washington made it six, 62-56, with 3:42 remaining.

Middle Tennessee will play three games in four days as it travels to Auburn, Ala., to compete in the Global Sports Hoops Showcase. The Blue Raiders will begin play with Campbell at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. Then Saturday, Nov. 20 the team will play Samford and will conclude the tournament on Sunday, Nov. 21 vs. host Auburn. The game with Auburn is set for 5 p.m. and will air locally in Murfreesboro on CSS.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.