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Blue Raiders run away in overtime for 73-64 win over SIUE

J. Jones scores 21

December 4, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Middle Tennessee struggled in the first half but turned things around in the second to defeat SIU-Edwardsville 73-64 in overtime on Saturday night.

Middle Tennessee (4-4) outscored the Cougars (1-8) 14-5 in overtime to seal the win making 10 of 15 free throw opportunities. It was the first overtime game for the Blue Raiders since Dec. 12, 2008 when they defeated North Texas 89-80 on the road.

After having just three rebounds between them in the first half, sophomore JT Sulton and junior Trevor Charles crashed the boards in the second half recording 17 in the second half.

Sulton, who had just two points and rebounds at the half, posted the first double-double of his career after scoring 13 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. It was the second double-double of the season for Middle Tennessee as junior Kyle Hunt had one to open the season.

“I thought SIUE outplayed and out toughed us in a lot of areas. I was proud of our guys, we got into overtime and our 1-3-1 trap was aggressive and turned things around for us. I have to give SIUE a lot of credit. They played extremely hard and we couldn’t do anything against the big guy down low,” head coach Kermit Davis said. “James is a St. Louis kid and had a lot of family here. He missed a lot of shots but came through down the stretch and made some key free throws for us.”

R-sophomore Jason Jones posted the first 20-point game of his career with 21 after going 8 for 10 from the field and 5 for 10 at the charity stripe.

“Jason has a chance to be a good player. He can drive it and I thought he played really well on the defensive end. He really helped us tonight.”

Senior James Washington also added to the scoring with 15 points of his own as the Blue Raiders ended the game shooting 41.4 percent from the field. Middle Tennessee ended the game with 45 rebounds 17 of which came on the offensive side of the ball.

SIUE had three players in double figures led by Nikola Bundalo, who had 17 after going 7 for 11 from the field. The Cougars shot 43.1 percent from the field and had 31 rebounds.

SIUE outscored Middle Tennessee 15-8 in the first nine minutes of play. The Blue Raiders had a four minute scoring drought during which SIUE scored

SIUE began play by taking a 19-10 lead in the first 12 minutes of play which included a four-minute scoring drought by the Blue Raiders. Middle Tennessee kept the Cougars from pulling way ahead during the drought allowing just four points.

A basket by Jason Jones cut the lead to three and then another by Emanuel made it a one-point game, 21-20 with 5:56 to play in the first. Middle Tennessee tied the game at 22 after a 12-5 run but the Cougars took the lead again after a trey by Messer, 25-22, 3:51.

Three Blue Raiders got into early foul trouble as the team had 13 at the half allowing SIUE to shoot 10 free throws. Midway through the half the Cougars caught up to Middle Tennessee and the Blue Raiders shot more free throws making 7 of 15 opportunities.

Jason Jones led all scorers at the break with eight as the team shot just 34.6 percent from the field. SIUE posted a 41.7 shooting percentage but spread its scoring out as no one player had more than six points.

Ottley led the defense at the break with four rebounds as the team had 17 but was outrebounded by SIUE who had 20.

The Blue Raiders took their first lead of the game after a basket by J. Jones. J. Jones then single-handedly outscored SIUE 8-3 to give the Blue Raiders a 39-35 lead. Middle Tennessee extended the lead 19-10 to keep a seven-point lead, 50-43, with right at eight minutes to play.

SIUE cut the lead to one after a 6-0 run and took a timeout to stop the clock, 50-49, 4:20. Gallman made a layup to break a three-minute scoring drought and take the Blue Raider lead to three, 52-49.

The Blue Raiders will wrap-up a three-game road swing on Tuesday, Dec. 7 against Belmont. The game is set to tipoff at 7:15 p.m. in Nashville, Tenn. Chip Walters will have the call on the Blue Raider Network.

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