Blue Raiders fall 69-65 at Troy

J. Jones scores 21; Ottley records double-double

February 17, 2011 · MT Athletic Communications
TROY, Ala. - Middle Tennessee rebounded from a poor first half to force overtime but the offense stalled during the extra period as Troy took a 69-65 win at Sartain Hall.

The Blue Raiders (14-13, 9-5) shot 33.8 percent from the field in the game and did not make a field goal in overtime. Middle Tennessee also struggled from behind the arc making just one on the night.

"I thought we had much better energy in the second half and defended better. I don't know that I have ever been part of a game where we missed so many layups and shots around the rim. 1 for 17 from the three, I thought in the first half we took some bad threes and then in the second Gallman was just wide open," head coach Kermit Davis said. "James Washington has been good and it's just too bad that he didn't compete and play like we needed him to in a big game like this tonight. We have to redirect our focus and prepare for a very physical UALR team on Saturday."

Four Blue Raiders scored in double figures led by r-sophomore Jason Jones who scored 21 points. J. Jones also made key free throws down the stretch and made nine total in the game.

Senior Trevor Ottley recorded the second double-double of his career and the fifth by a Blue Raider this season. The Hays, Kan., native ended the game with 12 rebounds and 16 points.

Sophomores JT Sulton and James Gallman rounded out the double figure scorers with 12 and 11 points respectively.

Troy (8-17, 6-7) shot 42.6 percent on the night and connected on seven three-pointers. Four players scored in double figures led by Will Weathers with a team high 15. Weathers also had eight rebounds and three steal s to aid the defense.

Middle Tennessee ended the game with 42 rebounds, five blocks and 14 steals on the night in addition to forcing a number of Troy's 24 turnovers. R-junior Jimmy Oden and Gallman did a good job of guarding Weathers and forced a number of his 11 turnovers.

Troy took an early nine-point lead, 20-11, after a three-point play by Weathers, with 12:11 on the clock. The Blue Raiders closed the gap, 23-17, after outscoring Troy 6-3.

The two teams continued to trade points but then the Blue Raiders went without a field goal for a little over four minutes near the end of the half. Troy took a ten-point lead, 37-27 into the break.

Middle Tennessee shot just 37 percent from the field with J. Jones leading the team with nine points. Troy posted a 52 shooting percentage from the field with no player posting double figure scoring.

The Blue Raiders came out strong in the second half cutting the lead to three, 39-36, after scoring nine unanswered points. Middle Tennessee continued to fight and a dunk by Ottley made it a one-point game with 10 minutes to play.

The two teams continued to trade points with Troy staying on top but then a three-point play by J. Jones knotted the score at 61 with 1:21 to play. Troy took the lead with 16.2 seconds and then a huge bucket by Sulton tied the game at 63 with 2.6 seconds left to force overtime.

Middle Tennessee will travel to Little Rock, Ark., for a weekend matchup with the Trojans on Sat., Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. The game with UALR has been designated the Sun Belt Game of the Week and will air locally on CSS.

The Sun Belt Championships will be held in Hot Springs, Ark., March 4-8. Tickets for all sessions are $83 and on sale through the Blue Raider Ticket Office by contacting 1-888-YES-MTSU or by visiting goblueraiders.com.

Blue Raider fans are invited to attend Kermit Davis Live! Wednesday night at Coach's Grill in Murfreesboro. Chip Walters, the voice of the Blue Raiders, hosts the show which airs from 7-8 p .m. on WGNS (100.5. FM, 101 .9 FM, 1450 AM), WMOT (89 .5) and WNSR (560 AM). Fans have the opportunity to ask questions by calling into the show at 1-866-RAIDERS, emailing radio@goblueraiders.com or submitting a question if they are in attendance.

This week's Kermit Davis Live! has been moved to Wednesday, Feb. 23 due to the Blue Raiders' travel plans to Houston, Texas to play Houston Baptist.

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