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UALR edges Blue Raiders in final minutes

Washington leads all scorers with 17 points

February 19, 2011 · MT Athletic Communications
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Middle Tennessee tied the game at 57 with 1:47 to play but UALR used a 5-1 run to propel it to a 62-58 win on Saturday afternoon at the Jack Stephens Center.

The Blue Raiders (14-14, 9-6) missed three layups and a free throw in the final stretch as UALR used free throws to its advantage.

"Give Little Rock all the credit. It was a typical Middle Tennessee vs. Little Rock game, very physical and great effort by both teams. I just thought they made some very opportune shots and the end and we missed some shots. They did a great job covering us the last possession when we were trying to go for the tie," head coach Kermit Davis said. "It's kind of a typical road trip. We had great opportunities to win both games and lost two tough league games on the road."

Middle Tennessee posted a 38.6 shooting percentage with three players scoring in double figures. Senior James Washington led the group with 17 points, which included four treys and five free throws. Sophomore JT Sulton added 15 points while r-sophomore Jason Jones added 14, including seven free throws.

Middle Tennessee held UALR (15-13, 7-6) to 38.5 percent shooting from the field and contained the league's best three-point shooting team to just 31.8 percent from behind the arc. Solomon Bozeman, the team's leading three-point shooter, made just one in the game ending play with a team high 17 points.

Rebounding also hindered the Blue Raiders who had 33 total but just seven on the offensive end of the ball. Senior Trevor Ottley led Middle Tennessee with eight rebounds while Sulton added six of his own.

UALR grabbed 38 total rebounds but used 12 offensive rebounds to its advantage scoring 14 second chance points.

The two teams traded points to begin the game with neither taking much of a lead. Then Washington hit a trey making it 20-18 followed a minute later by a Hammonds' free throw making 21-18 in favor of the Blue Raiders with six minutes to play.

UALR then outscored Middle Tennessee 10-0 in the final four minutes of play to take a seven-point, 30-23, lead at the break.

The Blue Raiders shot 31.6 percent in the first half and made just two of eight three-point attempts. Washington and J. Jones each had eight points in the first half with Washington making five of six free throw attempts. UALR posted a 37.5 shooting percentage led by Bozeman with nine points.

Middle Tennessee had 13 rebounds, none of which came on the offensive side of the ball. UALR ended the half with 21 rebounds, including five on offense, led by Thornton with six.

The Blue Raiders came out strong in the second half going on a 20-6 run to take a 43-36 lead with 12:49 remaining in the game. UALR then hit two quick treys cutting the lead to one, 43-42, with 11:58 on the clock. The two then traded points with UALR taking a 48-46 lead, 7:31.

A trey by Washington knotted the score at 55 but UALR used to free throws by Bozeman gave it the lead again by two. J. Jones stepped to the line and made both ends of a 1-and-1 to tie it back up at 57 with 2:10 to play. Then UALR's Mouzy hit a three to give his team the lead again with 1:37 on the clock.

Middle Tennessee will be back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 22 when it faces Houston Baptist in its final non-conference matchup of the season. Tipoff is set for 7:35 p.m. at Sharp Gymnasium in Houston, Texas. Chip Walters will have the call on the Blue Raider Network.

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.

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.

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.

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