Blue Raiders head to Houston for final road game

Tipoff set for 7:35 p.m. Tuesday night

February 21, 2011 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee will travel to Houston, Texas Monday afternoon for its final nonconference matchup of the season.

The Blue Raiders (14-14, 9-6) will face Houston Baptist at 7:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at Frank and Lucille Sharp Gymnasium. Middle Tennessee leads the all-time series 3-0, including one win at Sharp Gymnasium.

Houston Baptist has lost three straight games after defeating Chicago State 97-94 in overtime. The Huskies have two players averaging double figure scoring led by Andrew Gonzalez with 22.7 points per game. The team is led defensively by Terry Bemry who is averaging 6.8 rebounds per game.

Middle Tennessee struggled last week on the road and is looking for a win before returning home to Murphy Center for its final Sun Belt Conference game against rival Western Kentucky. Middle Tennessee dropped two road games at Troy and UALR after struggling to make long-range shots as well as shots around the rim. The Blue Raiders made just seven of 37 three-point attempts for an 18.9 percent. Middle Tennessee shot 35.8 percent from the field connecting on 39 of 109 attempts.

Middle Tennessee performed well defensively grabbing 75 rebounds including 26 on the offensive side of the ball. Senior Trevor Ottley pulled down a team high 20 rebounds on the week. Ottley also had four blocks and six steals to further aid the defense.

Jason Jones guided the Blue Raider offense and defense in two tough conference games on the road. Jones averaged 17.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game on the week. Jones scored 21 points at Troy going 6 for 13 from the field. Jones also made key free throws down the stretch and made nine total in the game against Troy. Jones also led the team in rebounds with eight. At UALR, Jones was 3 for 8 from the field and made 7 of 9 free throw opportunities scoring 14 points. He made two free throws with late in the game to put the team within one and then tie it.

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.

NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTS Sophomore Rebounds... Sophomore JT Sulton hit a road block midway through the season where he did not post double figure scoring in all but one game during an 11 game stretch. However, the Yazoo City, Miss., native has found his footing at the end of the season when his team needs it the most. In the last five games, Sulton is averaging 11 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game. He is shooting 47.6 percent from the field and has missed just three of 18 free throw opportunities.

Stifling Offenses... In 12 Sun Belt Conference games, the Blue Raiders have held opponents below their normal scoring averages this season. In all but three of those games, Middle Tennessee has held their opponent to seven or more points below their average. Against Troy, the Blue Raiders held the Trojans 23.2 points below their normal total.

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