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Blue Raiders complete season-sweep of Austin Peay with 90-70 win

MT off to best start since 1986-87

November 26, 2011 · Athletic Communications
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Five Blue Raiders scored in double figures, led by Marcos Knight’s 16 points, as the Middle Tennessee men’s basketball team earned a 90-70 win over the Austin Peay Governors on Saturday night at the Dunn Center. MT is now 6-1 on the year, marking the program’s best start since the 1986-87 season.

Knight finished the game 7-of-9 from the field and also chipped in six rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block. Senior forward LaRon Dendy and sophomore forward Shawn Jones each added 13 points and combined for three blocks. Sophomore guard Kerry Hammonds sank four 3-pointers for 12 points, while junior guard Jason Jones tallied his second-straight 10-point performance.

The Blue Raiders shot 64.7 percent in the contest, including 50 percent from beyond the arc, and held the Governors (0-7) to 36.2 percent from the field. MT also dominated on the boards, holding a 40-26 advantage.

Dendy knocked down the first basket of the game and the Blue Raiders never trailed in the contest, quickly jumping out to a five-point lead at the 15:33 mark. MT stretched the lead to double figures when Knight knocked down a triple at the 8:57 mark of the first half to make it 23-13.

The Governors worked the deficit back to five on a TyShwan Edmondson layup with 2:37 to go in the frame. Edmondson led Austin Peay with 14 points in the contest.

MT responded with a layup from Jason Jones and 3-pointer from Hammonds to put it back at 10. Edmondson’s last-second layup made it an eight-point deficit at the break, with the Blue Raiders up, 38-30.

Junior guard Bruce Massey’s jumper sparked a 15-2 run to open the second half for MT. The Blue Raiders held the Governors to one field goal over a four-minute span as they built up a 53-32 lead.

Hammonds drained another trey at the 13:45 mark to make it 59-36 and give the Blue Raiders a 23-point lead, their largest of the game.

An 11-0 run pulled the Governors back within 12 with 10:58 to play, as Austin Peay knocked down six free throws during the stretch.

MT quickly put an end to the run with three consecutive dunks, one from Dendy and a pair from Shawn Jones, to make it a 19-point game with 8:03 remaining.

The Governors cut it back to 12 again with 6:38 to play, but it was as close as they would get the rest of the way before the Blue Raiders earned the 20-point victory.

MT continues the two-game road stint at Tennessee State on Thursday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. in Nashville, Tenn.

Postgame Quotes
Head coach Kermit Davis
On what he said at halftime
LaRon Dendy got us off to such a good start, but we made some careless turnovers. I told them we shared the ball great, but we have to get shots at the rim.”

On the physicality of the game
“We were very pleased (with our intensity). We hedged ball screens and Austin Peay is very good coming off ball screens. I just thought we had a good physicalness to our team. We pushed them out of their comfort zone. And again, which I think has already happened so many times in the second half, it was our depth. It just comes to fruition in the second half.”

On the depth of the team
“I thought Shawn Jones was very good tonight off the bench. I thought JT was good and Jimmy Oden was good. We had to have him. Jimmy came in the game, settled us down, got us in the offense and was effective against the full-court press.”

Junior guard Marcos Knight
On preparation for Austin Peay
“We practiced hard this week and did a good job scouting Austin Peay. It helped a lot (that we played them before). We knew they do a lot of what we do, so we know what to expect.”

On defensive intensity
“Coach always talks about defensive rebounding and winning 50-50 balls. That’s a big key to our winning.”

On his performance
“(Coach) told me I got player of the week last week, so he told me I had to back it up. I listened to him because he’s a great coach and he has helped my game out a lot.”

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