Raiders knock off Tennessee Tech in overtime
Kortni Jones notches 24 points in victoryNovember 20, 2012 · @MTAthletics
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee outlasted a feisty Tennessee Tech team and used a 9-3 run in overtime to pick up a 65-59 win over the Golden Eagles on Tuesday evening.
The Raiders (3-1) trailed by six in the second half before surging back. With 1:44 left in regulation, Kortni Jones hit two free throws to cut the Golden Eagles lead to two. A stout defensive play by the Blue Raiders forced TTU (2-2) to throw the ball away. On the next offensive possession Ebony Rowe threw up a basket underneath to tie the game at 56-56. A last second heave by MT fell short as the game continued to an extra period.
From there, the Blue Raiders used Rowe to even up the game at 58-58. Jones proceeded to add two consecutive layups to give MT a 62-59 lead with 44 seconds left. From there, MT added three free throws to win the game.
The Raiders knocked down 44 percent (26-of-59) from the field, including four from three-point range. MT dished out 13 assists and grabbed nine steals in the win, despite being out-rebounded 39-35.
Tuesday marked the first back-to-back game in overtime for the Blue Raiders since playing Southeastern Missouri and Eastern Illinois in Jan. 1997.
Jones, a native of Oak Ridge, narrowly missed a career-high with 24 points. The senior guard shot 9-of-18 from the field, while grabbing five rebounds and collecting two steals. The four assists moved Jones into Middle Tennessee's top 10 list for assists.
Rowe completed the game with 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds. The junior finished with two assists and a steal.
Icelyn Elie had a solid night, connecting on 5-of-8 for 12 points. She collected four rebounds to move into 25th all-time in rebounds, passing Amber Holt.
Sophomore guard Shanice Cason corralled a personal best 10 rebounds, including nine off the defensive glass. Cason scored seven points, snatched five steals, dished out three assists and managed a block to complete her stat line.
The game seesawed back and forth as the Blue Raiders initially took a four point advantage in the span of 18 seconds to take a 12-8 lead.
The Blue Raiders stretched the advantage to 19-12, reaching their largest lead in the first half. Mariah Dean scored back-to-back baskets to put the Golden Eagles within one at the 6:31 mark.
Jones hit a trey followed by two free throws and a layup by Elie to put the Raiders up 31-24 with 2:04 left in the half.
However, Tennessee Tech closed on a 5-2 run to make it a 33-29 contest at the break.
Middle Tennessee shot 52 percent in the first half, hitting 13-of-25 from the field. The Golden Eagles were 46 percent from the field (11-of-24). TTU controlled the boards 18-to-8 in the first half. Jones had 12 points and two steals in the first half.
The second half continued with Tennessee Tech hanging on in the first seven minutes. The Golden Eagles tied the game on two occasions and used a Ty'Keah Williams basket at 13:22 to take a 40-39 lead.
TTU extended its lead to 45-39 before Middle Tennessee started to chip away. Elie's basket underneath cut the Blue Raiders' deficit to a basket with seven minutes to go.
Jones used a pair of steals and two consecutive baskets to tie the game at 51-51 with 3:46 left. Tennessee Tech eventually took a 56-52 lead with under two minutes remaining. However, the Raiders battled back to tie the game and send it to overtime. MT outscored TTU 9-3 in overtime to secure their eighth straight win over Tennessee Tech.
Middle Tennessee opens Sun Belt action on Saturday, Nov. 24 at Louisiana. Tipoff is set for Noon at Earl K. Long Gym in Lafayette.
Icelyn Elie moved to 25th all-time in school history with four rebounds, passing Amber Holt ... Kortni Jones entered into the top 10 in all-time assists ... Rick Insell improved to 5-3 in overtime ... The Blue Raiders have now won eight straight against TTU, the longest in the historic series ... TTU now only holds a slight 38-37 edge in the all-time series.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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