Blue Raiders earn school-record 15th straight win at Troy
MT has won seven in a row on the roadFebruary 28, 2013 · @MTAthletics
TROY, Ala. - Middle Tennessee reeled off its school-record 15th consecutive win with the 66-56 victory over Troy Thursday night at Trojan Arena. It marked the Blue Raiders' (26-4, 18-1 Sun Belt) seventh straight road win, also a school record.
Marcos Knight led MT with 20 points, his fourth game of 20 or more points this season and 25th double-figure scoring performance. Knight neared a double-double with a game-high eight rebounds. Bruce Massey also nearly had a double-double, scoring nine and dishing out eight assists to match his career-best. JT Sulton added 10 points and is now just 10 away from cracking 1,000 points for his career.
The Blue Raiders finished the contest shooting 52 percent while holding Troy (11-19, 6-13 SBC) to 37 percent from the field.
Troy took a 4-1 lead two minutes into the contest before MT went on a 14-0 run and never looked back, taking the lead for the remainder of the contest. Knight led the charge, scoring seven in a row at one stretch to the Blue Raiders in front. He would finish the half with 13 points.
MT led by as many as 11 in the early-going but the Trojans' trimmed it to one at the 2:32 mark with a 15-6 run. Back-to-back layups from Sulton and Knight gave the Blue Raiders a five-point cushion at the break, 29-24.
The Blue Raiders widened the margin to nine two minutes into the second half on four straight points from Sulton. Up by six with 17:15 to go, MT went on a 10-3 run, capped by a triple from Raymond Cintron to go up, 45-32.
Troy clawed its way back as Ray Chambers cut the deficit to eight with three-point play at the 9:36 mark. He would finish with 17 points to lead the Trojans.
MT went up by 11 at the 5:58 mark when Shawn Jones hit a jumper, and the Trojans would never get within 10 the rest of the way. A Massey breakaway dunk with 4:29 remaining gave MT a 19-point lead, its largest of the game at 63-44.
MT wraps up the regular season on Saturday at WKU. Tipoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. CT and the game will air on the Sun Belt Network.
HEAD COACH KERMIT DAVIS
On the first half...
"I was disappointed how we played in the first half. Give Troy credit, but we just didn't have the edge we normally play with. We didn't have a lot of crispness."
On second-half momentum...
"We had a chance to have some momentum, but we missed four or five straight free throws. But like good teams do, I thought we came back in the second half. WE started the second half very well. JT and Shawn played much better in the second. Jason Jones gave us a good lift in the first half. Bruce Massey came up with some great 50-50 balls, eight assists and no turnovers. Marcos Knight had a great game with 20 points."
On size difference...
"We didn't pound them on the boards. They got to play their size and our bigs didn't take huge advantage. But like a mature team, we weren't at our best and got on the road and won a game while
(the Trojans) played well here. I'm proud of our team."
SENIOR GUARD MARCOS KNIGHT
On grinding out the win...
"Troy has been really good at home and we knew it was going to be a grind. Coach Davis talked to us before the game about how hard they were going to play. Troy is a great team. It just shows how good you have to be on the road to be able to get a win. We grinded it out tonight."
On the slow offensive start...
"We didn't move the ball at the beginning of the night. We started getting into our groove after Coach Davis called the first timeout."
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
More Men's Basketball NewsApr 17, 2013: Davis adds three more to signing class
Mar 29, 2013: Davis named NABC District 24 Coach of the Year
Mar 28, 2013: Knight named to NABC All-District First Team
Mar 19, 2013: Blue Raiders fall to Saint Mary's in NCAAs, 67-54
Mar 19, 2013: Day One at the NCAA First Four
Mar 18, 2013: Blue Raiders and Gaels meet in First Four of NCAA Championship