Blue Raiders Top Ragin' Cajuns 69-64January 12, 2002 · MT Media Relations
FIRST WIN IN -02: Tonight's 69-64 win over Louisiana-Lafayette marked the first of 2002 for Middle Tennessee. The victory now evens the series between the Ragin' Cajuns and Blue Raiders at 2-2.
GUNN, NOSSE HOT IN LEAGUE PLAY: Sophomore Tommy Gunn and senior Lee Nosse have been playing their best basketball of the season in league play. Gunn, who missed the South Alabama game, is averaging 16.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in four SBC contests. Nosse has been the hottest of all with averages of 17.2 points and 10.0 rebounds.
HOT FROM THE ARC: The difference in tonight's game was Middle Tennessee's ability to knockdown three-pointers. The Blue Raiders connected on a season high 53.3 percent of their three-pointers (8-15), which was their highest percentage since hitting 54.5 percent against Tennessee State during the 2000-01 season - a span of 36 games.
THIS -N' THAT: After a five-game drought, William Pippen recorded his second straight double figure scoring contest with 13 points against ULL - The win over ULL was the second of the season in SBC play, which is the most league wins ever for the Blue Raiders (1-15 in 2000-01) - Steven Jackson made his second straight start - The Blue Raiders improved to 6-1 at home this year - Dating back to the New Mexico State game, Lee Nosse hit 13 straight free throws before finally missing one against ULL.
Head Coach Randy Wiel "Not having Lee [Nosse] last year really hurt us and some people said that was just an excuse. This year Lee is leading us, and the league, in almost every category. If you look at rebounding he is in the top three, field goal percentage he is number two, and lead the league in free throws. He is also one of the best three point shooting big men in the league. We have really missed him and with the way he is playing, he is proving me right. He is playing the way I knew could play. He has playing against three of the best centers in the league and he has handled his own."
"I thought that Eric (Parham) ran the ball pretty good. As soon as Eric or Dee (Wilkes) starting getting to jittery, the other would come in and play."
"We played four quarters of fantastic basketball. We only played two quarters against New Mexico State. We have now played against the top two teams from the West, and now the best team from the East is coming here on Wednesday. So now we just need to hold our own, especially on our own turf."
Guard Tommy Gunn
"I explained to the referees that the guy was grabbing me. I just lost my cool when he grabbed me that last time. The refs caught me instead of him and that is just the way the game goes. As they told me, it seemed like everybody played with a lot of intensity after that. Everybody came up, stepped up, and played a good game. I'm just glad we got the win."
Forward William Pippen
"In the first five minutes of the second half, we just wanted to come out with the same intensity we had in the first half."
"After Tommy got frustrated, I knew one of us had to step up. So we just looked to Nosse in the post. Our defense has always been tough, and it showed at the end of the game."
Center Lee Nosse
"This was a big conference win for us. In the Sun Belt, every team is going to come at you with their all, and every possession counts."
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