Raiders set to Blackout Belmont Tuesday night

MT welcomes nearby rival Belmont to the Glass House

December 2, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's basketball team (6-1) is set to battle nearby rival Belmont (7-2) at 7 p.m. for a Blackout inside the Murphy Center.


Date: Tuesday, Dec. 3
Tip-Off: 7 p.m. CT
Teams: Belmont at Middle Tennessee
Location: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Arena: Murphy Center (11,520)
Tickets: Click here or call 1-888-YES-MTSU
Television: MyTV 30
Play-by-Play: Chip Walters
Color Analyst: Kyle Turnham
Radio: WGNS (FM 100.5, FM 101.9, AM 1450) / WMOT (89.5 FM) / The Game (102.5 FM, 97.5 FM)
Talent: same
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Men's Basketball vs. Belmont

• Middle Tennessee hosts nearby Belmont for a Blackout Tuesday evening. The contest will be MT's fourth game against a 2013 NCAA Tournament team. MT holds a 20-13 advantage in the all-times series against the Bruins, including a 12-4 record at home.

• The Blue Raiders improved to 6-1 on the year and pushed its nation-leading regular season home winning streak to 33 games with a 65-55 come-from-behind victory over South Alabama Nov. 30. Neiko Hunter posted his third-straight double-figure contest, recording a team-high 14 points, while Kerry Hammonds II also added 14 points. Tweety Knight had 12 points, while Jacquez Rozier tallied 10, marking the first time in Rozier's career he has turned in back-to-back double-digit scoring performances.

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• After falling on the road at Florida, MT returned to its winning ways, earning an 80-62 win on the road at Murray State Nov. 26, marking the team's largest margin of victory so far this season. Five Blue Raiders scored double-figures as Eric Wortham Jr., and Rozier posted career-best performances. Wortham and Hunter posted 17 points each, while Shawn Jones added 12 points and Knight had 11. Rozier recorded his first career double-double with career-bests of 12 points and 10 rebounds.

• The Blue Raiders were handed their first loss of the season Nov. 21, dropping a 79-59 decision at No. 16/14 Florida and snapping MT's nation-leading road winning streak at eight games. Hunter led the Raiders with 14 points and five rebounds, while Jaqawn Raymond had 13 points and Wortham, posted a career-high 11 points.

• Middle Tennessee collected a 76-59 win against UALR Nov. 18 as Jones recorded his second-straight double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Hammonds recorded 20 points, Reggie Upshaw Jr., had 13 and Knight added 11.

• MT's contest against Akron Nov. 16 was the second for the team this season against a 2013 NCAA Tournament team. Jones recorded his first double-dip of the season against the Zips, tallying a career-high 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Hammonds and Raymond put up 17 points each, while Knight added 11.

• MT claimed a 77-70 win over North Florida Nov. 13 inside the Murphy Center as four Raiders scored in double-figures. Raymond and Marcus Tarrance led the way with 14 points each, while Jones had 12 points and Upshaw, notched the first double-double of the season for MT with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

• The Blue Raiders tipped-off regular season play, Nov. 10, picking up a 78-75 victory over 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Southern University. Hunter led MT with a career-best 20 points and six rebounds, going 6-for-11 from the floor and 3-for-4 from behind the arc. For his efforts, the senior was named Player of the Week by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association Nov. 12.

• The Blue Raiders opened the 2013-14 campaign with a four-game homestand, welcoming Southern, North Florida, Akron and UALR to the Murphy Center. MT hit the road for the first time Nov. 21, traveling to the Sunshine State to take on No. 16/14 Florida. The first five games proved to be challenging for the Blue Raiders as they faced three NCAA Tournament teams in their first five games of the 2013-14 season in Southern, Akron and Florida.

• MT was one of three teams in the country last season to finish 16-0 or better at home. The Blue Raiders are currently enjoying the longest active regular season home winning streak in the nation at 33 games. MT also is tied for second with Duke with 21-straight home victories.

• The Blue Raiders have won conference titles three out of the last four seasons in the Sun Belt Conference and look for similar success moving to Conference USA. MT reached the NIT quarterfinals in 2011-12 and followed that with an NCAA First Four appearance in 2012-13. MT reached the Big Dance last year for the first time since 1989 and the seventh time in program history.


This will be the 34th meeting between Middle Tennessee and South Alabama. MT leads the all-time series 20-13 including a 12-4 mark at home. In the last meeting between the two programs, Belmont picked up a 64-49 victory Dec. 13, 2012 in Nashville, Tenn.

The Blue Raiders and Bruins have recorded three overtime games in series history, marking the fifth most in the MT record books for overtime games against the same opponent, including a pair of double overtime contests. The nine-game winning streak for MT against Belmont is tied for seventh as the longest win-streak against a team in program history. Throughout the series, MT has only registered two double-doubles against the Bruins. George Sorrell tallied 15 points and 17 rebounds Dec. 9, 1974, while Marcos Knight recorded 17 points and 11 rebounds Nov. 20, 2011.


Belmont is 7-2 on the season, boasting a six-game winning streak sandwiched between losses to Richmond Nov. 11 and RV/No. 24 VCU Dec. 1. The Bruins most notable edged No. 12/11 North Carolina 83-80 as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off. In the win over the Tar Heels, J.J. Mann posted a game-high 28 points, while Drew Windler added 16.

The Bruins went on to win the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament after beating Hofstra 85-75 Nov. 24 as Craig Bradshaw put up 24 points and Mann added 22.

In the team's last out, Belmont dropped an 81-68 decision at home to VCU. The Bruins were only down three-points at halftime, but Shaka Smart's havoc-style defense proved to be too much in the second half. The Rams forced a total of 21 turnovers and ended Belmont's nation-leading 23-game home winning streak. Despite the loss, Belmont still had five players score double-figures as Mann and Blake Jenkins led the way with 14 points each. Windler added 13 points, while Caleb Chowbay had 12 and Evan Bradds had 10.

Mann leads Belmont this season, averaging 17.7 points per game to go along with a team-high 5.3 boards a contest. Windler is second on the team in scoring, putting up 13.8 points a game and pulling down 4.6 rebounds an outing. Two other Bruins are averaging double-figures as Bradshaw tallies 11.4 points a contest and Reece Chamberlain has totaled 10.9 points per game. Chamberlain has been sidelined the last two games due to injury.

Blue Raider fans are encouraged to arrive early and pick up the official Blackout t-shirt. For tickets call 1-888-YES-MTSU.

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