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Blue Raiders square off with Crusaders Tuesday

MT set to host in-state foe Tennessee Temple

December 16, 2013 ·

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's basketball team (7-3) returns to the friendly confines of the Murphy Center Tuesday, hosting Tennessee Temple for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

GAME INFORMATION

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 17
Tip-Off: 7 p.m. CT
Teams: Tennessee Temple at Middle Tennessee
Location: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Arena: Murphy Center (11,520)
Television: Web Stream
Radio: WGNS (FM 100.5, FM 101.9, AM 1450) / WMOT (89.5 FM) / The Game 2 (94.9 FM)
Play-by-Play: Chip Walters
Color Analyst: Kyle Turnham
Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats

BLUE RAIDER BULLETS

• Middle Tennessee looks to return to its winning ways Tuesday, hosting Tennessee Temple. The Crusaders are a member of the Mid-East Conference in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The Blue Raiders are 2-0 in the all-time series against Tennessee Temple.

• MT took on its fifth 2013 NCAA Tournament team of the season Dec. 14, dropping a 72-63 decision on the road at reigning SEC Tournament Champion Ole Miss. Shawn Jones led MT, recording his fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Neiko Hunter also tallied 18 points, marking his sixth-straight double-digit scoring effort.

• Jones' 15 rebounds against the Rebels marked the first time an MT player collected 15 boards in a game since Lee Nosse grabbed 15 in a 94-88 loss to New Mexico Jan. 10, 2002.

• Senior point guard Tweety Knight handed out a career-best 10 assists at Ole Miss Dec. 14, marking the first time a Blue Raider has recorded 10 assists since James Washington dished out 11 against Cumberland Nov. 27, 2009.

PHOTOS
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• The Blue Raiders picked up a 115-65 victory over Fisk Dec. 9, marking MT's largest margin of victory this season. The contest was also the first time this season seven Blue Raiders have scored double-figures. MT took a 56-34 lead into the locker room at the half. The last time the Blue Raiders scored 50 points in the first half was Jan. 8, 2011 against UL-Lafayette.

• The high-scoring affair was also the first time Middle Tennessee scored 100 points in a game since defeating Houston Baptist 109-79 Feb. 13, 2010, marking the largest scoring output for MT under head coach Kermit Davis. This was the second time MT has scored 100 points during Davis' tenure.

• MT hosted Belmont for a Blackout Dec. 3 as the Raiders' were handed their first home loss in 21-straight contests. The game was MT's fourth this season against a 2013 NCAA Tournament team. Jones led MT, recording a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds for his second 20-point outing of the season.

• The Blue Raiders posted a 65-55 come-from-behind victory over South Alabama Nov. 30 as Hunter and Kerry Hammonds tallied a team-high 14 points each. Tweety Knight had 12 points, while Jacquez Rozier had 10, marking the first time in Rozier's career he turned in back-to-back double-digit scoring performances.

• After falling on the road at No. 16/14 Florida, MT returned to its winning ways, earning an 80-62 win on the road at Murray State Nov. 26. Five Blue Raiders scored double-figures as Rozier posted a career-best performance. 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.

• 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. 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 SERIES

This will be the third meeting between Middle Tennessee and Tennessee Temple. MT holds a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series. The Blue Raiders are 1-0 against the Crusaders under head coach Kermit Davis.

In the last meeting, MT claimed a 90-46 decision at home Nov. 12, 2010. Currently Blue Raiders Zane Gibson, Shawn Jones and Kerry Hammonds II all saw action off the bench in the contest. Jones scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds in 13 minutes of action, while Hammonds added seven points in 22 minutes of playing time. MT won the first meeting against Tennessee Temple Nov. 22, 1999, picking up a 68-55 decision inside the Murphy Center.

SCOUTING THE CRUSADERS

Tennessee Temple is 7-3 on the season with losses to NAIA member Fisk, NCAA Division II member Alabama-Huntsville and Bethel. The Crusaders dropped a 100-78 decision on the road at Fisk Dec. 5.

In the team's most recent contest, Tennessee Temple picked up a 68-62 victory at home over Mid-Continent University Dec. 5. Five Crusaders scored double-figures in the game as Rashaud Bell led the charge with 15 points, while Weedlens Beauvil added 13 points. Jarrett Smith, Jalen Smith and Travaris Clarke all chipped in 10 points each. Jarrett Smith snagged a game-high eight rebounds.

On the season, Elliot Johnson leads the team, averaging 16.7 points a game, while Beauvil is second on the squad with 11.3 points an outing. Bell and Jarrett Smith are putting up 10.7 and 10.6 points per contest, respectively. Johnson is also leading Tennessee Temple on the boards, pulling down 7.4 rebounds per game.

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