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MT heads to Queen City to take on Bearcats

Raider hit the road to face off with Cincinnati Saturday

December 20, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's basketball team (8-3) is set for its fourth road game of the season, traveling to Cincinnati for 1 p.m. nonconference contest that will air on Fox Sports Ohio and ESPN3. 

GAME INFORMATION

Date: Saturday, Dec. 21
Tip-Off: 1 p.m. CT
Teams: Middle Tennessee at Cincinnati
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Arena: Fifth Third Arena (13,176)
Television: Fox Sports Ohio/ESPN3
Play-by-Play: Tom Gelehrter
Color Analyst: Terry nelson
Radio: WGNS (FM 100.5, FM 101.9, AM 1450) / The Game (102.5 FM, 97.5 FM)
Play-by-Play: Neil Price
Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats

BLUE RAIDER BULLETS

• Middle Tennessee reached the 100-point plateau for the second time this season, earning a 102-52 victory over Tennessee Temple Dec. 17, moving to 2-1 against in-state foes this season as six Blue Raiders scored double-figures. The 50-point win matched the largest margin of victory for MT this season, which was set against Fisk Dec. 9.

• Freshman Reggie Upshaw, Jr., led the Blue Raiders against Tennessee Temple with a career-high 18 points, while Tharone Chilton also notched a career-best with 11 points.

• Seniors Neiko Hunter and Shawn Jones tallied double-figures against the Crusaders, recording 16 and 11 points, respectively. The contest marked Hunter's seventh-straight double-digit scoring performance and Jones' fourth consecutive.

• 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. Jones led MT, recording his fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Hunter also tallied 18 points.

• 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.

• 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, Upshaw 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 Cincinnati. The Bearcats hold a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series, including a 2-0 mark in the Queen City.

Kermit Davis is 0-1 against Cincinnati as MT dropped an 89-54 decision to the Bearcats Dec. 20, 2003. Heading in to the 2003 contest, Cincinnati was ranked No. 16/16.

The Blue Raiders first took on the Bearcats during the 1991-92 season. MT fell 79-70 Jan. 6, 1992 at Cincinnati.

SCOUTING THE BEARCATS

Cincinnati is 8-2 on the season with the team's only losses coming at New Mexico and to cross-town rival Xavier. The Bearcats opened the 2013-14 campaign with a successful seven-game homestand, picking up victories over North Carolina Central, NC State, Appalachian State, Campbell, UMass-Lowell, Kennesaw State and UCS Upstate.

The team's first setback of the season came during the Bearcats' first road trip, dropping a 63-54 decision at New Mexico Dec. 7. Cincinnati was handed its second-straight loss Dec. 17 in a 64-47 neutral site loss to Xavier. Prior to the pair of losses, Cincinnati picked up votes in the AP Top 25 Poll for a few weeks in a row.

In the Bearcats last outing, they edged Pittsburgh 44-43 Dec. 17 in Madison Square Garden. The Panthers were receiving votes in both the AP Poll and the USA Today Coaches' Poll prior to the contest. Justin Jackson led Cincinnati in the narrow victory, putting up a game-high 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Sean Kilpatrick was second the team, adding nine points to go along with six boards.

On the season, Kilpatrick paces the Bearcats, averaging 18.3 points per game. Jackson is second on the squad, putting up 9.8 points a game and grabbing a team-high 6.7 rebounds an outing. Titus Rubles follows close behind, recording 9.1 points per contest.

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