Raiders roll over Grand Canyon, 79-56

MT closes out Dr Pepper Classic with blowout

December 30, 2013 · @MTAthletics

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's basketball team (9-5) wrapped up the Dr Pepper Classic hosted by Chattanooga, dominating Grand Canyon (5-8) 79-56 in the consolation game Monday.

The Blue Raiders opened the contest with a 12-0 run and never looked back, taking a 42-24 lead into the locker room at halftime. The second half didn't get any better for Grand Canyon as MT pushed its lead to as many as 27 points (79-52) with 1:22 to play, before settling for the 23-point victory.

MT was led on the night once again by senior forward Shawn Jones. The Hialeah, Fla., native flirted with a double-double, putting up 18 points and snagging nine rebounds. He went 9-of-14 from the floor. Jones also swatted a game-best four shots, tying his season-high of four blocks against UALR Nov. 18.

Senior Neiko Hunter tallied 12 points for the Blue Raiders in just 15 minutes of action, going 5-for-8 from the floor. Freshman Reggie Upshaw also chipped in 12 points, going 6-for-12 from the floor. Senior guard Kerry Hammonds closed out the double-figure scoring performances for MT, putting up 11 points with a 7-for-10 effort at the line.

Middle Tennessee senior point guard Tweety Knight dished out a game-high six assists to go along with six points, while redshirt sophomore Jaqawn Raymond handed out five helpers and scored nine points.

The Antelopes were led by Killian Larson with a double-double of 22 points and 14 rebounds. Jerome Garrison was second on the team, putting up 14 points.

On the night, MT shot 48.4-percent from the floor, compared to Grand Canyon's 31.0-percent. The Antelopes bested the Raiders at the line, shooting 82.4-percent (28-of-34), while MT was 59.1-percent (13-of-22). Middle Tennessee won the battle of the boards 38-33, claiming the contest of second chances 19-7.

MT committed a season-low four turnovers, while Grand Canyon had 13. The Raiders recorded 24 points off of Antelope miscues, while GCU had just one point off of MT turnovers.

The Blue Raiders close out nonconference action Jan. 7, traveling to Tennessee State for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

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