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Raiders open New Year at TSU Tuesday

MT set to take on third instate foe

January 6, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's basketball team (9-5) opens the New Year at Tennessee State (2-14) Tuesday with a 7 p.m. tip-off on MyTV 30 to close out nonconference play.

GAME INFORMATION

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 7
Tip-Off: 7 p.m. CT
Teams: Middle Tennessee at Tennessee State
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Arena: Gentry Center (10,500)
Television: MyTV 30
Play-by-Play: Jonathan Hutton
Color Analyst: Chris Dortch
Radio: WGNS (100.5 FM, 101.9 FM, 1450 AM) / WMOT (89.5 FM) / The Game 2 (94.9 FM)
Play-by-Play: Chip Walters
Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats

VIDEO
Men's Basketball at Tennessee State University
THE SERIES

This will be the 52nd meeting between Middle Tennessee and Tennessee State. MT leads the all-time series 35-16, including a 13-8 mark at TSU. The Blue Raiders have won the last seven matchups against the Tigers, dating back to a 79-77 victory at home Dec. 9, 2000. In the most recent contest at TSU, MT claimed a 77-53 win Dec. 1, 2011. Last season, the Raiders earned a 77-48 victory inside Murphy Center Dec. 18, 2012.

SCOUTING THE TIGERS

Tennessee State is 2-14 on the season, including a 2-4 mark at home. The Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak Jan. 4 with a 70-65 victory over Jacksonville State in Nashville. Patrick Miller led TSU, tallying 19 points, while dishing out four assists and swiping four steals. Jacquan Nobles recorded 11 points, while M.J. Rhett had eight points and a team-high 13 rebounds.

TSU's only other victory came against Fisk Dec. 15 via a 108-85 decision. In the contest, Mille registered 25 points, while Jaleel Queary put up 21 points. Rhett posted a double-double with 14 points and 18 boards. Jay Harris added 15 points, while Kennedy Eubanks chipped in 10 points.

On the season, Miller leads TSU with 20.9 points a contest. Rhett is the only Tiger averaging a double-double, putting up 10.1 points and snagging 9.6 rebounds a game. Eubanks is next on the squad, recording 7.3 points per contest and 5.7 boards an outing.

BLUE RAIDER BULLETS

• Middle Tennessee opens the New Year, traveling to nearby Tennessee State Tuesday. MT is 2-1 against instate foes this season with its lone loss coming against Belmont Dec. 3. The Raiders are 8-2 this season when playing in the state of Tennessee with a 7-1 record at home and a 1-1 mark in neutral site games. The Blue Raiders are 5-6 in opening games in the month of January under head coach Kermit Davis.

• The game at TSU tips off a stretch of nine TV games over the next 14 contests for the Blue Raiders.

• MT snapped a two game skid with a 79-56 win over Grand Canyon in the consolation game of Chattanooga's Dr Pepper Classic Dec. 30.

• Against Maine Dec. 29 senior Shawn Jones recorded his fifth double-double, putting up 16 points and grabbing a career-high 20 rebounds. The 20 boards marked a first for a Blue Raider since Napoleon Rhodes snagged 20 at UNC Greensboro Nov. 30, 2002. Jones was named TSWA Player of the Week for his efforts Jan. 1.

• Senior Neiko Hunter tied his career-best 20 points, which he set in the season-opener against Southern Nov. 10. Redshirt sophomore Jaqawn Raymond also tallied a career-high against Maine, putting up 18 points.

• MT fell to 1-3 on the road this season with a 69-48 loss at Cincinnati Dec. 21. Senior Kerry Hammonds II led the Raiders against the Bearcats with 17 points, going 5-for-8 from three-point range and marking the first time a Blue Raider as made five threes since Raymond Cintron netted six against Troy Feb. 9, 2013. Senior point guard Tweety Knight paced the Raiders on the boards at Cincinnati, pulling down a career-high 10 boards.

• MT reached the 100-point plateau for the second time this season, earning a 102-52 victory over Tennessee Temple Dec. 17 and 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.

• 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. Jones went on to earn Player of the Week honors from C-USA and the TSWA Dec. 16 and 17, respectively.

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