Jones' 22 not enough as MT falls to Tulsa 58-53

Raiders drop first C-USA road contest to Golden Hurricane

January 23, 2014 · @MTAthletics

TULSA, Okla. - Despite getting 22 points from senior Shawn Jones, the Middle Tennessee men's basketball team (12-7, 2-2 C-USA) let a tied game with 22 seconds left slip away as the Raiders dropped a 58-53 decision on the road at Conference USA opponent Tulsa (9-10, 4-1 C-USA) Thursday evening inside the Donald W. Reynolds Center.

After trailing by as many as 10 points with 3:05 remaining the first half, Middle Tennessee found itself down 53-51 to Tulsa with 1:29 to go in the contest. With 28 seconds to go, the Golden Hurricane's James Woodard missed a three-point and MT senior forward Shawn Jones collected the rebound. He kicked it ahead to senior point guard Tweey Knight, who took the ball to the hole and laid it in, tying things up for the ninth time of the night at 53-53 with 22 ticks left.

Tulsa then brought the ball up the court and called a timeout with 15 seconds remaining to set up a last-shot play. Woodward proved to be clutch for the Golden Hurricane and buried a three-ball with four seconds left on the clock, giving Tulsa a 56-53 advantage. MT turned the ball over on the next possession and then fouled TU on the inbounds play, sending Woodward to the line with one second on the clock. He made the pair at the line and Tulsa claimed the 58-53 victory.

On the night, MT was led by Jones with a game-best 22 points to go along with nine rebounds, marking his fourth 20-point performance this season. He shot 8-for-11 from the floor and connected on 6-for-9 from the charity stripe, while swatting a season-high five blocks. Senior Tweety Knight added 11 points, going 4-for-5 from the floor and 3-for-5 from the line.

The Golden Hurricane was paced by a pair of players in double-figures as Woodward led the way with 16 points. Lew Evans put up a double-double with 12 points and a game-best 11 boards. Pat Swilling and Rashad Ray each added nine points for Tulsa.

The Blue Raiders 39.2-percent from the floor, compared to Tulsa's 40.0-percent. MT also lost the battle of the boards 37-29. The Raiders turned the ball over 11 times, compared to Tulsa's 15. MT edged TU in points off turnovers 18-13 and in the paint 26-20.

Middle Tennessee returns to action Saturday, Jan. 25, traveling to North Texas for a 7 p.m. C-USA contest.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.