No. 3-seed MT falls to No. 2-seed Tulsa in C-USA semifinal, 76-69
Raymond and Hunter post career-best gamesMarch 14, 2014 · @MTAthletics
EL PASO, Texas - The No. 3-seed Middle Tennessee men's basketball team (24-9, 13-4 C-USA) dropped a 76-69 decision to No. 2-seed Tulsa Friday in the semifinal round of the Conference USA Championship.
Middle Tennessee redshirt-sophomore Jaqawn Raymond posted a career-high 19 points, going 5-for-9 from behind the arc. His five treys tied his career-best, set at Marshall Feb. 22. Senior Neiko Hunter also posted 19 points to lead the Blue Raiders. Hunter recorded his first career double-double, pulling down a career-high 10 rebounds.
The contest opened as a back-and-forth affair, but Tulsa managed to string together a 14-3 run to close the first half. The Golden Hurricane took a 35-29 lead into the locker room at the half. The Blue Raiders led by as many as 10 points during the first half, before Tulsa's run.
The Blue Raiders found themselves trying to play catchup from there after C-USA Player of the Year Shawn Jones fouled out with 4:59 left. He finished the night with eight points and six rebounds.
MT chipped away at the deficit and pulled within three-points at 70-67 with 29 seconds to go, but Tulsa answered with a dunk from Tim Peete to take a 72-67 advantage with 26 seconds remaining. The Raiders then fouled to stop the clock and Tulsa made free throws down the stretch to put the game away, claiming the seven-point victory.
MT shot 40.4-percent from the floor and 40.0-percent from behind the arc, while Tulsa was 46.0-percent from the floor and 27.3-percent from long distance. The Golden Hurricane outscored the Raiders in the paint 30-14, while MT claimed the battle of the boards 39-29.
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