MTSU Gives Up 19 Point Lead in Sloppy Game vs North Texas

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Photo via MT Basketball on Twitter (MT_BB)

FINAL:

MTSU- 51
North Texas- 56

MURFREESBORO Tenn. – The Blue Raiders welcomed the North Texas Mean Green to The Murphy Center, looking to go 3-2 in conference play.

Middle came out of the gates hot shooting 5-5 from the floor and establishing a 17-8 lead. By the 10:00 mark six Raiders had scored and MTSU had built the lead to 12-28. MTSU was able to remain in control for the majority of the first half until The Mean Green scored the final nine points of the period. North Texas had captured the momentum. Middle would have to come out of the locker room with the same level of urgency they started the game with and limit the mistakes that allowed North Texas to claw their way back into the game.

After sloppy play from both sides North Texas managed to tie the game at 41 with 13:18 to play. It was anybody’s game from this point on, and the team who made the fewest mistakes was going to emerge victorious In a game with 22 total turnovers. The score stayed at 41 all until 9:14 when North Texas gained their first lead since 18:14 in the first half. Middle had not scored since 14:14 in the second and found themselves down in an ugly fistfight of a game after watching their 19-point lead evaporate. Two Eli Lawrence free throws finally ended the seven-minute scoring drought for The Blue Raiders and tied the game at 43. A four-point play for The Mean Green at 5:46 gave them a six-point lead in a game where points were at a premium. However, Elias King was fouled on a three ball and MTSU made a four-point play of their own to tie the game at 49 all with 4:27 to play.

The back and forth continued as Middle forced two shot clock violations in as many possessions for North Texas. The Blue Raiders called a timeout with 1:16 to play down 53-51. Coming out of the timeout Dishman was fouled and sent to the charity stripe to tie the game but missed both. A foul was called on MTSU on the rebound but North Texas’ Aaron Scott missed the front end of the 1-and-1. Lawrence rebounded and MTSU called their final timeout with 41 seconds to play. MTSU’s shot out of the timeout was blocked and The Raiders were forced to foul. North Texas made the first free throw but missed the second, giving MTSU one chance to tie after The Raiders’ rebound. Middle was not able to even get a shot off as the ball was stolen and dunked by North Texas to end the game.

MTSU scored just 14 points in the second half as The North Texas 19-point comeback attempt proved successful as they escaped The Glass House with a win.

The Blue Raiders’ next game is against Rice, in Houston, at 7:00pm on Wednesday.

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