MTSU – 62
Charlotte – 58
MURFREESBORO Tenn. – It was blackout night in the ‘Boro as The Raiders donned the black uniforms to take on the Charlotte 49ers in The Glass House, where Charlotte has yet to get a win. A win for Charlotte would also complete their first ever season sweep of MTSU as they won in Charlotte earlier this season 82-67 behind Brice Williams’ 31 points
It was a slow start for Middle as missed opportunities, good defense from the 49ers, and mostly errant passes derailed the offense. Charlotte came out in the same 1-3-1 defense that The Raiders struggled with for parts of their last game. Middle would have to solve the zone tonight. At the 15-minute mark The Blue Raiders were just 2-5 from the floor, but Cam Weston provided the spark MT needed with a nice move and finish and then it was off to the races. Middle rattled off points on their next three possessions. At the first media timeout we were knotted up at ten all. MTSU now knew what they were up against; a team that was going to play with good hands, strong defense, and a team that could make shots when left open. Fast break and transition points were going to be key both ways.
Cam Weston continued to provide offense for a team that was struggling against the strong defense of Charlotte, who had quite a height advantage on The Raiders, with two of their starters standing at 6-11 and 6-10. After some back and forth in what was a fast paced yet low scoring game, we reached the halftime break with a score of 27-26 49ers.
Middle had plenty of chances to be ahead in this game but missed some open looks that ended up being the difference in a half where they were leading in just about every statistical category and led the game itself the majority of the time. They also held Williams to just two points. Middle would have to come out and take control in the second, knock Charlotte down, and this time not let the 49ers get back up.
The second half continued to be the back-and-forth affair the teams had battled through in the first half as they continued to trade punches. At the 12:00 mark we were all tied up at 39, yet no Blue Raider had scored in the double digits. Middle was getting good contributions across the board but needed someone to step up and be great or finish open looks as a team. What would it be?
Well, Middle opted for the second option as they exploded for a 6-0 run with contributions from multiple scorers. Charlotte was not done just yet and fought right back into the game, taking a one-point lead before a three point play from Deandre Dishman put the raiders back on top with five minutes to go.
The whole game came down to the final four-minute segment. Who would take control? The first 2:30 seemed more like both teams trying to give away the momentum rather than capture it, until Cam Weston ignited The Blue Raider offense and The Murphy Center with a highlight fast break layup that you can watch below
Weston and one! Tie game! pic.twitter.com/0p2JalKLUW
— MT Basketball (@MT_MBB) January 20, 2023
If you thought that was loud, the reaction to Tyler Millin’s three ball to take a three-point lead with 40 seconds left was even louder. Free throws from Charlotte made it a two-point game, and Middle was going to have to make free throws. Lenard and Lawrence both made their two to join Millin and Weston in double digits as MTSU got the win 62-58
This is what Head Coach, Nick McDevitt, had to say post game:
The Blue Raiders’ next game is against LA Tech, in Ruston, at 4:00pm on Saturday.