MTSU – 69
UAB – 92
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Blue Raiders traveled south to take on The UAB Blazers with whom they were tied for third in the CUSA standings. This game would have massive implications in CUSA tournament seeding and MTSU was going to get UAB at full strength featuring Jordan “Jelly” Walker who they did not have to play in these two teams’ last meeting in The Glass House.
Cam Weston came out of the gate playing well, maintaining his level of play from Middle’s last game against WKU. He scored the first 7 points for The Blue Raiders, keeping UAB within four points until the 14-minute mark. That would be all the points Weston scored in the first half, which is not a good sign for the rest of this wrap-up if you’re a Blue Raiders fan. A scoring drought began for both teams, and while both teams eventually broke out of the drought Middle continued to struggle and UAB took advantage. The Blazers led 21-14 at 11:08. By 5:46 it had become 36-14. This was a 16-point run from UAB that felt like a lot more.
The last five minutes was not much better for The Raiders as they only scored nine more points and UAB took a 48-22 lead to the locker room. The Raiders were beat in nearly every statistical category in the first half. Middle shot just 28% from the field as UAB was 7-12 beyond the arc alone. Middle had an exceptionally bad half from deep, shooting 0-8. MTSU clawed back from down 16 on Thursday night. Could they mount another comeback in Birmingham?
This deficit was going to be too much. With 12:16 to play a Blazer dunk extended the lead to 64-34, the largest lead of the night for UAB, prompting a Nick McDevitt timeout. The final stretch went better for Middle but the hole they had fallen into was too deep to climb out of. The Raiders were going to have to come back to the Boro with a 92-69 loss.
Jordan Walker led all scorers with 25 points. Eli Lawrence led Middle with 18. Ty Brewer led all players with 12 rebounds, and Elias King led MTSU with five. Eric Gaines led all players with ten assists as Cam Weston led The Blue Raiders with four.
This is what Head Coach, Nick McDevitt, had to say post-game via GoBlueRaiders.com:
“I just thought from the get-go they were a tougher team than we were. I thought they were more physical. They were on the glass – at halftime we were down 12 [in rebounds]. That was one of our points of emphasis. I thought they ran tough offense… I thought when offense got tough, we got ‘individual.’ We’re not going to beat teams [that way] on the road. It’s hard enough when you’re doing all that stuff well.”
The Blue Raiders’ next game is against FAU, in Murfreesboro, at 6:00pm on Thursday.