MTSU – 74
FIU – 82
MIAMI – MTSU continued their Florida road trip from Boca Raton to Miami to take on The FIU Panthers in a game where Middle could use a bounce back performance.
The game started off back and forth with Middle maintaining a small lead, but FIU tied the game at 14 at the 14:18 mark and never trailed again for the remainder of the game. Statistically, the first half was dead even. Both teams were shooting over 50% from the floor and had ten fouls and ten turnovers each. The main difference ended up being three more shots The Panthers hit than Middle resulting in the 44-39 score going into the locker room.
Middle only scored one time in the first four minutes of the second half as FIU extended their lead out to 55-42. FIU was able to maintain this lead despite being pushed by The Blue Raiders and having their lead cut down to 2 at the 4:58 mark. Elias King was the catalyst for the late push as he scored eight of his eleven points in the last two minutes, but it was not enough and the MTSU comeback attempt came up just short.
Denver Jones led all scorers with 21 points, while Eli Lawrence led MTSU with 16. Jones also led all players with seven rebounds. Camryn Weston led Middle with five. Arturo Dean led all players with seven assists, and Weston led MTSU with three.
This is what Head Coach, Nick McDevitt, had to say post game:
“We press a lot; they press a lot. We try to force turnovers; so do they. We were able to force 19 turnovers and had 16 ourselves. We just didn’t win that battle by enough… I just thought they made more plays, clearly, than we did. They outrebounded us. We had too many ill-advised turnovers in the first half… [I’m] disappointed in our focus in big moments. I thought we were lackadaisical.”
The Blue Raiders’ next game is against UTEP, at home, at 8:00pm on Thursday.