TIGERS LOSE SHOOTOUT TO BLUE RAIDERS IN SERIES RENEWAL
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. ---- Tennessee State and Middle Tennessee renewed their basketball rivalry with a shootout Sunday evening with the Tigers coming out on the short end, dropping a tough 96-94 decision. The Blue Raiders erased a 39-36 halftime lead, coming out in the second half. MTSU (4-2) had entered the game converting just 62 percent from the free throw line, but made 35-44 chances for 79.5 percent for the game. The Blue Raiders were especially tough in the second half, making 28-32 shots for 87.5 percent. The Tigers had led by as many as eight points in the first half before taking the three-point lead into the locker room. MTSU took the lead for good after a 3-point play by Mike Dean gave MTSU a 54-53 lead with 13:01 left. The Tigers would trail by as many as 11 before making a late rally down the stretch. "We did not come out in the second half with the intensity that we needed and Middle Tennessee did," said TSU coach Cy Alexander. "We have to learn that you have to play with intensity all the time. Middle Tennessee has a very good team." TSU placed five players in double figures. Rod Flowers led TSU with 20 points, followed closely by Bruce Price with 19. Freshman Reiley Ervin sparked TSU with a career-high 17, followed by Jeremy Jackson with 11 and Wayne Arnold scored 10. TSU finished the game shooting 44 percent from the field (31-71) and 82 percent (18-22) from the free throw line. TSU was out-rebounded for only the second time this season, 47-30. Dean led MTSU with 25 points. Michael Cuffee added 17 for MTSU. The Tigers will be off from action until Dec. 14 when they host Alabama A&M.