By Daniel Johnson
MTN Sports Reporter
March 4, 2021
The Blue Raiders struggled to overcome a tough shooting night as they fall to FAU 80-50 in the first game of a back-to-back.
The struggles for the Blue Raiders continued tonight as they got off to another rough start. Beginning the game in an 8-0 deficit, the Blue Raiders first points did not come until the 15:25 mark in the first half. Shooting just 27% from the field and turning the ball over eight times, the Blue Raiders half-court offensive struggles were on full display.
“We got to take care of the basketball”, said Middle Tennessee head coach Nick McDevitt at halftime. “We had nine turnovers in the first half. You can’t turn it over 18 times on the road and win too many games.”
Junior forward DeAndre Dishman paced the Blue Raiders in scoring with 10 points, while Eli Lawrence added 9. Blue Raiders junior guard Jordan Davis, who is second on the team in scoring this season, struggled tonight as he had only three points and two rebounds in 23 minutes.
Despite struggling much throughout the first half, trailing as much as 17, the Blue Raiders went on a 9-0 run over about two and a half minutes, cutting the Owls lead to eight. They capped it off with a highlight-reel dunk by sophomore forward Tyler Millin at the 3:02 mark. FAU quickly responded and took a 37-24 lead into the break.
Offensive struggles spilled over into the second half for the Blue Raiders, shooting just 32% from the field and 21% from three. For the game, the Blue Raiders topped out at 29% from the field and 18% from three. They were also out-rebounded 44-37. The Owls’s lead grew up to as many as 34 late in the second half.
“Yeah we played catch up the whole night and never could get caught up”, said McDevitt. “We got out-rebounded and couldn’t make shots. That’s a combination for a final score like we saw. We were playing on our heels and they were the aggressors. We have to regroup and have a much better result tomorrow.”
The Blue Raiders (5-16, 3-12) and the Owls (11-9, 6-5) will put a seal on the regular season tomorrow. Tip off is set for shortly after 5 p.m.