Giddy Up to 1000


The Blue Raiders reached their best conference start in school history Thursday night, moving to 10-0 in league play by grinding out a 69-59 road win at UTSA.

Middle Tennessee (20-3, 10-0) shot 46.3 percent from the field and went 12-of-14 from the charity stripe on the night. The Blue Raiders also held the Roadrunners (9-13, 4-5) to 39.3 percent from the field.

Things got off to a slow start in San Antonio with both teams having to battle through scoring droughts of over six minutes. With the score tied at 13 as the game reached the third media timeout, UTSA began to find its stroke and was able to reel of seven straight points.

“UTSA has a group of really tough guys who were excited to play and we just came out kind of casual tonight,” head coach Kermit Davis said.

Giddy Potts then re-entered the game for Blue Raiders and drained back-to-back 3-pointers, the first of which made him the 33rd member of Middle Tennessee’s 1,000-point club.

Potts would finish with a game-high 22 points to give him 1,014 in his career despite battling foul trouble and only playing 23 minutes.

A JaCorey Williams dunk and a Potts jumper would finish off a 10-0 Blue Raider rally that eclipsed just one minute and 34 seconds before UTSA answered with five straight points to take a 25-23 lead into the half.

The Roadrunners collected the first four points of the second half before Middle Tennessee woke up on the offensive end. The Raiders reeled off 17 straight points – eight of which were from Antwain Johnson – over a span just shy of five minutes to take an 11-point lead with 13:06 remaining.

“I thought we got more determined and JaCorey Williams really competed for 40 minutes tonight,” Davis added. “He competed on the court, in the huddle, and he just showed a lot of leadership for us tonight.”

Johnson provided 10 points off the bench for the Blue Raiders to join Potts, Williams (17) and Reggie Upshaw (11) in double digits.

Middle Tennessee pushed the lead to 44-31 before UTSA closed the gap to six with a 10-3 run led by Jeff Beverly. The Blue Raiders pushed their lead back to 12 with 3:44 remaining, but the Roadrunners wouldn’t go quietly, twice climbing back within six points inside the 2:00 mark.

The Raiders iced the game in the final moments, going 8-of-8 from the free throw line in the last 1:01sandwiched around an exclamation point slam on the break by Johnson.

Middle Tennessee completes its final flight trip of the season on Saturday, facing the UTEP Miners in El Paso at 8:00 p.m. CT.

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