Blue Raiders Bench A Big Help in Blowout of South Alabama on Harlem Shake Night (Video Link)
The Middle Tennessee State faithful finally got a chance to showcase their Harlem Shake and shake they did as the Blue Raiders cruised to a 85-50 win over the South Alabama Jaguars last night at the Murphy Center. MTSU jumped out early with a 13-0 run to start the game and never looked back. With the win, the Blue Raiders clinched the Sun Belt regular season title.
The Harlem Shake, a musical dance sensation that has taken college basketball stadiums and arenas by storm made it’s way to Murfreesboro–and into the Blue Raiders locker room, where head coach Kermit Davis even got into the mix. (links to both videos courtesy of MTSU Athletics)
Middle Tennessee increased their winning streak to 13 games thanks to a collaborative offense explosion. Eight players scored at least seven points with Bruce Massey leading the way with 12.
Davis showed off his team’s depth, as 14 players saw the court (11 for 10+ minutes) and 11 different players scored. Just how reliable is Middle Tennessee’s bench? They outscored USA 40-5 last night–their bench almost outscored their starters.
And how solid is their defense? They held the Jaguars to just 28.6% shooting, including a paltry 3-15 from three-point range.
They’ll need both in a few weeks if they expect to win the Sun Belt tournament in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Last year, the top-seeded Blue Raiders were bounced following a first-round bye by Arkansas State, the nine-seed. This season they’ll likely be facing a new opponent following the bye, as ASU is 11-6, which should earn them a three- or four-seed.
There are just three regular season games left but the Blue Raiders know a slip-up or two could hurt their at-large hopes should they not win the conference tournament.
CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein thinks otherwise:
He may be right.
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