Blue Raiders Slay Cougars 83-53

MURFREESBORO – Junior Rod Emanuel had a breakout game with 20 points while senior Montarrio Haddock recorded the first double-double of the season on Sunday afternoon as the Blue Raiders took an 83-58 win over SIU Edwardsville.

Emanuel was perfect from behind the arc and at the line as he ended the night 7 for 13 from the field and 4 for 4 at the charity stripe. The Orlando, Fla., native also had seven rebounds and four assists.

“It was very positive for Rod Emmanuel to play much more aggressively tonight. He played vertically and had seven rebounds, four assists and no turnovers,” head coach Kermit Davis said. “This was the best well-rounded game for Montarrio Haddock. He had a double-double and when he played great last year he offensively rebounded the ball and that’s what he did tonight. Our team shared the ball, played hard and that’s kind of what the doctor ordered right now.”

Haddock recorded the first double-double of season by a Blue Raiders after scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Haddock was 8 for 13 from the field and 2 for 2 from the charity stripe.

Three players scored in double figures as junior James Washington posted 11. Washington was 4 for 5 from the field and 3 for 4 from behind the arc.

Senior Desmond Yates and freshman James Gallman each had nine while freshman John David Little added eight of his own to aid the Blue Raider offense which shot 50.9 percent on the day.

As a team, Middle Tennessee shot 69.2 percent from the behind the arc after going 9 for 13 and made 16 of 18 free throw opportunities.

Middle Tennessee had 10 more rebounds than SIUE with 38 with four blocks and five steals to round out a good defensive game.

SIUE shot 41.7 percent from the field while three players scored in the double figures. Denykco Bowles led the team with 12 points after going 5 for 7 from the field.

Middle Tennessee got off to a slow start in the game but two free throws by Haddock at 15:18 gave the team a two-point advantage, 10-8 and it never looked back.

The Blue Raiders had a 14-7 run to take a 10-point lead, 28-18, with 5:33 remaining and then a three-pointer by Emanuel with 43 seconds put the team up by 12, 36-24, at the half. Middle Tennessee did have two long scoring droughts in the first half but was able to stay ahead thanks to strong free throw shooting and baskets at key times.

The two schools traded points to begin the second half but the Blue Raiders took a 19-point lead, 57-38 after a layup by Haddock with 9:28 left. Middle Tennessee kept the pace and took the lead to 20 after a pair of free throws by Sulton, 65-45.

The Blue Raiders will have next week off before playing host to Howard on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. in its last game before the Christmas holidays and the beginning of Sun Belt action.