Middle Tennessee vs Tennessee

    Middle Tennessee ousts top-seeded Tennessee in NIT tourney

    CBSSports.com wire reports
    •  

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Bruce Massey had 20 points and 10 rebounds and hit a go-ahead layup with 1:30 left to send Middle Tennessee to a 71-64 win over top-seeded Tennessee on Monday night in the second round of the NIT.

    The fourth-seeded Blue Raiders (27-6) closed the game on a 15-0 run. The Sun Belt's regular season champions will face second-seeded Miami or No. 6 seed Minnesota on Wednesday for a spot in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York.

    "We got into a timeout and just talked about winning on the defensive end," Middle Tennessee coach Kermit Davis said of the 15-0 run. "There were tons of possessions left. We took advantage of every possession."

    Jordan McRae hit a layup with 7:11 remaining to give the Volunteers a 64-56 lead, but those were the last points they scored. Tennessee missed its final nine shots.

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    Massey followed his go-ahead layup with a blocked shot and a jumper at the other end to make it 67-64 with 39 seconds to go. Raymond Cintron hit four free throws in the final 17 seconds as Skylar McBee, who was 0-for-7 shooting, missed a pair of 3s for Tennessee.

    "We were in the same situation against Vanderbilt earlier in the season," Massey said. "We got tired down the stretch. They got tired, but they made the extra push to give them victory. Tonight we didn't want to quit. We didn't want to lose. We found the extra energy to keep going."

    LaRon Dendy added 10 points for the Blue Raiders, who finished with a 46-30 rebounding advantage and shot 46.2 percent while limiting the Vols to 37.9 percent shooting.

    Jeronne Maymon led Tennessee (19-15) with 17 points. Jarnell Stokes scored 15 points, and Trae Golden added 14.

    "I think we had good looks, but obviously when I watch the film I may see otherwise," Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said. "We had some looks that just didn't fall, and that's part of it."

    Middle Tennessee used an 8-0 run to grab a 23-11 lead with 8:37 in the first half.

    Golden hit a jump shot and dished the ball to Maymon for a layup, the start of a 14-2 run for the Vols. Josh Richardson spun around and hit a mid-range jumper to tie the game at 25 points with 3:01 in the first half.

    James Gallman hit a pair of 3-pointers to push Middle Tennessee's lead back to 36-29 with 1:04.

    The Blue Raiders couldn't keep from picking up fouls while guarding Tennessee around the basket, and the Vols got a three-point play from Stokes and a pair of free throws from McRae in the final 48 seconds of the half to cut MTSU's halftime lead to 36-34.

    Tennessee, which struggled all night from the perimeter, started to go inside more to Maymon and Stokes in the second half and slowly built its lead to 8 points.

    Middle Tennessee late efforts to keep Tennessee away from the basket were far more successful, forcing the Vols to take deeper shots. Tennessee, normally a 70 percent free throw shooting team, didn't help itself when it did get to the line, hitting just 19 of 30.

    "We just couldn't get a bucket," Maymon said. "We were running our offense, and we just couldn't put the ball in the hole."

    Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
     
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    Middle Tennessee players are all smiles as they knock of the top-seeded Vols in the second round. (AP)
    Middle Tennessee players are all smiles as they knock of the top-seeded Vols in the second round. (AP)
    Scoreboard
    Middle Tennessee «363571
    Tennessee 343064

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    Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
    L. Dendy, F254-81-592410
    J. Sulton, F193-72-25048
    B. Massey, G336-108-9104320
    R. Cintron, G250-44-46024
    M. Knight, G194-91-24229
    S. Jones242-52-34046
    K. Hammonds173-41-14107
    J. Gallman162-21-22117
    J. Oden100-10-01130
    T. Walker100-10-00100
    J. Rozier20-10-00000
    Totals 24-5220-2846122371
     46.2%71.4% 
    Tennessee Volunteers
    J. Stokes, F315-95-750415
    S. McBee, G330-70-04110
    C. Tatum, G313-110-04217
    T. Golden, G284-96-1028314
    J. McRae, G141-62-23024
    J. Maymon296-105-871417
    J. Richardson221-30-10022
    Y. Makanjuola122-31-24035
    Totals 22-5819-3030122064
     37.9%63.3% 
    Sun Belt
    TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
    Georgia St.15-525-1053
    Ga. Southern14-622-9113
    UL-Monroe14-624-14132
    UL Lafayette13-722-14143
    UT-Arlington10-1016-15185
    App. St.9-1112-17250
    S. Alabama9-1112-21275
    UALR8-1213-18276
    Texas St.7-1314-17236
    Arkansas St.6-1411-18277
    Troy5-1510-19313

    Southeastern
    TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
    Kentucky18-038-11
    Arkansas13-527-920
    LSU11-722-1157
    Georgia11-721-1238
    Texas A&M11-721-1267
    Ole Miss11-721-1360
    Vanderbilt9-921-14104
    Alabama8-1019-1585
    Florida8-1016-1772
    Tennessee7-1116-1696
    S. Carolina6-1217-1691
    Miss. State6-1213-19216
    Auburn4-1415-20128
    Missouri3-159-23218
     
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