MTSU 69, UTEP 53: Blue Raiders Race Away Swiftly on Senior Night
It was an uneasy final home game on Wednesday night for the Miners, to say the least.
Middle Tennessee took an early lead and never looked back, racing away with a 69-53 victory over UTEP. The Blue Raiders out-rebounded the Miners 51-33 and shot 43 percent from the floor, cruising to an easy victory.
UTEP couldn't escape early shooting woes and finished shooting just 33 percent (19-for-58 ) from the floor.
Middle Tennessee opened up the game on an 8-0 run, followed by holding the Miners to shooting 3-for-18 from the floor in the first 10 minutes. The Blue Raiders opened the game also dominating the Miners on the glass, 17-9.
UTEP made it interesting after a 6-0 run cut Middle Tennessee's lead to six points at the 6:37 mark.
However, Middle Tennessee closed out the half on a 15-5 run and led 38-19 at the half. They nearly doubled the number of rebounds that the Miners had, 31-16. Antonio Green had 15 points for the Blue Raiders at the break as well.
Freshman Jordan Lathon led the Miners with 10 points at the half, while Paul Thomas and Evan Gilyard combined for a 0-for-14 shooting night.
In the second half, Middle Tennessee opened up the first 10 minutes on a 16-9 run, which included holding UTEP to 0-for-6 beyond the arc through the first 12 minutes.
The Blue Raiders ended up running away with it and never looked back. Green led both teams with 26 points, while James Hawthorne chipped in with 18.
UTEP's lone senior Paul Thomas struggled at the beginning of his final outing at the Don Haskins Center but picked it up toward the end with 13 points and seven rebounds on 5-of-17 shooting.
Ezeagu (12), Lathon (11) and Hawkins (10) all finished in double figures for the Miners.
The Miners (8-20, 3-13 C-USA) will now finish their season Saturday on the road at Middle Tennessee.