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Middle Tennessee State 62, Florida Atlantic 52

The SportsXchange

Middle Tennessee State went on a 29-2 run that began late in the first half and carried over into the second half, then coasted from there to a 62-52 victory over Florida Atlantic in Sun Belt Conference basketball Thursday night in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Marcos Knight led the Blue Raiders with 13 points. Neiko Hunter added 12 points for Middle Tennessee, and Bruce Massey scored 10.

Florida Atlantic's Greg Gantt scored a game-high 23 points. Teammate Stefan Moody contributed 18 points.

The Blue Raiders (13-4, 5-1) trailed by six points after Gantt sank a free throw with 8:15 left in the opening half to give the visiting Owls a 22-16 advantage.

But after Gantt's jumper less than a minute later, the Owls (8-9, 3-3) went without another point until Pablo Bertone canned a 3-pointer with 16:18 left in the game.

At that point, the Raiders led 45-27.

Florida Atlantic, which came into the game on a two-game winning streak, managed to cut the deficit to 59-51 on Jackson Trapp's 3-pointer. However, the Owls managed only a free throw in the final 2:38 of the game.

Both teams started off the night hot from the field. The Owls shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half but got off only 16 field-goal attempts to the 26 of the Raiders, who enjoyed a 13-6 advantage in rebounding.

The Owls cooled in the second half, hitting nine of their 26 field-goal attempts to finish at 40.5 percent. The Raiders shot 50 percent for the game.

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