In their third straight home game, the Warhawks were looking to finish the stretch undefeated, having already defeated South Alabama and Denver. Standing in their way were the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee, who were coming into Fant-Ewing Coliseum fresh off a dramatic buzzer beating win over defending conference champion Western Kentucky.
From the opening tip on though it was all Blue Raiders, as they took a 69 - 60 victory over the Warhawks in Sun Belt Conference action on Thursday night. ULM committed 22 turnovers in the game, accounting for 21 MTSU points.
"It's a difficult loss tonight, and I'm not taking anything away from Middle Tennessee's defense, but the majority of our turnovers tonight were unforced, Head Coach Orlando Early said. "We turned the ball over and missed lay-ups early and just couldn't recover."
ULM managed to close the margin to within six points with a minute and a half remaining in the game thanks to the hot three point shooting of Dynile Forbes down the stretch. Forbes ended the game tied with Lawrence Gilbert for the team high in scoring, as both poured in 14 each. Gilbert set a new season best with 10 rebounds, making it his first double-double of the season.
"It (the double-double) doesn't mean anything," a visibly shaken Gilbert said. "I would rather have no point and a team win than anything any individual does on the floor."
Middle Tennessee had the upper hand in the first half, as they shot 41.4% from the floor to build a 32-21 half-time lead. Leading the Blue Raiders in the first half were James Washington and pre-season all-conference first team member Desmond Yates with nine points each. Both finished the game in double-digits, scoring 20 and 16 respectively.
Up next will be the Warhawk's final trip to Lakefront Arena as they square off against UNO. The Privateers will be departing from the Sun Belt Conference following this season. Saturday's tip is scheduled for 7pm.