Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky was supposed to end up as a showdown between two of the Sun Belt Conference powerhouses. On Jan. 26, it was anything but that. Middle Tennessee won the first of two meetings between these teams, 72-53.
Middle Tennessee (18-4, 10-1) took a 30-23 lead into halftime. With 14:01 left, Western Kentucky (11-11, 5-6) trimmed that deficit to six points, 42-36. Middle Tennessee went on a 21-4 run, giving them a 63-40 lead.
Marcos Knight led all scorers with 15 points. Bruce Massey Jr. had 10 points with seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. Eight players scored a minimum of six points. For Western Kentucky , it was their third straight loss, their fifth conference loss in their last six games.
Middle Tennessee has won seven straight games, 11 of their last 12. They're using a suffocating defense that has allowed fewer than 67 points in all but one game. While Middle Tennessee doesn't have a dominant scorer, they have a deep bench with different players who can score double digits on any given night.
Fans enjoyed a dominant performance inside a packed gymnasium. When the game had ended, there was a minor dilemma that occurred in one of the parking lots. Someone parked in one of the exits. This trapped about 40 cars. Fortunately, the owner moved his car rather quickly.
Middle Tennessee will play their next two games in Florida. On Jan. 31, they'll play Florida International. On Feb. 2, they'll play Florida Atlantic.