The basketball season tipped off this weekend for both the men and women Blue Raider basketball teams. MT fans have been experiencing success with their football team this season and the anticipation for the start of hoops season finally subsided. Following two stellar campaigns last season, fans have been clamoring to get back into "the Glass House" to see their teams pick up where they left off.
The Blue Raider nation got exactly what they asked for as both of their teams dominated their games, only propelling the expectations of what looks to be another promising season for both programs.
It is hard to believe that this team could have gotten much better from last year's team, but they have. The defense of the Lady Raiders has gotten a lot better, and they showed that against Kennesaw State. MT forced KSU to turn the ball over 38 times in this game, including five straight times before they crossed mid-court in the second half.
The 2-2-1 full court press gave the Fighting Owls major trouble. This set up easy baskets for the Lady Raiders. Of the few times that KSU was able to break the press, MT remained disciplined, sticking with their assignments.
The offense of the Lady Raiders showed improvement in the game as well. The ball was moved around consistently and players penetrated the lane, at will, throughout the entire game. The Lady Raiders forced the KSU defense to play honest as well by moving well without the ball and creating their own shots, resulting in 11 buckets from beyond the arc.
The first home game for MT resulted in an 87-45 win over the Fighting Owls. Their record is 1-0 and they are set to take on the Memphis Tigers in the second round of the WNIT. The Lady Raiders showed that what people were saying about them was true - the only question is can they play like this every game this season?
After the way last season ended for the Blue Raider basketball team, they have wanted to get back on the court and show people that they are ready to go dancing. At first, their opening game against Alabama State was a close contest, but the Blue Raiders started to pull away late in the first half and never looked back.
The perimeter shooting for MT looked better than last year. Guard James Gallman and forward Jason Jones had the hot hands and the ball was passed around a lot. Players seemed to be comfortable with their roles and looked in sync for the majority of the game. ASU had a hard time defending the Blue Raiders once their offense got going.
The Blue Raider defense really stepped up in this game as well. On the night, MT forced 22 turnovers - 10 of which came in the form of steals. The Hornets had to work hard for their shots and eventually fatigue would lead to them making bad decisions. The Blue Raiders showed that good defense sets up an offense.
The Blue Raiders first home game was a win. They beat Alabama State 97-53 and have a 1-0 record. MT has a little time off before their next game on Tuesday when they go up against the Savannah State Tigers. It will be the Blue Raiders first road game of the season and a tough test, at that. The Tigers were also participants in last season's NIT Tournament that MT played in.
The Lady Raiders
Forward Ebony Rowe played an amazing game. She was all over the court the entire night. No one could stop her from scorning or getting into the paint. Rowe created havoc all night long for Kennesaw State. The Fighting Owls did everything they could just to limit her effect on the game, but it was to no avail as Rowe tallied a game-high 23 points and also pulled down 11 rebounds.
The Blue Raiders
Forward Jason Jones played the perfect game against Alabama State. The senior came off the bench and scored 19 points, but his most impressive accomplishment was his 9-for-9 shooting from the field. Jones gave the Blue Raiders a spark off the bench and showed that he is back to his old self again following a back injury that hampered him all of last season. Savannah State will have to take notice of Jones Tuesday night.