|CALGARY, Alberta – Junior guard Raymond Cintron hit seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points to lead the Middle Tennessee men’s basketball team to a 79-62 win over the Alberta Golden Bears on Thursday night. The Blue Raiders finished the Battle of the Border tournament 4-0.
“It was a struggle coming back for the second game in same day,” head coach Kermit Davis said. “But it was great to see Raymond really get going offensively. He only had one turnover with three assists in 33 minutes. That was a really encouraging performance.”
The team shot a tournament-best 54.9 percent, led by Cintron’s 9-of-14 performance. Senior forward LaRon Dendy and junior forward Jason Jones completed the tournament with their fourth-straight double-digit scoring performances. Dendy scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds with a pair of assists, while Jones contributed 11 points, four assists and two steals.
Dendy finished the tournament nearly averaging a double-double with 14.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Additionally, Jones (11.5 ppg) and junior forward JT Sulton (10.3 ppg) also averaged double-figure scoring for the tournament.
Overall, Davis was pleased with the team’s performance during the four-game stretch and knows how valuable the experience will be when the season starts in November.
“This trip was a great for our staff because we learned a ton about our team,” Davis said. “We learned some things that can really help us improve in November. From a player standpoint, this trip has been really good for LaRon. He’ll be ready to go in November. It also was good to see our four new guards and they each had good moments. All of them will be critical to our team this season.
“I was really impressed with Jason, too. He gave us really good leadership in the locker room and on floor. He’s going to have a really good year.”
The team returns home Friday evening and will have a week off before school starts. Davis said he plans to give the players a break during the first week of classes before they get going again in the gym.