Truman State men's basketball falls to Middle Tennessee State

Junior transfer guard Reed Mells scored 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting, while senior center Marek Bush added eight points and seven rebounds for the Truman men's basketball team in a 78-66 loss at Div. I Middle Tennessee State on Monday night.

The Bulldogs â?? who were playing their second Div. I exhibition in as many nights â?? took on an MTSU Blue Raider squad that reached the NCAA "First Four" last season and is competing in its first season of Conference USA play.

Truman kept the game in-hand throughout the night, never trailing by more than 14 points and drawing to within single digits in the waning minutes.

Mells scored his 23 points in 26 minutes of action, hitting three triples while adding three steals, two assists and two rebounds.

Senior forward Mike Carlson added his second straight double-digit night, pouring in 10 points to go alongside three rebounds and two blocks.

Bush was a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

Junior guard Seth Jackson handed out a team-high three assists, while senior guard Isaac Gardner drilled a trio of three-pointers in eight minutes.

Truman shot 47.3% from the field (27-of-57) overall, including a 9-of-23 mark (39.1%) from long range.

After being nearly flawless from the free throw line on Sunday afternoon at Southern Mississippi, the Bulldogs were cold on Monday â?? hitting just 3-of-12 (25.0%) of its charity stripe chances against MTSU.

Shawn Jones scored 17 points to lead MTSU, while Neiko Hunter added a 15-point, 15-rebound double-double.

The Bulldogs kick off the 2013-14 regular season this Saturday night in Pershing Arena when the squad hosts Lincoln Christian (Ill.) College at 6:00 pm.

Courtesy Truman State University