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Middle Tennessee returns home to face Indiana

The game is not part of the regular-season ticket package. Blue Raider fans and supporters will need to call 1-888-YES-MTSU to reserve tickets.

November 20, 2008 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee women's basketball team will return to the Murphy Center, a place it has won over 78 percent of its games, for third round action of the Preseason WNIT against Indiana at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The game is not part of the regular-season ticket package. Blue Raider fans and supporters will need to call 1-888-YES-MTSU to reserve tickets.

"We are excited about being a part of the WNIT tournament," head coach Rick Insell said. "We felt like we may have had a chance to be in Tempe (Ariz.), but we got beat and we'll take it from there and go back to play Indiana."

MT enters the game with a 1-1 record, both contests being played as part of the Preseason WNIT. The Lady Raiders opened the 2008-09 campaign with an 85-47 victory over Lafayette Saturday inside the Murphy Center before traveling to face No. 2 Oklahoma Wednesday night in Norman, Okla.

Against the Sooners, Middle Tennessee boasted the game's highest scorer and rebounder in junior transfer Alysha Clark, who tallied her first double-double in a MT uniform with 31 points and 16 rebounds while mostly being matched against three-time postseason and first-team preseason All-American Courtney Paris. Clark also led all players with a 14-of-15 effort from the foul line, making and attempting more shots from the charity stripe than the entire Oklahoma squad.

Clark was joined in double-figure scoring by junior Jackie Pickel, who connected on three 3-pointers among her 11 points. Classmate Chelsia Lymon and sophomore Anne Marie Lanning each knocked down a pair from 3-point territory helping the Lady Raiders to a 9-to-4 edge in the category.

"Indiana has a good team. They are the type of team where it could come down to them or us as far as going to the NCAA Tournament. We have to take care of business and not think we are just going to win because we are playing at home. It just won't happen that way. We are going to have to play the game and have to play it well. If we do, we will have a good shot to win our second game. It will probably be bigger at the end of the season than it is Saturday night."

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The Hoosiers enter Murfreesboro also with a 1-1 record during Preseason WNIT action, defeating Ball State (84-68) and losing to Xavier (62-59). Indiana is led by four players in double figures, including its early leading scorer Amber Jackson with a 14.5 ppg mark.

Joining Jackson in double digit scoring are Jori Davis and Whitney Thomas with 13.5 ppg each and Whitney Lindsay with 10.5 ppg. Thomas is the team's top rebounder with a 10.5 rpg average and Lindsay is the most prolific from behind the 3-point line, shooting 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) through the opening two games.

Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack is in her third season at the helm of the Hoosier program and has led the squad to consecutive Postseason WNIT berths. Indiana completed last season with an 18-15 overall record, including a 10-8 mark in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers were 19-14 (6-10 Big 10) her first campaign.

The two teams have met three times previously but not since 2001. Middle Tennessee earned a 65-59 road victory in the first matchup, Dec. 5, 1987, but it has not won the last two outings in 1999 and 2001. It will mark the first game pitting Insell against Legette-Jack on the coaching sidelines.

All Middle Tennessee women's basketball games can be heard on WMOT FM 89.5 and WGNS AM 1450 with Dick Palmer on the play-by-play commentary.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.