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Middle Tennessee to open Sun Belt action Saturday

The Blue Raiders welcome Troy to the Murphy Center

December 18, 2008 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee women's basketball team will take its first step into Sun Belt Conference play Saturday when it plays host to Troy at 7 p.m. inside the Murphy Center. The game will kick off the program's ninth as a member of the league, which it joined prior to the 2000-01 campaign.

"We're excited about getting into conference play," head coach Rick Insell said. "Troy has a much better basketball team than they have shown. They are playing right now with more presence, more confidence and are better than their record.

Troy is coming off a slim 63-61 loss at George Washington Tuesday. Kylie Morrissy, the Trojans' leading scorer at 15.8 ppg, led all players with 20 points against the Colonials. Donette McNair gives head coach Michael Murphy's squad a pair of players in double figures with 12.4 ppg.

"They nearly pulled off a big win at George Washington. Mike Murphy does a good job - I've always said he's one of the better coaches in our conference. The young ladies that play for him know how to play the game. The fundamentals are important to them and they do a good job carrying out those fundamentals."

Middle Tennessee has won its last two games, including Tuesday's 62-53 victory over Austin Peay. The Blue Raiders, who carry an overall record of 7-4 into the contest, are 6-1 at home this season and their 34-1 home conference mark the last four seasons ranks second nationally.

MT has won all eight meetings in the series with Troy. Coach Insell has a 6-0 record against the Trojans since taking the reigns of the program prior to 2005-06.

"It's going to be another tough game for us. We are going to have to bring our A game and play just as hard against Troy as we did against Indiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee and others to get the first win in the conference."

The Blue Raiders are 3-0 under Insell in conference openers, including a 2-0 mark in games played inside the Murphy Center.

Saturday's game will also be Hoop and Hollar for a Dollar with all tickets priced at $1. Call 1-888-YES-MTSU to secure tickets for Saturday's contest and all other Middle Tennessee athletic events.

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