Battle for first in East to occur Sunday

Blue Raiders own a one-half game lead over the Jaguars

January 3, 2009 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The third game of a young Sun Belt Conference schedule is crucial for the Middle Tennessee women's basketball team as it travels to Mobile, Ala., Sunday for a 2:05 p.m. tip against South Alabama inside the Mitchell Center.

The Blue Raiders, 10-4, 2-0 SBC, own a one-game lead over the host Jaguars who will enter the tilt with an 11-3 overall mark and 2-1 record in league action. The two teams have the early lead in the SBC's East Division, making Sunday's contest much more important.

MT is coming off a 72-52 league triumph at North Texas Wednesday behind a 27-point, 17-rebound effort from junior forward Alysha Clark. Clark's fifth double-double as a Lady Raider helped spark the squad to the win. She currently paces the conference at 24.1 ppg and increases the average to 29.0 ppg during league games.

South Alabama dropped a 67-66 heartbreaker in its last outing, a New Year's Day affair at Florida Atlantic. Jessica Starling paces the Jaguars with 16.1 ppg, while Shakira Nettles is not far behind at 14.0 ppg.

Middle Tennessee owns a 10-4 lead in the all-time series and has won five straight entering Sunday's contest. Blue Raider head coach Rick Insell is 3-0 against the Jaguars in his career.

The Lady Raiders will return to the Murphy Center for a two-game homestand following the USA game, beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday versus Florida Atlantic.

Fans are also reminded The Rick Insell Show returns to the radio from 6-7 p.m. Monday live from Coach's Grill. Chip Walters will serve as host of the first show of the season and those in attendance will be able to ask questions live to Coach Insell. The show, which is open the general public, will be broadcast live on 89.5 FM WMOT and tape-delayed on WGNS (100.5 FM, 101.9 FM and 1450 AM) from 8-9 p.m. each Monday.

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