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Blue Raiders inch towards top 25

Middle Tennessee is 28th in the coaches' poll and 31st in the media poll this week

January 27, 2009 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee women's basketball team continues to gain momentum in both national polls this week as it returns home to play host to Louisiana-Lafayette at 7 p.m. Wednesday inside the Murphy Center. The contest will be the second of three during a four-game run for the Lady Raiders to be played at home.

Middle Tennessee picked up 24 votes in this week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, placing it 28th among 36 schools receiving at least one vote. The Blue Raiders are just seven votes shy of entering the top 25 where DePaul sits at No. 25. Only Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech separate the two schools.

In the Associated Press Poll announced Monday, MT garnered 12 votes to rank 31st. DePaul is again at No. 25 with Rutgers, Oklahoma State, Marist, Georgia Tech and New Mexico listed ahead of the Blue Raiders.

The Lady Raiders have received votes, while gaining points, for the fourth-straight week in both polls. Middle Tennessee also ranks No. 23 in the latest RPI with a strength of schedule of No. 48 out of 341 Division I programs.

The Blue Raiders have won 12 straight overall to improve their record to 17-4 overall and 9-0 in the Sun Belt. The unblemished conference mark gives the team the only remaining unbeaten record in the league heading into the second half of the SBC slate.

Six players average at least 8.2 points per game for head coach Rick Insell's squad, including a Sun Belt-high 23.9 ppg by junior Alysha Clark. The three-time conference player of the week ranks second nationally in scoring, trailing the national leader by less than a point on average.

Louisiana-Lafayette will come into Wednesday's game with 3-16 overall and 0-8 Sun Belt records. Head coach Errol Rogers' Ragin' Cajuns have lost seven straight contests following a Dec. 23 win against Savannah State.

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