Game No. 1000 on the horizon for Middle Tennessee basketball

Blue Raiders travel to Austin Peay Saturday

November 20, 2009 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee women's basketball will celebrate the 1000th game in program history Saturday night when the Blue Raiders travel up I-24 to face Austin Peay at 7 p.m. inside the Lady Govs' Dunn Center. The game will mark the third of four straight to open the campaign against teams which reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago for Middle Tennessee.

The Blue Raiders, ranked No. 24 by the Associated Press, are in their 35th all-time season and hold a 666-333 (.667) all-time record entering the contest since elevating the program to varsity status prior to the 1975-76 campaign. Middle Tennessee has 31 winning records through the years, including a program-best 30-4 mark in 2006-07 and 28-6 ledger last season, which rank as the two highest single-season win totals.

MT will be looking to bounce back after dropping its first game of the young season, a 61-40 decision, at No. 7/15 LSU Wednesday in Baton Rouge. Redshirt senior All-American Alysha Clark paced the Blue Raiders with 16 points and 20 rebounds for her second-straight, 19th Middle Tennessee and 57th career double-double. The 20 boards tie for the eighth highest single-game mark in school history and are the most by a Blue Raider since 1990. She enters the Austin Peay game with 24.0 ppg and 17.5 rpg to start the campaign.

Austin Peay also brings a 1-1 record into the contest and is in the fourth season under head coach Carrie Daniels. The Lady Govs fell in their opener to Chattanooga, but recovered to defeat Lipscomb in a road game Tuesday. Three APSU players are averaging double-figure scoring, led by Ashley Herring's 14.0 ppg. Nicole Jamen paces the Lady Govs with 12.5 rpg, matching her scoring average.

Middle Tennessee leads the all-time series, 53-9 dating back to the school's first meeting in 1977, an 82-52 victory. The Blue Raiders won 62-53 in last year's contest played inside the Murphy Center. MT also holds a 25-4 all-time advantage in games played in Clarksville and has won three straight in the series.

Also announced this week, the Blue Raiders were listed at No. 14 in the Sports Illustrated preseason poll in the magazine's rankings. It is the second-highest listing for the squad in the various preseason rankings. The publication noted that "senior forward Alysha Clark, the nation's leading scorer (27.5), a presence on the boards (9.8 rebounds a game) and a preseason Wooden Award candidate, leads a stocked team."

Clark was tabbed to the SI Second Team All-American list, joining Stanford's Kayla Pedersen at the forward position.

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