Blue Raiders prepare for third-straight in-state foe

Middle Tennessee looking for fifth win in a row in series

November 27, 2009 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A visit from Tennessee Tech Saturday is next on the docket for the Middle Tennessee women's basketball team as it will play its second-straight home game, at 7:30 p.m. inside the Murphy Center.

The Golden Eagles represent the third-straight in-state foe on the Blue Raider schedule. Tennessee Tech brings a 1-3 record into the contest under the direction of first-year head coach Sytia Messer. Sophomore Tacarra Hayes paces the squad with 17.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg.

Middle Tennessee possesses an even 2-2 mark through the first four games and is coming off a home contest against No. 6/5 Tennessee Wednesday night. The Blue Raiders played the Lady Vols in front of a Murphy Center women's-record crowd of 11,802 in their first visit to Murfreesboro in 30 years.

All-American Alysha Clark has started the campaign with four-straight double-doubles and is averaging 27.3 ppg and 14.0 rpg. She had a game-high 23 points and team-best 10 rebounds against Tennessee, while fellow senior Jackie Pickel netted 16 points on the strength of four 3-pointers.

Pickel erupted for a career-best 23 points, including 18 in the second half, in last year's 101-66 win at Tennessee Tech. She hit five triples in the Dec. 28, 2008, victory.

Head coach Rick Insell is 4-0 versus the Golden Eagles since taking the reigns of the MT program prior to the 2005-06 campaign. Tennessee Tech leads the all-time series, 38-33, but the Blue Raiders own triumphs in eight of the last 10 meetings.

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