Blue Raiders head to Texas for in-season tournament

MT to face St. Bonaventure, Kansas State

December 19, 2010 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee women’s basketball will travel to San Antonio for a pair of games in the UTSA Holiday Classic Monday and Tuesday before a week-long hiatus for the Christmas holiday. The Blue Raiders will play a pair of neutral site contests, beginning at 4 p.m. Monday against St. Bonaventure before lining up against Kansas State at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the UTSA Convocation Center.

Middle Tennessee enters the two-day event having not played since last Sunday, Dec. 12, when it garnered an 81-75 home victory over James Madison to improve to 7-3. The Blue Raiders, who trailed much of the contest, battled hard down the stretch to defeat the defending Colonial Athletic Association champion.

Sophomore Icelyn Elie paced the MT attack with her first double-double of 25 points and 16 rebounds, both career-highs. She was one of four Blue Raiders to reach double-figure scoring, as freshman Ebony Rowe (21 points), senior Anne Marie Lanning (17) and junior Tina Stewart (10) also reached the plateau.

Rowe was named the Dec. 14 Sun Belt Player of the Week, her second, after averaging 18.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg in the three Middle Tennessee games from Dec. 7-13 at UCF, against No. 4/5 Xavier and against James Madison.

St. Bonaventure also owns a 7-3 record under the direction of 12th-year head coach Jim Crowley. The Bonnies, who compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference, have two players averaging in double-digit scoring, led by Megan Van Tatenhove’s 14.1 average. She is joined by Jessica Jenkins with 12.3 ppg.

St. Bonaventure has won its last four games entering the tournament. It will be the first time the Bonnies and Blue Raiders will meet on the hardwood.

Kansas State, out of the Big 12 Conference, carries the best ledger entering the holiday event with an 8-1 mark for 15th-year head coach Deb Patterson. It will face the host Roadrunners in Monday’s second game. Three Wildcats are in double-figure scoring with Brittany Chambers setting the pace at 15.4 ppg. Taelor Karr and Jalana Childs are next on the list with 11.7 and 10.8 per game, respectively.

Tuesday’s meeting will be the third in the series and Kansas State has come out on top in the two previous matchups. The two teams have played once each on each other’s home floor in the series.

Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Insell is facing both opponents for the first time in his five-plus years on the Blue Raider sideline.

The tournament, hosted by UTSA, represents the first in-season event for Middle Tennessee since it won the 2006 Subway Classic in Minneapolis, defeating Maine and Minnesota. The Blue Raiders have played in 52 in-season tournaments throughout their history, though just two under Insell’s watch, and own a 60-53 all-time mark.

All the action can be heard on the Blue Raider Network with play-by-play voice Dick Palmer on the call. Radio stations broadcasting both games will be WGNS (100.5 FM, 101.9 FM, 1450 AM), WMOT (89.5 FM) and WBRY (96.7 FM, 1540 AM).

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