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Blue Raiders to host hot North Texas squad Wednesday

Tipoff set for 8 p.m.

January 4, 2011 · MT Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Blue Raiders are preparing for their home Sun Belt opener against West Division leader North Texas after a hard loss at South Alabama.

Middle Tennessee battled against the Jaguars but could not overcome free throws in the six-point loss. The Blue Raiders had one free throw attempt in the second half to USA’s 22 which proved to be a deciding factor as the Jags did not have a field goal after the four-minute mark.

Middle Tennessee returns to the friendly confines of Murphy Center where it won its last home game and will be looking to extend that streak to two against the Mean Green. The Blue Raiders will then have to hit the road again for a weekend matchup at UL-Lafayette.

R-sophomore Jason Jones has helped guide the Blue Raiders in the last seven games after struggling to begin the season. Jones has scored 101 points in those games. He also has 38 rebounds, three blocks and six steals during that span. He has also posted double figure scoring in all but one of those games.

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Blue Raiders vs North Texas
Senior James Washington is also providing consistent scoring for the Blue Raiders as he is averaging 13.9 points per game on the season.

Defensively, sophomore JT Sulton leads the team in rebounds per game with 4.9 while J. Jones is also providing assistance with 4.4.

UNT’s George Odufuwa who leads the team in rebounds per game is listed as doubtful after sustaining an injury in shoot around prior to its last game. The Mean Green will be a tough opponent as they have won 13 straight Sun Belt games but its last loss in conference action came at the hands of Middle Tennessee in Murphy Center. North Texas is also 1-5 all-time at the “Glass House” with its lone win coming in 2008.

After the game with North Texas, Middle Tennessee will have just two days to prepare for UL-Lafayette who it will play in the Cajundome on Saturday, Jan. 8. ULL is very different than North Texas on paper as it last lost three straight and is on a four-game losing streak in Sun Belt action. The Ragin’ Cajuns are 2-3 at home but the Blue Raiders have posted the most wins on the road in league play and will use that experience to guide them.

Middle Tennessee has been the best Sun Belt road team since Davis took over the reins beginning with the 2002-03 season. Middle Tennessee has won 37 Sun Belt Conference away games during that span.

Stu Paul will have the call on Wednesday when the Blue Raiders take the floor against the Mean Green as Chip Walters will be with the football team at the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Tipoff at Murphy Center is set for 8 p.m. or 30-minutes following the women’s game.

On Saturday, Jan. 8 Walters returns to the broadcast and will have the call from the Cajundome on the Blue Raider Network. Tipoff against the Ragin’ Cajuns is set for 7:05 p.m.

Live stats for both games may be found at GoBlueRaiders.com.

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