Blue Raiders preparing for SBC East Division leader FAU

J. Jones and Washington continue double figure scoring

January 12, 2011 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - When the Blue Raiders return to the hardwood on Thursday night they will be looking to use their momentum from the last two games against Sun Belt East Division leader Florida Atlantic.

Middle Tennessee already downed one hot Sun Belt team in North Texas last week. The Mean Green were on a six game win streak and had won 13-straight Sun Belt games before the Blue Raiders defeated them. Then Middle Tennessee snapped a 10-game home Sun Belt win streak by UL-Lafayette with its overtime win there.

The Blue Raiders will be looking to do more of the same this week when they play host to FAU. The Owls are on a four-game win streak and have won six of their last seven games. The team is also undefeated in Sun Belt action at 4-0.

R-sophomore Jason Jones and senior James Washington played major roles in the Blue Raiders' success last week offensively. Jones averaged 16.5 points per game while shooting 57.9 percent from the field. Washington averaged 15.5 points in the two games and made all 15 of his free throw attempts.

J. Jones also helped guide the defense with 11 rebounds and four steals. R-junior Jimmy Oden led the team in rebounds with 14. Oden, who has performed very well in Sun Belt action for the Blue Raiders, also had four steals.

Tipoff with the Owls is set for 7 p.m. in Murphy Center.

After the game with FAU, Middle Tennessee will have a quick turnaround as it travels to Jonesboro, Ark., on Friday to face Arkansas State. The Blue Raiders will play the Red Wolves on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 7:05 p.m.

ASU plays host to UL-Lafayette before welcoming the Blue Raiders for the weekend. ASU has lost two straight games, both in league action on the road. The Red Wolves are undefeated at 6-0 headed into this week's action. ASU has three players averaging double figure scoring led by Martavius Adams who is averaging 13.2 points per game. Adams also leads the team in rebounds averaging 7.5 per game.

Chip Walters and Kyle Turnham will call the action on the Blue Raider Network. Live stats and live video may be found on GoBlueRaiders.com.

Notes and Highlights
Road Warriors... With the win over UL-Lafayette (1/8/11), Middle Tennessee recorded its 38th Sun Belt road win since the 2002-03 season. The Blue Raiders are first in Sun Belt road wins during the span. Western Kentucky is second in Sun Belt road wins during the span with 36. Middle Tennessee had the best Sun Belt road record in 2009-10 at 7-2 and is 1-1 this season.

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In the Glass House... Middle Tennessee won its season opener in the Murphy Center and are 4-3 when playing at home this season. The Blue Raiders hold an 83-38 record at Murphy Center under head coach Kermit Davis. Middle Tennessee has also performed well in the "Glass House" during Sun Belt Conference action. The Blue Raiders are currently on a three-game win streak in Murphy Center when playing Sun Belt opponents, which is the fourth active streak in the league.

Charity Stripe... Middle Tennessee made and attempted the second most free throws in school history against UL-Lafayette. The team made 41 of 49 in the game which was the most since 2004. It also surpassed Middle Tennessee's record in Sun Belt action which was set on Jan. 15, 2004 against Arkansas State.

Getting Hot ... R-sophomore Jason Jones has helped guide the Blue Raiders in the last nine games after struggling to begin the season. Jones has scored 134 points, averaging 14.9, in those games. He also has 49 rebounds, three blocks and 10 steals during that span. Jones made some key free throws down the stretch in against SIUE and Belmont, both of which went to overtime. Prior to this stretch, Jones was averaging 9.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

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