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Basketball preparing for pair of home games

Will play three of next four games at home

February 2, 2011 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's basketball team returns to the friendly confines of Murphy Center this week where it will play host to UL-Monroe and South Alabama.

The Blue Raiders defeated FIU 79-70 on Saturday to end their road trip to Florida on a high note and improve to 5-4 in Sun Belt Conference action. Middle Tennessee will play three of its next four games at Murphy Center beginning with ULM on Thursday, Feb. 3.

Thursday night's game will have a Mardi Gras theme and will include a parade around the court composed of student-athletes and student organizations. As part of the annual event, fans are encouraged to partake in the revelry by wearing beads, masks and costumes.

Senior James Washington and r-sophomore Jason Jones continue to guide the Blue Raider offense combining for 37 points in the win over FIU. Washington has six 20-point games this season while J. Jones has scored in double figures in 12 consecutive games.

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Men's Basketball vs. ULM
Middle Tennessee's defense has also performed well in the past four games outrebounding opponents by 10, including seven more on the offensive side of the ball. Senior Trevor Ottley has pulled down a team high 27 rebounds in those games to average 6.8. The Blue Raiders also have seven more steals than their opponents during the stretch with r-junior Jimmy Oden leading the way with 11.

The Blue Raiders will play host to South Alabama Saturday, Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. on the front end of a doubleheader with the women's team. The game with the Jaguars will be Coaches vs. Cancer Night to raise awareness for the American Cancer Society and the respective coaching staffs wearing their sneakers.

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Chip Walters and Kyle Turnham will have all the action from Murphy Center on the Blue Raider Network. The Sun Belt Championships will be held in Hot Springs, Ark., March 4-8. Tickets for all sessions are $83 and on sale through the Blue Raider Ticket Office by contacting 1-888-YES-MTSU or by visiting goblueraiders.com.

NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTS In the Glass House... Middle Tennessee won its season opener in the Murphy Center and are 6-4 at home this season. The Blue Raiders hold an 85-39 record at Murphy Center under head coach Kermit Davis.

Dual Threat... Senior James Washington and r-sophomore Jason Jones have proved they are a force to be reckoned with on the court. The pair have scored in double digits in the same game 14 times this season including six of the last seven games. Middle Tennessee is 6-8 in those games but in Sun Belt action is 4-3 including a win on the road at FIU.

Double-Double... There have been 526 double-doubles in Blue Raider basketball history dating back to the 1970-71 season. Middle Tennessee has recorded four this season which is the most since the 2008-09 season. The Blue Raiders had six double-doubles during that season by five different players.

Road Warriors... With the win over FIU (1/29/11), Middle Tennessee recorded its 39th Sun Belt road win since the 2002-03 season. The Blue Raiders are tied for first in Sun Belt road wins during the span. Western Kentucky is tied for first in Sun Belt road wins during the span with 39 after defeating FAU. Middle Tennessee had the best Sun Belt road record in 2009-10 at 7-2 and is 2-3 this season.

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