MT cruises past UAH in exhibition, 97-64

Five Raiders tally double-figures

November 1, 2012 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee had five players reach double-figures as the Blue Raiders defeated Alabama-Huntsville, 97-64, in an exhibition on Thursday evening.

MT opened up to a 42-19 lead at the half and broke away in the second by scoring 53 points in the final period. The Blue Raiders vaulted 10 triples and made 49 percent (35-of-71) of their shots in the win.

Senior Kortni Jones led all scorers with 20 points. She grabbed seven boards, including six off the defensive glass. The Oak Ridge product dished out a team-leading eight assists.

Ebony Rowe went 7-of-12 from the field, totaling 17 points and five rebounds. The senior recorded four blocks and collected three steals in 26 minutes.

Lebanon product Icelyn Elie had a double-double with 11 rebounds and 10 points. The forward shot 50 percent and had seven defensive boards.

Laken Leonard proved to be a threat beyond the arch, knocking down 4-of-5 triples for 15 points.

True freshman Caroline Warden narrowly missed double-digits with nine points and three assists.

The Lady Chargers committed 23 turnovers, while MT won the rebound column 46-to-39. MT dished out 19 assists, while collecting 14 steals and five blocks on the defensive end.

The Blue Raiders opened up the first half on 15-2 run. During that stretch MT had forced the Lady Chargers to commit 11 turnovers.

Alabama-Huntsville found a small run to narrow the game to 20-11 with less than 12 minutes left in the first period. MT stretched its advantage to 29-12 with 8:42 on the clock. Middle Tennessee added a 13-7 run to close the half and take a 42-19 lead at the half.

Rowe led MT with 10 points and four rebounds. Elie led the team with six points and had seven points. Laken Leonard notched two triples and a basket for nine points. The Raiders connected on 17-of-35 baskets for 49 percent. The Raiders limited UAH to 28 percent (7-of-25) shooting from the field and forced 14 Lady Charger turnovers.

UAH started the second half with a strong play to cut the scoring gap to 16 at the 18:24 mark.

Jones collected a steal, connected on a layup and hit a trey in the span of 30 seconds to help the Raiders increase the lead to 56-32. The Raiders continued on a 15-to-9 run capped by Jones three to put MT up 72-41.

The Raiders continued to add on to the score with a burst of 21 points in the span of four minutes as MT picked up its first exhibition win.

Preseason play for the Raiders continues on Tuesday, Nov. 6 when MT hosts in-state foe Lincoln Memorial. Tip is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Murphy Center.


Head Coach Rick Insell

Opening Statement ...

The big thing is that we didn't get anybody hurt, and we got to play everybody. We've got some weaknesses and some things we need to work on. We'll work on that tomorrow. Everything we do in practice tomorrow will be what we're some of our weaknesses tonight. We didn't rebound the ball as well as I thought we could. They presented us some problems. You are not going to find many teams that shoot the three like them. 

On getting off to a big start...

We got off to a really good start in both halves, but you can talk that and preach that, but when it gets ragged out there. You saw what we did in one spurt when we hit three or four three's in a row, and made a play or two, but we've got to be more consistent doing that. And when we do, we'll become a good basketball team. 

On improving after this game...

We have another exhibition game before we start the season, and lets hope we can get a little more consistent. I feel sure that Kennesaw State will be a lot better than that team we played tonight. We have to rebound better, box out better, we've got to finish a little better. We scored 97 points, and I know we missed at least half a dozen one-footers. That's just rushing your shot.

Junior Forward Ebony Rowe

On the positives of Thursday's performance...

One positive was that we started off executing, we were running our plays, sticking to what we do, and then we got a little complacent, and it threw our game off a little bit. Overall, there are some positives that we can take from this game.

Senior Guard Kortni Jones

On the play in the first half...

It got extremely sloppy in the first half, and of course we had a half-time talk that was pretty intense. He (Coach Insell) said to treat this game like any team we wanted to beat, like Tennessee or Kentucky, so we had to regain our focus, and we came out the second half and got a good start. 

On the play from the bench... 

Our reserves are going to be extremely important. It is really hard on the starting five to play the whole game, and we have placed a lot of emphasis on the new girls coming in and being prepared to step in when any of us need a break. And if something happens, they have still got to be prepared to come in and give us the breathers we need against those quicker teams when we'll exert a lot more energy than we did tonight.

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