Raiders take on old rival Tennessee Tech on Tuesday

MT in the midst of five game road swing

November 19, 2012 · @MTAthletics

Middle Tennessee women's basketball continues a five game road swing at in-state rival Tennessee Tech on Tuesday. The matchup is slated for 5:30 p.m. at the Hooper Eblen Center in Cookeville.


Opponent: Tennessee Tech (2-1)
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Cookeville, Tenn.
Arena: Hooper Eblen Center (9,280)
Tickets: TTUSports.com or call 931-372-3941


Overall: TTU leads series, 38-36
At Tennessee Tech: 12-21
Under Rick Insell: 7-0


Live Webstream: OVCDigitalNetwork.com (free)
Radio: WMOT (89.5 FM)
Play-by-Play: Dick Palmer


• Middle Tennessee (2-1) dropped a 69-63 decision at Iowa in overtime in the semifinals of the Preseason WNIT Tournament last Wednesday.
Ebony Rowe scored 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to register her 34th career double-double. The performance earned Rowe a spot on the WNIT All-Tournament team.
Kortni Jones and Ebony Rowe were named to the Nasmith Player of the Year early season watch list. Only 50 players nationally are selected to the watch list each year.
• The Raiders have three players averaging double figures, all of which were preseason first team All-Sun Belt selections. Ebony Rowe leads the way with 22 ppg, followed by Icelyn Elie with 16. Kortni Jones has a team-best 10 triples, while boasting 16.7 points per contest.
• In the recent Associated Press poll, MT is 37th with eight points. The Blue Raiders were 28th in last week's USA Today Sports/ESPN coaches' poll.


Blue Raiders vs. OVC

• Middle Tennessee was a valuable member of the Ohio Valley Conference from 1978 until 2000. During that span, the Raiders had 232 wins and 77 losses with 7 NCAA Tournament appearances.
• The Blue Raiders collected 11 regular season championships and hold the best winning percentage ever (.751) as a Ohio Valley Conference member.
• Coach Rick Insell is 14-1 all-time against OVC competition. This Blue Raiders hold a perfect 7-0 mark against Tennessee Tech. Austin Peay is the only OVC foe to hand Insell a loss (69-71, Dec. 29, 2005). MT is also 1-0 against EKU during that stretch.

Scouting Tennessee Tech

• Tennessee Tech enters Tuesday evening's game with a 2-1 record. The Golden Eagles opened the season with an 86-47 thrashing of Tennessee Wesleyan before falling to Akron, 78-67. TTU knocked off Conference-USA foe Rice on Saturday in a 78-65 decision.
• The Golden Eagles are under first year head coach Jim Davis. Davis returned to the Division I ranks after spending several seasons as an assistant with the Minnesota Lynx and one year at Young Harris College. Davis, the former head coach of Clemson, has a 376-205 record during his career. He is a member of the Clemson Athletics Hall of Fame.
• TTU posted a 17-17 mark last season, including an 11-5 record in OVC play. The Golden Eagles fell at Bradley, 74-71, in the Women's Basketball Invitational.
• With four starters returning, Tennessee Tech is led by guard Diamond Henderson. She has averaged 22.7 points and 10 assists in three games this season. T'Keyah Williams is the leading rebounder, grabbing eight boards per game, while notching nine points a contest. Senior Lashay Davis is the Golden Eagles' prime three-point threat, hitting 8-of-14 for 57 percent behind the arch.

Series with the Golden Eagles 

• Two former OVC rivals Tennessee Tech and Middle Tennessee duke it out on the hardwood for the 75th time on Tuesday. TTU holds a slight 38-36 edge in the series that began in 1976.
• The Golden Eagles won nine out of the first 10 games of the series. MT won a stretch of six games from 1983 to 1985 to close the gap.
• Most recently, Middle Tennessee has won seven consecutive games and 9 out of the last 10 contests. The seven game win streak is the longest between the two programs.
• The Blue Raiders' only blemish was a 52-50 defeat in Cookeville on Dec. 9, 2004. Coach Rick Insell has never lost to TTU.

Davis Faces Old Program 

• Jim Davis faces his old program for the second time in his collegiate coaching career. Davis helped the Raiders post a 19-8 mark and 12-2 OVC record in his lone season at Middle Tennessee in 1986-87. He left MT to take over the Clemson program for 20 years. Davis lost to the Blue Raiders at the Shoney's Inn Classic in Murfreesboro, 69-64, on Dec. 3, 1988.

WNIT All-Tournament Team Honor

• Junior forward Ebony Rowe was selected to the Preseason WNIT All-Tournament team announced on Sunday. The Lexington, Ky., product registered two double-doubles and averaged 22 points and 11.3 rebounds in three games. Rowe scored a season-high 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the overtime loss at Iowa. She also led Middle Tennessee with 23 points and 11 boards in the season-opening victory against Kennesaw State.

Two Named to Naismith Watch List 

Kortni Jones and Ebony Rowe were selected to the Naismith Women's Basketball College Player of the Year early season watch list announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
• Rowe has made two impressive seasons as a Blue Raider. She became the second Blue Raider sophomore to reach 1,000 points. The Lexington, Ky., product has totaled 64 double-figuring scoring games in her career. Rowe moved into fifth all-time at MT with 34 career double-doubles after totaling a season-best 24 points and 16 rebounds in the loss at Iowa. She is posting 22 points and 11.3 rebounds in three games.
• Jones set a school record with 115 made triples last year, moving her to 10th all-time on the NCAA single-season chart. Jones had double scoring performances in 31 of 33 games last season. Jones moved into seventh all-time at MT with her trifecta of triples against the Iowa Hawkeyes. This season, she is averaging 16.7 points per game with a team-high 10 treys.

Last Time Out 

• MT dropped a heartbreaking 69-63 contest at Iowa in overtime on Nov. 14. The Blue Raiders held a three-point lead until a trey by Iowa's Jaime Printy with 1.6 ticks left sent the game to OT. From there, the Hawkeyes outscored MT 10-4 to advance to the Preseason WNIT Championship game. Ebony Rowe tallied 24 points and 16 rebounds, while Icelyn Elie chipped in with 14 points and eight boards.

Among the Nation's Elite 

MT is just one of seven schools that has football, men's and women's basketball teams receiving votes or ranked in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls. MT, Notre Dame, Texas, Louisville, Georgia, Stanford and UCLA are the only programs to boast that accomplishment.

Attendance Starting High 

• Support is at all-time high for Middle Tennessee women's basketball. The Blue Raiders are averaging 4,540 fans per game in their first two home games.
• MT set the best attendance mark in the first two rounds of the Preseason WNIT. 5,806 fans packed the house on Nov. 9 against KSU, which ranks as the seventh largest in school history. The Raiders followed up with 3,273 against in-state foe Memphis on Nov. 11.

Rowe Grabs a Trifecta of Weekly Honors

• MT junior forward Ebony Rowe collected three honors this week after posting 21 points and nine rebounds against KSU and Memphis. Rowe was named the player of the week by the Sun Belt, TSWA and College Sports Madness.
• Rowe is second all-time at MT with eight weekly SBC honors and third in conference history. This is the 34th time a player has received this award during the Rick Insell era.

Dishing It Out

• Assists have been critical to the MT's success early this season. MT has posted 14.7 assists per game.
Kortni Jones leads the Raiders with 14 of the 44 assists in two games. Jones has dished out 351 in her career. She is just four shy of reaching MT's Top 10 list for career assists. 

Continuing to Rowe

• Junior Ebony Rowe received her 1,000-point club ball on Nov. 9 against KSU and decided she needed to move up the scoring charts.
• The Lexington, Ky., native is now just 46 points from reaching No. 20 in all-time scoring at Middle Tennessee. She would be the seventh player under Coach Insell to reach the Top 20.
• In 2011-12, Rowe joined Priscilla Robinson as the only Blue Raider to reach 1,000 in her sophomore campaign.
• Rowe became the 26th member of the 1,000-point club and the 10th to play at least one season under coach Rick Insell.

Doubling History

• Junior Ebony Rowe moved into fifth all-time in career double-doubles on Nov. 14 at Iowa (24 p, 16 r). Rowe is just four shy of reaching the all-time leader in Priscilla Robinson.
• Rowe has 34 double-figure rebounding games and has totaled 64 double-figure scoring contests. 

Off the Glass

Ebony Rowe's 11 offensive rebounds at Iowa moved her into second all-time at MT with 352 in her career. Rowe is just 14 shy of tying record holder Krystle Horton's total of 368. Rowe set an all-time record with 189 offensive boards last season.
• Rowe moved past Alysha Clark and Tia Stovall with 16 boards at Iowa. Her 680 rebounds sits 13th all-time. She needs just six to reach 12th and seven to reach 11th in school history.

Experienced Starters

• The five Blue Raider starters have amassed impressive numbers. The group has started a combined 197 games and has reached double-figure scoring in 165 games. Junior Ebony Rowe leads the way with 67 consecutive starts and 64 double-figure scoring contests.
Insell vs. the Volunteer State
• Coach Rick Insell is 19-9 all-time against in-state competition since arriving on campus at MT in 2005. His squads have played eight different D1 teams in Tennessee. 

A Jones-ing for the Record Books

Kortni Jones continues her climb in the Middle Tennessee record books.
• The senior ranks seventh with 183 made triples and is 13 away from reaching sixth.
• Jones is just four assists short of reaching the top 10 at Middle Tennessee. So far, Jones has 351 in her career. 

1,000-point Club Watch

• Two Blue Raiders are on the verge of becoming the 27th and 28th members of the MT 1,000-point club.
Kortni Jones has 900 points and is just a hundred away from reaching the club.
• Senior Icelyn Elie is 128 points shy, as she has accumulated 872 points in three-plus seasons. 

Insell Inching Closer to All-Time Mark

• Rick Insell now stands just six victories shy of tying Lewis Bivens for the all-time record.
• Insell joins current Blue Raider men's coach, Kermit Davis, in a race to catch Bivens as the winningest basketball coach in school history. Davis became the winningest men's coach last season, surpassing Jimmy Earle.

Nice Ice

• Senior Icelyn Elie posted her 13th career double-figure rebounding perfomance with 11 grabs at Iowa.
• The Lebanon native is just two rebounds away from reaching the Top 25 in all-time rebounding. She has totaled 486 rebounds for an average 5.7 in three-plus seasons.

Set the Sights on 20

Ebony Rowe has reached 20 points on 20 occasions during her career. She is a remarkable 18-2 when scoring 20-plus points in a game.
Starting off Big
• The crowd of 5,806 on Nov. 9 against Kennesaw State ranks sixth all-time in school. All top-10 attendance marks have been under Coach Insell's watch.

Bouncing Back

• The Blue Raiders have lost back-to-back games in the regular season only once in the past three seasons.
• Last year, MT dropped a 82-43 game at No. 8 Tennessee before falling 59-53 to Arkansas. 

BRAA Sponsoring Trip to Tennessee

• The BRAA will be sponsoring a bus trip for MT's game at Tennessee on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
• Regal Transportation Services will provide a 53-seat private executive coach with a flat screen TV and restroom. The bus will leave from the Greenland Drive parking lot on Wednesday at 2 PM and return to Murfreesboro immediately following the game.
• The cost of the Tennessee trip is $60 per person for the bus. Tickets to the game are not included. Tickets are on sale for $15 and you can call the ticket office (1-888-YES-MTSU) or purchase online at GoBlueRaiders.com. Deadline to signup is Friday, Nov. 23. 

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