MT visits nationally ranked Lady Vols Wednesday
Blue Raiders and Tennessee set to tip at 6 p.m. Central timeNovember 27, 2012 · @MTAthletics
Middle Tennessee resumes re-enters non-conference action by visiting No. 16/14 Tennessee on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Tipoff with the Lady Volunteers is set for 6 p.m. Central at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Opponent: Tennessee Lady Vols (4-1)
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012
Time: 6:00 p.m. Central Time
Location: Knoxville, Tenn.
Arena: Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678)
Overall: Tennessee leads series, 12-0
Last Meeting: UT 82, MT 43 - Knoxville, Tenn. - Nov. 29, 2011
Under Rick Insell: 0-5
Live Webstream: UTSports.com
Radio: WMOT (89.5 FM)/WGNS 1450 AM, 100.5 FM, 101.9 FM
Play-by-Play: Dick Palmer
•Middle Tennessee (4-1, 1-0 SBC) continues a five game road swing with a stop at Tennessee (4-1) on Wednesday evening. The Blue Raiders conclude a 5,000 mile roadtrip with a visit to South Dakota State on Saturday, Dec. 1.
• Rick Insell's squads hold a 20-9 record against in-state competition since his arrival in 2005.
•In the recent Associated Press poll, MT received four votes for a ranking of 38th. The Raiders are 32nd in the USA Today Sports/ESPN Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.
•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 19.8 ppg, followed by Kortni Jones with 17.4. Icelyn Elie has averaged 15.0 ppg and 7.2 rpg in five contests played this season.
•Rick Insell is four wins away from becoming Middle Tennessee's winningest coach.
Blue Raiders vs. the SEC
• Middle Tennessee is 23-59 all-time against Southeastern Conference opponents.
• Since Rick Insell's arrival the Blue Raiders have collected six wins over the SEC. Most recently, MT knocked off No. 6 Kentucky, 70-58, on Dec. 28, 2011.
• Aside from the Tennessee game on Wednesday, MT travels to Kentucky for a Noon tip on Sunday, Dec. 9.
• The No. 16/14 ranked Lady Vols (4-1) enter Wednesday's contest with a four game win streak. After losing their season opener at Chattanooga (80-71), UT has picked up wins over two nationally ranked programs (No. 22/20 Georgia Tech and No. 23 Miami). Most recently, the Lady Vols defeated Alcorn State, 90-37, as six players reached double figures.
• Offensively, the Lady Vols are averaging the nation's ninth best offense with 82.4 points per game, while shooting 47 percent (125-of-325) from the field that ranks 21st in the NCAA.
• UT is led offensively by Bashaara Graves and Meighan Simmons. Graves is boasting 16 points and seven boards a game. Simmons, a junior guard, is posting 14.6 points with a team-best 11 steals. Isabelle Harrison is the Lady Vols' top rebounder, grabbing 8.2 boards per game and accumulating 11 blocks in five games.
• Coach Holly Warlick officially took over the Lady Vols program in April 2012 after legendary Coach Pat Summitt retired. Warlick has been with the program since 1985 and recently served as Associate Head Coach since the 2005 season.
• The Knoxville native played at Tennessee with her teams collecting a 118-23 mark during her career. Warlick was inducted to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Series with the Lady Vols
• Tennessee owns a 12-0 record against the Blue Raiders. The first meeting between the two schools began on March 6, 1976 with UT edging MT, 73-70.
• Last season, the Lady Vols took an 82-43 win in Knoxville. Oak Ridge native Kortni Jones scored a game-high 16 points and grabbed five rebounds for Middle Tennessee in the loss.
• The Raiders and UT have met five out of the last six years, with the only exception in 2010. The meeting in 2006 snapped a 22 year drought of the two programs meeting.
Rocky Top Connections
• MT has a few connections to the University of Tennessee. Assistant Coach Alex Fuller played at UT from 2004 until 2009.
• Fuller completed her undergraduate work at Tennessee, while lettering for four seasons under head coach Pat Summit. She was a part of two NCAA Championship teams, in 2007 and 2008.
• She played in 139 career games with 31 starts, averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds throughout her career. She redshirted her freshman campaign of 2004-05 due to a knee injury. Her most productive season came as a senior, when she averaged 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Lady Vols.
• Director of Operations Dustin Edwards spent two seasons working as a graduate assistant for both the men's and women's basketball programs at Tennessee.
• Edwards served as a Graduate Assistant for the men's basketball team from June 2009 to September 2010 before taking over as the Video Coordinator for the women's basketball program.
• During his tenure, he helped the UT men to its first-ever Elite Eight appearance, while advancing to the Elite Eight with the Lady Vols in 2010-11.
• Senior guard Kortni Jones and junior center KeKe Stewart are both products of Oak Ridge High School.
• Middle Tennessee will have logged 5,000 miles by the time the Blue Raiders five-game road swing ends next week. The road swing began at Iowa on Nov. 14, from there the Blue Raiders traveled to Tennessee Tech on Nov. 20 and opened Sun Belt action at Louisiana on Nov. 24. To conclude the road swing, MT travels east to Knoxville to play at Tennessee on Nov. 28 before closing the road docket at South Dakota State on Dec. 1.
Last Time Out
• Middle Tennessee cruised in its earliest conference game in school history with a 72-45 win at Louisiana on Nov. 24. The Blue Raiders had four players reach double figures as Ebony Rowe scored 21 points and notched eight rebounds. Oak Ridge product KeKe Stewart notched a season-best 10 points, earning her ninth career double-figure scoring game.
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 937 points and is just a 63 away from reaching the club.
• Senior Icelyn Elie is 101 points shy, as she has accumulated 889 points in three-plus seasons.
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.
70+ is the Standard
• Since Rick Insell's arrival, the Blue Raiders have been lethal when scoring 70-plus points in a game. Middle Tennessee holds a 121-8 record when reaching the 70 point plateau. MT is 3-0 this season when scoring 70 or more.
• With the recent national rankings released on Monday, the Blue Raiders are among the top 50 in three categories. MT is 37th with 7.2 3-pointers per game, 39th in scoring offense (73.8 ppg) and 39th in scoring margin (+16.6).
• The Raiders have two players in the nation's top 50. Guard Kortni Jones ranks 29th with 3.0 triples a contest and is 47th with 5.2 assists dished out per game. Ebony Rowe, a junior forward, is 33rd with 19.8 points per game and is 48th with 10.2 rebounds a contest.
Continuing to Rowe
• Junior Ebony Rowe is 13 points away from entering the Top 20 on MT's all-time scoring list. Currently, the junior has notched 1,168 points in 69 games played.
• Rowe would become 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 is the 26th member of the 1,000-point club and the 10th to play at least one season under coach Rick Insell.
• Junior Ebony Rowe moved into fifth all-time in career double-doubles on Nov. 14 at Iowa (24 p, 16 r). Rowe is four shy of reaching the all-time leader in Priscilla Robinson.
• Rowe has 34 double-figure rebounding games and has totaled 66 double-figure scoring contests.
Give Me the Freebies
• Middle Tennessee is a perfect 3-0 when shooting 70-plus percent from the charity stripe. The Raiders' three wins have also come from shooting more freebies than their opponent. Collectively, MT has knocked down 74 percent (51-of-69) of their attempted freebies this year.
Off the Glass
• The all-time offensive rebounding record is in sight for Ebony Rowe. She is nine away (359) from reaching record Holder Krystle Horton's mark of 368 set during the 2004-07 seasons.
• Rowe moved to ninth all-time in career rebounding as she boasted eight boards at Louisiana. The junior is 49 away from reaching eighth place currently held by Krystle Horton.
Rick Insell vs. the Volunteer State
• Coach Rick Insell is 20-9 all-time against in-state competition since arriving on campus at MT in 2005. His squads have played eight different NCAA Division I teams in Tennessee.
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 totaled 66 double-figuring scoring games in her career. The Lexington, Ky. product 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 19.8 points and 10.2 rebounds in five games.
• Jones set a school record with 115 made triples last year, moving her to 10th all-time on the NCAA single-season chart. The Oak Ridge native moved into seventh all-time at MT with her trifecta of triples against the Iowa Hawkeyes. This season, she is averaging 17.4 points per game with a team-high 15 treys.
A Jones-ing for the Record Books
• Kortni Jones continues her climb in the Middle Tennessee record books.
• The senior ranks seventh with 188 made triples and is eight away from reaching sixth.
• Jones reached 10th all-time in assists with four at Tennessee Tech. She has dished out 362 in her career and needs eight to reach ninth on the list.
Insell Inching Closer to All-Time Mark
• Rick Insell now stands just four 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.
• Senior Icelyn Elie posted her 13th career double-figure rebounding perfomance with 11 grabs at Iowa.
• The forward reached the top 25 in rebounding by corraling four at Tennessee Tech. Elie is just four shy of reaching 500 rebounds in her career.
Set the Sights on 20
• Ebony Rowe has reached 20 points on 21 occasions during her career. MT is a remarkable 19-2 when she scores 20-plus points in a game.
Versus Ranked Opponents
• The Blue Raiders are 4-41 overall against ranked opponents with three of the victories coming in the last eight years, since head coach Rick Insell took over the program.
• All three of the wins under Insell have been against Southeastern Conference competition.
• Middle Tennessee picked up perhaps the biggest win in program history last year when it knocked off No. 6/6 Kentucky, 70-58, at home Dec. 28, 2011.
• The Wildcats' No. 6/6 ranking ties for the highest by an opponent in the four victories, matching the No. 6 mark attained by Tennessee Tech in 1977.
• The 12-point margin of victory was the largest of the four triumphs, surpassing the previous best of 11 (67-56) against then-No. 8/8 LSU exactly four years earlier, Dec. 28, 2007.
• Middle Tennessee has posted three of the four wins against nationally-ranked foes inside the friendly confines of the Murphy Center.
Education Day Set for Dec. 4
MT Athletics and the Murfreesboro City Schools announced last month that the two institutions are partnering together for 'Education Day' presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors and Aaron's on Tuesday, Dec. 4. MT WBB is scheduled to play in-state rival Austin Peay early in an 11 a.m. contest. The early time allows the 12 MCS to bring thousands of students to cheer on the Blue Raiders.
Celebrating Title IX
The MT Athletic Department will remember 40 years of Title IX in a celebration during the Blue Raiders game against Xavier on Thursday, Dec. 4. Since the arrival of Title IX in 1972, the Blue Raiders have hoisted many conference championships, including 20 women's basketball titles. Several Blue Raider legends will be on hand to partake in the ceremony.
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More Women's Basketball NewsMay 14, 2013: Blue Raiders sign High Point standout Parker
May 8, 2013: Insell set to be inducted into Cannon Courier Hall of Fame
Apr 15, 2013: Rowe named Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar
Apr 12, 2013: Women's basketball announces summer camp dates
Apr 8, 2013: Fuller resigns to accept position at Ole Miss
Apr 6, 2013: Rowe earns WBCA Honorable Mention All-America accolade