Middle Tennessee closes homestand with Xavier

Raiders look to extend home court win streak to 14

December 5, 2012 · @MTAthletics

Middle Tennessee closes out a two game homestand with Atlantic-10 foe Xavier on Thursday, Dec. 6. Tip is set for 7 p.m. at the Murphy Center as the Blue Raiders celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX. The game will be aired live on ESPN3.com.


Opponent: Xavier Musketeers (4-3)
Date: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Arena: Murphy Center (11,520)
Promotion: 40th Anniversary of Title IX Celebration
Tickets: GoBlueRaiders.com or call 1-888-YES-MTSU


Overall: Series tied, 4-4
At Home: Series tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: MT 65, Xavier 49 - Dec. 9, 2011 - Cincinnati, Ohio
Under Rick Insell: 1-2


Live Video: ESPN3.com
Play-by-Play: Chip Walters
Color Analyst: Kyle Turnham
Radio: WMOT (89.5 FM)/WGNS 1450 AM, 100.5 FM, 101.9 FM
Play-by-Play: Dick Palmer
Color Analyst: Duane Hickey


• Middle Tennessee's two game homestand closes on Thursday as the Raiders (4-3) host A-10 foe Xavier (4-3). MT captured a 70-56 win in front of the second largest crowd in program history as 10,107 fans graced the Murphy Center for the MCS Education Day. Kortni Jones led all scorers with 17 points, while Ebony Rowe boasted her 36th double-double (14 p/14 r) in the win.
• Coach Rick Insell (179) is just three wins shy of tying Lewis Bivens (182) for all-time wins at Middle Tennessee. Insell owns a .758 win percentage in eight seasons at the helm of the program.
• Three Raiders, all preseason First Team All-Sun Belt selections, are averaging double-figures in seven games so far: Ebony Rowe (19.4), Kortni Jones (15.8) and Icelyn Elie (14.9).
• Thursday is the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX. Numerous Blue Raiders will be honored during a halftime ceremony.

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Scouting Xavier

• The Musketeers are 4-3 on the season after a 69-67 double-overtime win at rival Cincinnati on Sunday, Xavier's first road game of the year. Xavier made 9-of-10 free throws in the extra sessions despite shooting just 21.4% from the field in overtime. The Musketeers overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to force overtime. Lakeisha Crouch and Jessica Pachko each led Xavier with 15 points. Pachko added 12 rebounds for a double-double.
• Xavier was picked to finish 10th in the Atlantic 10 Conference during the preseason. Junior guard Shatyra Hawkes leads the Musketeers in scoring, averaging 12.4 points per game while shooting 81.8% at the foul line. She also has a team-high 31 assists through seven games. Amber Gray averages 11.1 points per game and leads Xavier in field goal percentage, making 50% of her shots from the field. Pachko, a Second Team All-Conference pick in the preseason, leads the Musketeers with 7.2 rebounds per game while averaging 9.5 points per game.
• Amy Waugh is in her second year as head coach at Xavier. In her first season at the helm of her alma mater, the Musketeers went 8-20. As an assistant coach from 2009-2011, Xavier reached the second round and Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. She also was an assistant at Youngstown State and Wake Forest before returning to Xavier. Waugh played for the Musketeers from 1999-2003. Xavier also played in the Elite Eight in 2001, Waugh's sophomore season.

Series with the Musketeers

• Thursday night's game marks the ninth meeting all-time between Middle Tennessee and Xavier, and only the third game at Murphy Center. The series is tied 4-4 after the Blue Raiders' 65-49 win over the Musketeers in Cincinnati last season. Ebony Rowe led all players with 24 points and 13 rebounds in the game last season at Cintas Center. Kortni Jones was 6-of-10 from the three-point arc to score 18 points. The Blue Raiders made six threes in the second half to pull away from Xavier after leading by only one point, 30-29, at halftime.

At Home Under Insell

• Middle Tennessee holds a daunting 93-10 record under Coach Rick Insell inside the friendly confines of the Murphy Center.
• MT owns a 61-1 (.984) home conference record inside the Murphy Center under head coach Rick Insell, who took over the program prior to the 2005-06 campaign.
• The Blue Raiders have won 13 consecutive home games dating back to last season. That mark ranks 12th nationally. Stanford leads the NCAA with 81 consecutive home wins, followed by Baylor's 43. Kentucky and Ohio State are tied for third with 24 straight wins.

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 976 points and is just a 24 away from reaching the club.
• Senior Icelyn Elie is 57 points shy, as she has accumulated 943 points in three-plus seasons.
Recapping the Austin Peay game
• The Blue Raiders (5-3) overcame a slow start to the first half with a 12-1 run to take a 10 point lead in the locker room. In the second half, MT extended its advantage as the Blue Raiders won their 13th consecutive game at home. Ebony Rowe scored her 36th double-double (14 p, 14 r), while Kortni Jones led all players with 17 points and Icelyn Elie added 10 in the win. The attendance of 10,107 was the second largest in school history and the 10th best crowd in the NCAA this year.

Soaring in Attendance

• MT women's basketball has accumulated remarkable numbers in attendance so far this season. The Blue Raiders are averaging 6,395 fans per game after three home affairs. The Raiders welcomed their second largest crowd in school history and the 10th best this season in the NCAA with 10,107 against Austin Peay on Dec. 4.
• 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 Reaches New Heights

Ebony Rowe broke the school record for offensive rebounds with her three grabs at South Dakota State last Saturday to have 369 in her career. She now has 375 offensive boards in two-plus seasons.
• Rowe is ninth all-time in career rebounding. She is 30 away from reaching eighth place currently held by Krystle Horton.

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.

Continuing to Rowe

• Junior Ebony Rowe (1,224) passed Jolenda Buck's total of 1,223 points to take the No. 18 spot on MT's all-time scoring ledger against Austin Peay. The Lexington, Ky., native is 12 points from reaching 16th held by Kay Willbanks and Brandi Brown.
• In 2011-12, Rowe joined Priscilla Robinson as the only Blue Raider to reach 1,000 in her sophomore campaign.
• She is also the 26th member of the 1,000-point club and the 10th 1,000-pt club member to play at least one season under coach Rick Insell.

Set the Sights on 20

Ebony Rowe has reached 20 points on 22 occasions during her career. MT is a remarkable 19-3 when she scores 20-plus points in a game.

National Statistical Rankings

• The Blue Raiders are in the top 50 in four statistical categories as released by the NCAA on Monday, Dec. 4. MT is 42nd in scoring offense (72.3 ppg), 37th in free throw percentage (74.5%), 34th in 3-point field goals per game (7.0) and 31st in turnover margin (+5.86).
• Middle Tennessee has several players in the top 100. Rowe ranks 26th with 20.1 points per game and is 48th with 10.0 rebounds a contest. Senior Kortni Jones is 38th with 5.4 assists per game. Shanice Cason ranks 52nd with 3.14 steals, while Jones is 37th with 2.57 triples each game.

Nice Ice

• Senior Icelyn Elie posted her 13th career double-figure rebounding performance with 11 grabs at Iowa.
• The forward reached the top 25 in rebounding by corralling four at Tennessee Tech.
• The Lebanon product ranks 25th with 511 rebounds and she is 12 shy of tying Jolenda Buck (523) for 24th all-time.

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 135-9 record when reaching the 70 point plateau. MT is 4-1 this season when scoring 70 or more.

Overtime Frenzy

• Middle Tennessee leads the nation with three overtime battles this season. The Raiders have taken part in an extra period game in three of the last four contests. MT dropped a 69-63 contest at Iowa before rebounding with a 65-59 win at Tennessee Tech. Last Wednesday, Middle Tennessee fell 88-81 to No. 16/14 Tennessee.
• The three OT games are the most for a Blue Raider squad since tallying four in the 2001-02 season under head coach Stephany Smith.

Give Me the Freebies

• The Raiders are 3-1 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 70 percent (87-of-125) of their attempted freebies this year.

Doubling History

Ebony Rowe is tied for fourth with 36 career double-doubles after tallying 14 points and 14 boards in the win over APSU.
• Rowe has 36 double-figure rebounding games and has totaled 69 double-figure scoring contests during her career.

MT Reaches Elite Status

• Middle Tennessee is just one of 25 programs to reach the NCAA Tournament in six of the last seven years. The Raiders have earned a berth to the NCAAs during the last four years.

Insell Inching Closer to All-Time Mark

• Rick Insell now stands just three 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.

A Witness to History

• Since taking over the Middle Tennessee program prior to the 2005-06 season, head coach Rick Insell has worked tirelessly to increase attendance at Blue Raider home games.
• Middle Tennessee has posted an 8-2 record during the 10 games with the only losses coming to No. 6/5 Tennessee and No. 1/1 Maryland.
• Against Austin Peay, MT had 10,107 fans in attendance for the Murfreesboro City Schools Education Day game. It ranked second in program history.
• The crowd of 5,806 on Nov. 9 against Kennesaw State ranks seventh all-time in school.
• Only 2009 has more top 10 attended games than the 2012-13 season. All top-10 attendance marks have been under Coach Insell's watch.

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