MT visits South Alabama in SBC East matchup

Raiders and Lady Jags tip at 5:05 p.m. on Saturday

January 4, 2013 · @MTAthletics

Middle Tennessee women's basketball (8-5, 3-1 Sun Belt) looks to extend its' win streak to three games with a visit to South Alabama (9-5, 2-3 SBC) on Saturday. The doubleheader matchup is slated for at 5:05 p.m. start at the Mitchell Center in Mobile, Ala.


Opponent: South Alabama Lady Jags (9-5, 2-3 Sun Belt)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013
Time: 5:05 p.m.
Location: Mobile, Ala.
Arena: Mitchell Center (10,000)


Overall: MT leads series, 19-4
In Mobile: MT leads series, 8-1
Last Meeting: MT 60, South Alabama 53 - Jan. 21, 2012 - Mobile, Ala.
Under Rick Insell: 15-0


Radio: WMOT (89.5 FM)/WGNS 1450 AM, 100.5 FM, 101.9 FM
Play-by-Play: Dick Palmer
Live Video
Live Audio
Live Stats

Quick Hitters

• The Blue Raiders (8-5, 3-1 Sun Belt) cap a two-game road trip with a visit to South Alabama (9-5, 2-3 SBC) on Saturday. Kortni Jones hit the game-winner with 6.1 seconds remaining as the Blue Raiders edged Arkansas State, 72-70, on Wednesday. Icelyn Elie became the 28th Raider to reach 1,000 points with her total of 16 at ASU.
• Coach Rick Insell tied Lewis Bivens for all-time wins at Middle Tennessee with his 182nd victory on Wednesday. Insell owns a .755 win percentage in eight seasons at the helm of the program.
• There are three Raiders in the lineup who have reached 1,000: Ebony Rowe (1,334), Kortni Jones (1,032) and Icelyn Elie (1,004).
• 12 of the 28 players in the 1,000-point club have played at least one season under Coach Insell.
• Three Raiders, each preseason First Team All-Sun Belt selections, are averaging double-figures in 12 games so far: Ebony Rowe (20.4), Kortni Jones (14.0) and Icelyn Elie (13.8).
• Rowe is one point shy (1,334) of reaching Tia Stovall for No. 15 in all-time scoring at MT.

Scouting South Alabama

• The Lady Jags (9-5, 2-3 Sun Belt) have reeled off two consecutive wins with victories over Arkansas State (53-47) and ULM (55-45). USA started the season 4-0 before dropping three out of its next four. Most recently, South Alabama suffered losses at Central Florida (55-54) and to UALR (49-40).
• Offensively, USA is averaging 59.8 points per game, while shooting at a 38 percent clip (314x835). The Lady Jags are lethal behind the arc, averaging a league-best 6.8 triples per game. USA holds the Sun Belt's top defense, giving up just 53.3 points a contest through 14 games.
• Senior Mary Nixon is averaging 13.0 points per game, while grabbing 4.9 rebounds a contest. The Lady Jags top three-point threat comes from Meghan Dunn, who has 23 makes for 34 percent. Guard Mansa El is tallying 8.6 points and grabbing 3.6 rebounds per contest, while Ronneka Robertson is the top rebounder with 7.3 boards each game.
• Coach Rick Pietri is in his 14th season at South Alabama with a career record of 212-159. He is 2-17 all-time against the Blue Raiders. Pietri's last victory against MT came on Jan. 16, 2003 when his squad upended the Raiders 72-58 in Mobile.

Series with the Lady Jags

• Middle Tennessee and South Alabama square off for the 24th time on Saturday. MT holds a 19-4 lead in the series, with two of the four losses occurring on a neutral court. The Raiders have won 17 consecutive games dating back to 2004.
•Last season, MT picked up a 60-39 win over USA at the Murphy Center before closing the bookend of last year's series with a 60-53 win in Mobile. Kortni Jones led the way in the first meeting with 20 points, while Icelyn Elie paced the Raiders with 17 in the victory at USA.
•Coach Rick Insell holds a 15-0 career mark against South Alabama since his arrival in 2005.

1,000-point Club Expanding

• Senior Kortni Jones became the 27th member of the 1,000-point club after scoring 21 versus NT on Dec. 27. She now has 1,032 points in her career, ranking 26th all-time.
• Senior Icelyn Elie entered as the 28th member on Jan. 2 with her 16 points at South Alabama. She has 1,004 points in her career.
• 12 of the 28 players in the 1,000-point club have played at least one season under Coach Insell.

Recapping the Arkansas State game

Kortni Jones' layup with 6.1 seconds remaining gave Middle Tennessee another last second thriller as the Raiders edged Arkansas State, 72-70, on Wednesday evening at the Convocation Center.
Arkansas State (5-9, 2-3 Sun Belt) took a five point lead with 2:49 left in the game. The Raiders (8-5, 3-1 SBC), used an 8-to-1 run to seal their second consecutive win. Jones, a native of Oak Ridge, scored the six final points for MT. She finished with 20 points, seven assists and three steals on the evening.

Ebony Rowe anchored a season-high 27 points, shooting 13-of-16 from the field, while grabbing five rebounds. The Lexington native matched a career-high with 13 made field goals she set last season against ASU.

Icelyn Elie became the 28th Raider to reach 1,000-points with her total of 16. The Lebanon native grabbed five rebounds, two blocks and two steals. There have been 12 Raiders to reach 1,000-points since Coach Rick Insell arrived in 2005.

Insell also set a historical marker, tying Coach Lewis Bivens with 182 career victories, setting the way to become the all-time wins leader with his next victory.

The Raiders dominated the paint with 50 of their 72 points inside. The Raiders shot 51 percent (33-of-63) from the field, despite only attempting six free throws compared to 28 for ASU. The Red Wolves knocked down 43 percent (21-of-49) from the field, while knocking down seven treys.

In Sun Belt Play

• Coach Rick Insell is a remarkable 109-13 against Sun Belt competition in the regular season.
• His win total ranks fifth in SBC history and his winning percentage (.893) is second all-time behind Louisiana Tech's Leon Barmore.
• The Blue Raiders' 17 game winning streak in regular season conference action was snapped on Dec. 20 with a 58-51 loss to FIU.
• MT has won nine consecutive conference road games dating back to last season.

Rowe Leading the Way

• Junior Ebony Rowe (1,334) ranks 16th all-time at MT in scoring and is on the verge of reaching the Top 15 with one more point. No. 15 is currently held by former Raider Tia Stovall (1,335).
• In 2011-12, Rowe joined Priscilla Robinson as the only Blue Raider to reach 1,000 in her sophomore campaign.
• The junior forward holds two school records in double-doubles (40) and offensive rebounds (399).
• Rowe is 105 rebounds shy of reaching third all-time in school history.
• She is three blocks away from reaching the top 10 in school history and is seven defensive boards away from reaching the top 10.
• On Jan. 3, Rowe grabbed TSWA Player of the Week honors for the third time.

Jones Making Historical Noise

• Senior Kortni Jones is in three Top 10 career categories at MT. The senior ranks third all-time with 602 3-point attempts. Her 395 assists ranks her seventh and she is four away from reaching sixth. Jones is sixth all-time with 202 made-triples. She became the 11th Raider to reach 1,000 points under Coach Insell.

Rowe Reaches New Heights

Ebony Rowe broke the school record for offensive rebounds with her three grabs at South Dakota State. She now has 399 offensive boards in two-plus seasons.
• Rowe moved into fourth all-time at MT, passing former Raider Stephanie Capley with 782 rebounds. She is 105 away from reaching third all-time held by Hall of Famer Tawayna Mucker (1986-89).
Nice Ice
• Senior Icelyn Elie reached double-figures for the 51st time with 16 points at Arkansas State.
• The Lebanon product ranks 23rd with 545 rebounds and is 10 away from tying Carlita Elder (555) for 22nd.

Insell Closer to All-Time Wins Mark

• Rick Insell tied Lewis Bivens for all-time wins with a 72-70 victory at Arkansas State and can become the all-time leader with a win at South Alabama.
• 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.

TSWA Honors Rowe for Third Time

Ebony Rowe racked up her third Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA) Player of the Week honor on Jan. 3. The junior was given the award after averaging a double-double with 20.0 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.

Rick Insell Live

• Rick Insell Live presented by Ascend Federal Credit Union begins airing each Monday beginning on Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. The hour-long program will air on WGNS 1450 AM in Murfreesboro, WMOT 89.5 FM in Murfreesboro, WNSR 590 AM in Nashville and WDUC 93.9 FM in Tullahoma. The Voice of the Blue Raiders, Dick Palmer, will host the show each week.

Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.