Raiders return home to take on SBC East leader FAU

MT and Owls tip in 7 p.m. contest on Wednesday

January 8, 2013 · @MTAthletics

After a pair of road victories, Middle Tennessee (9-5, 4-1 Sun Belt) women's basketball carries its three game win streak back to Murfreesboro to take on SBC East leader Florida Atlantic (8-5, 5-0 Sun Belt) in a 7 p.m. tilt at the Murphy Center.


Matchup: Florida Atlantic (8-5, 5-0 Sun Belt) at Middle Tennessee (9-5, 4-1 Sun Belt)
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Arena: Murphy Center (11,520)
Tickets: GoBlueRaiders.com or call 1-888-YES-MTSU


Overall: MT leads series, 12-1
In Murfreesboro: MT leads series, 7-0
Last Meeting: MT 65, FAU 41 - Feb. 18, 2012 - Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Under Rick Insell: 11-1

Women's Basketball vs. FAU

Radio: WMOT (89.5 FM)/WGNS 1450 AM, 100.5 FM, 101.9 FM
Play-by-Play: Dick Palmer
Color Analyst: Duane Hickey
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• Middle Tennessee (9-5, 4-1 Sun Belt) returns home after a pair of road victories, including a 60-39 decision at South Alabama last Saturday. The three-game win streak matches a season-best. Junior Ebony Rowe inked her 41st career double-double with 26 points and 13 rebounds, while teammate Kortni Jones reached 10 points with nine of those coming from 3-point land.
• A victory over SBC East leading FAU tonight would put MT in a tie for first place in the division.
• Coach Rick Insell broke Lewis Bivens all-time wins record for Middle Tennessee women's basketball with his 183rd career victory on Saturday.
• There are three Raiders in the lineup who have reached 1,000 points: Ebony Rowe (1,360), Kortni Jones (1,042) and Icelyn Elie (1,013). 12 of the 28 players in Middle Tennessee's 1,000-point club have played at least one season under Coach Insell.
• Forward Ebony Rowe ranks 13th nationally with 20.8 points and is 26th in the NCAA with 10.8 rebounds per game. Kortni Jones (13.7) and Icelyn Elie (13.5) are also averaging double-figures.

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Scouting Florida Atlantic

• The Owls (8-5, 5-0 Sun Belt) sit in first place in the Sun Belt East after starting conference play on a five-game winning streak.
• The Owls have matched the best conference start in program history. The team stands 8-5 overall after posting three straight victories.
• FAU ranks second in the conference in scoring, averaging 74.1 points per game, and has a defense that's fifth nationally in turnover margin (+8.5 per game).
• Junior guard Latavia Dempsey has paced the offensive attack in recent games, scoring a career-high 19 points in the team's last game, a 79-44 home win over UL on Jan. 2. Dempsey scored 18 points in a win over ULM on Dec. 29. Overall, she is scoring 9.8 points per game and making 47 percent of her 3-pointers.
• Chenise Miller, a preseason all-SBC selection, leads the team in scoring (14.6 ppg) and rebounds (7.2 rpg) with 28 blocks.
• Senior guard Breana Turner is averaging 12.2 points a game and is making 81 percent of her free throw attempts, while junior guard Takia Brooks rounds out FAU's double-figure scorers at 11.1 points per outing.
• Kellie Lewis-Jay became FAU's fourth coach in program history in May 2012. She came to Boca Raton after serving as an assistant coach in the Pac 12, Big 12 and Big Ten conferences. Most recently, Lewis-Jay served five seasons as an assistant at Nebraska where she helped the Huskers complete a 32-2 mark and capture a Big 12 crown in 2009-10.

Series with the Owls

• On Wednesday, Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic meet for the 14th time in program history. MT has a commanding 12-1 lead in the series with its' only blemish coming in a 73-70 defeat in Boca Raton on Feb. 21, 2009. Coach Insell holds an 11-1 mark over FAU during his eight-year tenure.
• Since that loss, MT has won the last six consecutive games, including a 55-37 win at FAU and a 65-41 victory inside the Murphy Center last year. Icelyn Elie(14/13), Kortni Jones (14/21) and Ebony Rowe (14/13) reached double figures in both games.

A Trifecta of 1,000-point scorers

• There are three MT players with 1,000 points each during their careers.
Ebony Rowe reached 1,000 points last season and currently is tied for 14th with Heather Prater at 1,360 points.
Kortni Jones reached 1,000 points with her 21 against North Texas (Dec. 27) and ranks 26th with 1,042 points.
Icelyn Elie became the 28th addition by reaching the 1,000 plateau at Arkansas State on Jan. 2.
• The 2009-10 roster featured seven eventual 1,000-point scorers: Brandi Brown, Alysha Clark, Icelyn Elie, Kortni Jones, Anne Marie Lanning, Chelsia Lymon and Jackie Pickel.
• Since his arrival in 2005, Coach Insell has coached at least one season for 12 of the 28 1,000-point club members.

Recapping the South Alabama game

• A pair of strong runs in the first half carried Middle Tennessee to a 60-39 win over South Alabama as Coach Rick Insell became the women's basketball program's all-time wins leader on Saturday evening.
MT (9-5, 4-1 Sun Belt) started off the game on a 9-2 run and used a six minute Lady Jag (9-6, 2-4 SBC) scoring drought to add 11 more points and earn their third consecutive win.
Saturday's victory gave Insell his 183rd win, surpassing the previous record of 182 set by Lewis Bivens in 1997.
Ebony Rowe managed her 41st career double-double with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Rowe grabbed nine offensive boards and picked up a pair of blocks and steals in 40 minutes. The Lexington, Ky., native moved into a tie for 14th in scoring at MT with Heather Prater.
Also reaching double figures was guard Kortni Jones with three triples and a free throw. Jones and Shanice Cason each had four assists. Senior Icelyn Elie narrowly missed double digits with nine points and six rebounds.
MT was 42 percent from the field, knocking down 23-of-55 attempts, while making 10-of-16 from the charity stripe. The Raiders forced 19 South Alabama turnovers, converting 22 points in the process.

In Sun Belt Play

• Coach Rick Insell is a remarkable 110-13 against Sun Belt competition in the regular season. His win total ranks fifth in SBC history and his winning percentage (.894) 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 10 consecutive conference road games dating back to last season.

Jones Making Historical Noise

• Senior Kortni Jones is in the Top 10 in three career categories at MT.
• She ranks third at MT with 608 3-pt attempts.
• Her 399 assists ties her for sixth with Kim Webb and she is four away from reaching fifth currently held by Sherry Smith.
• Jones is sixth all-time with 205 made-triples and needs one to reach Kristi Brown at fifth.
• The Oak Ridge native ranks 14th all-time in Sun Belt history in made three-pointers, joining four other Blue Raiders that currently sit in the Top 15 in conference history.

Rowe Leading the Way

• Junior Ebony Rowe (1,360) is tied for 14th all-time at MT in scoring.
• 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 (41) and offensive rebounds (408).
• 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.

Rowe Reaches New Heights

Ebony Rowe broke the school record for offensive rebounds with her three grabs at South Dakota State. She now has 408 offensive boards in two-plus seasons.
• Rowe moved into fourth all-time at MT in total rebounds, passing former Raider Stephanie Capley with 795 rebounds. She is 92 away from reaching third all-time held by Hall of Famer Tawayna Mucker (1986-89).

At Home Under Insell

• Middle Tennessee holds a daunting 95-11 record under Coach Rick Insell inside the friendly confines of the Murphy Center.
• MT owns a 62-2 (.969) 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' 37 home court conference winning streak was snapped with a 58-51 loss to FIU on Dec. 20. The streak was the longest in school history.

Nice Ice

• Senior Icelyn Elie reached double-figures for the 51st time with 16 points at Arkansas State.
• The Lebanon product ranks 23rd with 551 rebounds and is four away from tying Carlita Elder (555) for 22nd.

Insell Becomes All-Time Wins Leader

• Rick Insell broke Lewis Bivens' all-time record with his 183rd victory on Jan. 5 at South Alabama.
• Insell joins current Blue Raider men's coach, Kermit Davis as the winningest basketball coach in school history. Davis became the winningest men's coach last season, surpassing Jimmy Earle.
• MT joins three other schools (Gonzaga, Sacred Heart and UALR) in having their current men's and women's coaches as the all-time wins leaders.

Tops in the Nation

• Junior Ebony Rowe is tied for 8th in the NCAA with 41 career double-doubles among active players. Her total of nine this season is tied for fifth.

Rick Insell Live

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

Scouring the Sun Belt

• Middle Tennessee ranks third in the league with a +6.7 scoring margin and ranks second with a +4.29 turnover margin through 14 games. Junior Ebony Rowe leads the SBC in three categories: field goal percentage (54.4), offensive rebounds per game (5.6) and minutes played (39.8). Rowe is second in the league with points (20.8) and rebounds (10.6). Guard Kortni Jones leads the SBC with 4.5 assists and a 1.3 assist to turnover ratio in 14 games.

National Statistical Rankings

• The Blue Raiders are in the top 100 in four statistical categories as released by the NCAA on Monday, Jan. 7. MT is 43rd in turnover margin (+4.29), 75th in steals per game (10.7), 82nd in three-pointers per game (5.8) and 95th in scoring margin (+6.7).
• Middle Tennessee has four players in the top 100. Ebony Rowe ranks 13th with 20.8 points per game, 26nd with 10.6 rebounds a contest and fifth with nine double-doubles. Rowe is 29th in field goal percentage (54.4), while teammate Icelyn Elie follows at 88th (47.0). Shanice Cason is 92nd with 2.69 steals per game, as Kortni Jones sits 71st with 2.29 3-pointers per game.

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