Raiders and rival UALR square off Wednesday

MT and Trojans partake in ESPN3 broadcast at 7 p.m.

January 15, 2013 · @MTAthletics

Middle Tennessee women's basketball welcomes Sun Belt West division rival UALR in a 7 p.m. tilt at the Murphy Center on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The contest with the Trojans will air live on ESPN3.


Matchup: UALR (11-5, 4-4 Sun Belt) at Middle Tennessee (11-5, 6-1 Sun Belt)
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 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, 16-6
In Murfreesboro: MT leads series, 7-1
Last Meeting: UALR 71, MT 70 - OT - Hot Springs, Ark. - March 6, 2012 - SBC Championship
Under Rick Insell: 7-5

Women's Basketball vs. UALR

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
Live Video
Live Audio
Live Stats


• MT (11-5, 6-1 Sun Belt) has won a season-long five consecutive games and is tied for first in the SBC East with WKU. The Raiders picked up a 66-48 win at ULM last Saturday. Ebony Rowe reached a career-high 32 points, while Icelyn Elie netted her 14th career double-double (15p/10r).
• For the third time this season, Ebony Rowe was named the Sun Belt Player of the Week. Rowe averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds in wins over FAU and ULM. The weekly honor was the 11th in her career.
• Rowe has reached double-figure scoring in 24 consecutive games dating back to last season - the sixth longest streak in the nation. When she reaches 20 points or more, MT is 25-4, including 8-2 this season.
• MT faces SBC West rival UALR (11-5, 4-4 SBC), who has lost four out of their last five games. Last season, the Trojans edged MT 71-70 in overtime to clinch the SBC Tournament Championship.
• Forward Ebony Rowe ranks 8th nationally with 21.6 points and is 22nd in the NCAA with 10.8 rebounds per game. Icelyn Elie (13.9) and Kortni Jones (13.0) are also averaging double-figures.

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Scouting UALR

• UALR (11-5, 4-4) looks to snap a three-game skid when it visits MT on Wednesday.
• The Trojans have lost four out of their last five games, including a double-overtime decision at Louisiana.
• Freshman Carolee Dillard turned in career-highs in rebounds (16) and points (10) against FIU on Saturday. It was the second Trojan double-double of the season and the first in Dillard's career.
• Offensively, the Trojans are averaging 65.5 points per game and are grabbing 40.7 boards per contest. UALR leads the league in scoring margin (+10.9), field goal percentage (42.8), field goal percentage defense (31.7), three point percentage (35.8), blocked shots (5.6), assists (13.7) and assist/turnover ratio (0.8). UALR's field goal percentage defense ranks fourth nationally, while their 5.6 blocks per game is 15th in the NCAA.
• UALR is led by three preseason All-Conference selections. Taylor Gault is carrying the team with 17.4 points per game and is third in the Sun Belt with 26 blocks. Jannette Merriex ranks 47th nationally with a field goal percentage of 39 and is boasting 10.4 points per game. Junior Taylor Ford is boasting 8.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in 16 contests, while Hannah Fohne leads UALR with 7.4 rebounds per game.

Series with the Trojans

• Middle Tennessee and UALR are meeting for the 23rd time since the series began in 2001. The Blue Raiders hold a 16-6 edge in the all-time series. However, the Trojans have won three out of the last five meetings.
• Last season, MT won the regular season matchup with a 59-51 win at the Murphy Center. UALR picked up a 71-70 win in the Sun Belt Tournament Championship game to secure the automatic bid.
• This is only the second time the Raiders and Trojans have tipped off in Murfreesboro since playing three consecutive regular season games in Little Rock. MT is 7-1 all-time against UALR at home, with its only blemish coming in a 66-53 loss on Feb. 6, 2008.
• Rick Insell holds a 7-5 mark against the Blue Raiders since joining the program in 2005.
• Coach Joe Foley is in his 10th season at UALR and has compiled a 184-110 record during his tenure. He holds an all-time record of 6-10 against the Blue Raiders.

Recapping the ULM game

Ebony Rowe netted a career-high 32 points and Icelyn Elie inked a double-double as Middle Tennessee knocked off ULM, 66-48, on Saturday, Jan. 12 at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
• The Blue Raiders (11-5, 6-1 Sun Belt) opened the game with an 11-2 lead and used that early momentum to take control. ULM (3-13, 1-6) cut the deficit to within nine, but the Raiders maintained a strong advantage, taking a 22 point lead late in the second half. Saturday's victory gave Middle Tennessee its' season-long fifth consecutive win.
• Rowe went 11-of-17 from the field to set a personal best 32 points. The career-high for Rowe bested a previous of 29 set at Arkansas State last year. Rowe grabbed nine boards and picked up a pair of assists and blocks. The Lexington, Ky., native netted 10 of her points from the charity stripe as she registered her 77th double-figure scoring contest.
• Lebanon's Elie picked up 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 38 minutes. The senior forward also swatted away one shot and collected a steal. Kortni Jones and Janay Brinkley also picked up five points each against the Warhawks. Jones had a game-high seven assists, one shy of her season-best.

In Sun Belt Play

• Coach Rick Insell is a remarkable 112-13 against Sun Belt competition in the regular season. His win total ranks fifth in SBC history and his winning percentage (.896) 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.
• During the past two seasons, MT has won 22 out of it's last 23 regular season SBC games.
• MT has won 11 consecutive conference road games dating back to last season.

Soaring in Attendance

• MT women's basketball has accumulated remarkable numbers in attendance so far this season. The Blue Raiders are averaging 4,389 fans per game after seven home affairs. The Raiders welcomed their second largest crowd in school history with 10,107 against Austin Peay on Dec. 4.
• This season, Middle Tennessee is 18th nationally in attendance per game.
• 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 Kennesaw State, which ranks as the seventh largest in school history.

Sun Belt Honors Rowe for 11th time

Ebony Rowe grabbed her third Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week honor and the 11th during her career on Jan. 14. The junior forward averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds in Middle Tennessee's wins over Florida Atlantic and FAU. Rowe was also a finalist for the espnW National Player of the Week.
• She earned the weekly SBC award twice earlier this season on Nov. 12 and Dec. 11.
• Rowe is second all-time at MT with 11 weekly SBC honors and third in conference history. This was the 36th time a player has received this award during the Rick Insell era.

A Sizeable Victory

• The Blue Raiders have increased the margin of victory in the past three games with double-figure wins. MT scored 21 in the victory at USA, 14 against Florida Atlantic and most recently had an 18-point win at ULM.
• During the Raiders' season-long five game win streak, MT has tallied a 41.8 field goal percentage or higher in four consecutive games.

Jones Making Historical Noise

• Senior Kortni Jones is in the Top 10 in three career categories at MT.
• She ranks third at MT with 619 3-pt attempts.
• Her 411 assists puts her fifth all-time.
• Jones' 207 triples is also fifth all-time at MT.
• 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 (1,414) is 14th all-time at MT in scoring. She reached a new career-high with 32 points at ULM on Jan. 12.
• 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 (42) and offensive rebounds (418).
• Rowe is 68 rebounds shy of reaching third all-time in school history.
• Her 67 career blocks ranks ninth all-time.
• She has scored double-figures in 24 consecutive games, which is the sixth longest streak nationally.

At Home Under Insell

• Middle Tennessee holds a daunting 96-11 record under Coach Rick Insell inside the friendly confines of the Murphy Center.
• MT owns a 63-2 (.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.

Icelyn in her Veins

• Senior Icelyn Elie reached double-figures for the 53rd time at ULM. She also inked her 14th career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds against the Warhawks.
• The Lebanon product ranks 22nd all-time at MT in career rebounding with 566.

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.

True Blue Week

• Fans are encouraged to wear blue when Middle Tennessee takes on rival WKU on Sunday, Jan. 27. There will be numerous promotions leading up for the week of Jan. 21, including alumni discounts and other benefits for fans. For more information, visit GoBlueRaiders.com.

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