Raiders take on SBC West leader North Texas

MT has won seven consecutive games

January 23, 2013 · @MTAthletics

Middle Tennessee women's basketball visits SBC West leader North Texas in a crucial matchup on Thursday, Jan. 24. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Super Pit in Denton, Texas.


Matchup: Middle Tennessee (13-5, 8-1 Sun Belt) at North Texas (7-11, 6-3 Sun Belt)
Date: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Time: 5:00 p.m. (doubleheader)
Location: Denton, Texas
Arena: The Super Pit (10,032)


Overall: MT leads series, 14-4
In Denton: MT leads series, 6-2
Last Meeting: MT 66, NT 64 - Dec. 27, 2012 - Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Under Rick Insell: 9-1

Women's Basketball vs. North Texas
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Quick Hitters

• Middle Tennessee (13-5, 8-1 Sun Belt) leads the Sun Belt East after a 72-36 win over Louisiana last Saturday. Icelyn Elie led the Blue Raiders with a game-high 20 points, while Lauren March registered a career-high 13 points. Kortni Jones also added 13 for MT.
Ebony Rowe has reached double-figure scoring in 26 consecutive games dating back to last season - the sixth longest streak in the nation. When she reaches 20 points or more, MT is 26-4.
• There are four Top 20 NCAA categories in which Rowe ranks. She is 10th in points (21.7), 10th in double-doubles (11), 17th in field goal percentage (55.6) and 19th in rebounds per game (11.0).
• Forward Ebony Rowe leads the Raiders with 22.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. Icelyn Elie (13.9) and Kortni Jones (12.8) are also averaging double-figures in 17 contests this season.
• MT has won a school-record 11 consecutive road conference games dating back to last season.
• North Texas (7-11, 6-3 SBC) and MT meet for the second time this season. On Dec. 27, the Raiders used an Icelyn Elie triple with 14 seconds remaining to seal a 66-64 win over the Mean Green.
• The Raiders lead the Sun Belt with an RPI of 54 with Western Kentucky following behind at 76.

Scouting North Texas

• North Texas (7-11, 6-3 Sun Belt) has won five out of its last six games and sits in a tie for first place with Arkansas State in the SBC West. The Mean Green lost a 79-67 contest at Florida Atlantic on Saturday.
• The Mean Green are averaging 69.9 points per game, while shooting at a 40 percent clip (439-of-1086). NT is second in the SBC with a 74 percent mark (281-of-380) at the free throw line, while ranking third with a 31.6 (100-of-316) three-point percentage.
• North Texas is led offensively by Alexis Hyder. The freshman is posting 13.7 points and grabbing 7.8 rebounds per game. Hyder is shooting 50.6 percent (91-of-180) from the field in 18 games. Loryn Goodwin is also posting double-figures with 12.1 points per game. Goodwin leads the Mean Green with 34 made triples. BreAnna Dawkins is tallying 10.9 points per game with 33 triples. Laura McCoy and Sara Stanley are nearing double figures with 9.6 and 9.1 points each contest, respectively.

Series with the Mean Green

• Middle Tennessee and North Texas meet for the 19th time on Thursday. The Blue Raiders hold a decisive 14-4 edge in the series that began on Jan. 6, 2001. MT has won nine consecutive games dating back to 2007. Coach Rick Insell is 9-1 all-time against NT, with his only blemish a 69-64 loss to NT in his first ever meeting on Feb. 8, 2006. MT has lost on twice to North Texas during eight meetings at the Super Pit (Feb. 6, 2006 and Jan. 6, 2001).
• On Dec. 27, the Blue Raiders used an Icelyn Elie triple with 14 seconds to go to give MT a 66-64 win over the Mean Green at the Murphy Center. Kortni Jones and Ebony Rowe each ratcheted 21 points as the Raiders moved to 2-1 in conference play. NT had four players reach double-figures in the loss.

In Sun Belt Play

• Coach Rick Insell has a remarkable 114-13 against Sun Belt competition in the regular season. His win total ranks fifth in SBC history and his winning percentage (.898) is second all-time behind Louisiana Tech's Leon Barmore. During the past two seasons, MT has won 24 out of its' last 25 regular season SBC games.

Soaring in Attendance

• MT women's basketball has accumulated remarkable numbers in attendance so far this season. The Blue Raiders are averaging 4,339 fans per game after nine 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 20th nationally in attendance per game and up 35 percent from a year ago.

RPI Pacesetters

• The Raiders lead the Sun Belt with an RPI of 54 as released on Monday. At this point last season, MT held an RPI of 47.
• MT's conference record RPI is 13th nationally after posting an 8-1 record in league play.

Earning Votes

• The Blue Raiders are back receiving votes in the USA Today Sports/ESPN Coaches Poll released on Monday, Jan. 22. The Blue Raiders earned seven votes good for 29th overall behind Michigan, Kansas and Nebraska. Earlier this year, MT reached as high as 28th in the Coaches' Poll.

A Trifecta of 1,000-point scorers

• There are three MT players that have notched 1,000 points during their respective careers.
Ebony Rowe reached 1,000 last season and currently is 13th with 1,549 points.
• Oak Ridge's Kortni Jones hit 1,000 points with her 21 against North Texas (Dec. 27) and ranks 23rd with 1,081 points.
Icelyn Elie became the 28th addition by reaching the 1,000 plateau at Arkansas State on Jan. 2. She has reached 1,080 in her career.
• 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.

Set the Sights on 20

Ebony Rowe has reached 20 points on 29 occasions during her career. MT is a remarkable 26-3 when she scores 20-plus points in a game.

Journey Through January

• Coach Rick Insell's squad is 6-0 this month. Since his arrival in 2005-06, the Blue Raiders are 61-6 in the month of January.
• MT has not lost a game in the first month since dropping a 62-59 decision at FIU on Jan. 29, 2011.

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.

Scouring the Sun Belt

• Middle Tennessee ranks leads the league with a +9.5 scoring margin and is third with a +3.78 turnover margin through 18 games. Junior Ebony Rowe leads the SBC with 5.6 offensive rebounds per game. Rowe is second in points (21.7), rebounds (11.0), field goal percentage (55.6) and minutes played (38.9). Guard Kortni Jones leads the SBC with 4.7 assists and is second with 2.2 triples made per game. Shanice Cason is third with 2.67 steals each contest.

National Statistical Rankings

• The Raiders are in the top 100 in seven statistical categories as released by the NCAA on Jan. 22. MT is 48th in turnover margin (+3.78), 61st in scoring margin (+9.5), 77th in steals per game (10.4), 83rd in scoring offense (67.2), 85th in scoring defense (57.7), 87th in 3-pt defense (28.1) and 89th in FG percentage (41.0).
• MT has three players in the top 100. Ebony Rowe ranks 10th with 21.7 points per game, 19th with 11.0 rebounds a contest and 10th with 11 double-doubles. Rowe is 17th in field goal percentage (55.6), while teammate Icelyn Elie follows at 72nd (48.2). Kortni Jones ranks 67th with 4.7 assists per game. Shanice Cason ranks 72nd with 2.67 steals per game.

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