Blue Raiders look to rebound at UALR

MT has won 14 straight SBC road games

February 15, 2013 · @MTAthletics

Middle Tennessee women's basketball returns to the road with a visit to SBC West rival UALR on Saturday, Feb. 16. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock, Ark.


Matchup: Middle Tennessee (18-6, 13-2 Sun Belt) at UALR (17-7, 9-6 SBC)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Little Rock, Ark.
Arena: Jack Stephens Center (5,600)


Overall: MT leads series, 17-6
Under Rick Insell: 8-5
In Little Rock: MT leads series, 5-4
Last Meeting: MT 65, UALR 56 - Jan. 16, 2013 - Murfreesboro, Tenn.


Radio: WMOT (89.5 FM)
Play-by-Play: Dick Palmer
Twitter: @MT_WBB

Live Video - Live Audio - Live Stats 

Weekend Broadcast Information

With wall-to-wall basketball on the college and high school level this weekend, listeners will be able to keep up with all the action over the local broadcast airwaves. Saturday's MTSU's games at UALR will be broadcast live on WMOT-FM (89.5) while all four District 7-AAA games will be on WGNS AM/FM. The Blue Raider men's game will also be live on WNSR-AM (560). The same will continue on Monday night with the Rick Insell and Kermit Davis radio shows live on WMOT and re-broadcast on WGNS after the high school district championship game. In addition, all three MTSU baseball games will be heard live on WMTS-FM (88.3). Live webstreams of all the MTSU games will be available on GoBlueRaiders.com.

Sun Belt Tournament Booklets on Sale

The 2013 Sun Belt Conference basketball tournament ticket booklets are now on-sale through the Blue Raider ticket office. Taking place in beautiful Hot Springs, Arkansas at the Summit Arena, each booklet is only $83 and includes a ticket to every game from March 8-11.

Currently, both Blue Raider basketball teams are in first place in the conference standings and inching closer to dual-births in the NCAA tournament. But they need your help. The Blue Raider athletic department invites you to invade Hot Springs with us and show both basketball teams your support as they make a postseason run.
All seats are general admission. However, when MTSU is playing, a block of seats are located behind the team bench.

You can purchase you booklets in one of three ways; online at GoBlueRaiders.com, by visiting the Blue Raider ticket office at Gate 1A of Floyd Stadium, or by calling 615-898-5198.

Quick Hitters

• The Raiders (18-6, 13-2 Sun Belt) look to rebound after a heartbreaking 74-70 overtime loss to Troy on Feb. 10. MT came back from a double-digit deficit, but fell short as the Trojans outscored MT 13-9 in OT.
• Junior Ebony Rowe registered her 14th double-double this season with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Senior guard Kortni Jones chimed in with 22 points for the Raiders.
• MT and UALR (17-7, 9-6 SBC) meet for the second time this season. The Raiders collected a 65-56 win over the Trojans on Jan. 16. Ebony Rowe registered a career-high 35 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the win. Icelyn Elie and Kortni Jones added 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Ebony Rowe leads the Raiders with 21.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Kortni Jones follows with 15.3 and Icelyn Elie with 14.2 points per game in 24 contests this season.
• There are four Top 25 NCAA categories in which Ebony Rowe ranks. She is 12th in double-doubles (14), 11th in points (21.3), 14th in field goal percentage (55.2) and 21st in rebounds per game (10.8).
• Rowe joins Rice's Jessica Kuster as the only two juniors in the country to average a double-double through their first three years in the collegiate ranks.

Scouting UALR

• UALR (17-7, 9-6 Sun Belt) has won six consecutive games after going on a four-game losing skid in mid-January. The Trojans squeaked out a crucial road victory at Arkansas State, upending the Red Wolves 54-50 in Jonesboro on Wednesday.
• Defensively, UALR is the best in the Sun Belt, holding opponents to 54.1 points per game. The Trojans are second in scoring margin, besting their opponents +10.7. UALR is second in field goal percentage (43.2), while limiting their opponents to 32.8 percent in 24 games this year. The Trojans are in the top field in several categories including blocked shots (138), assists (14 apg) and rebounding margin (+4.1).
• Preseason All-Conference selection Taylor Gault is the only double-figure scorer for the Trojans, pacing the team with 14.8 points per game. Taylor Ford, another preseason All-SBC selection, is pacing UALR with 9.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in 24 games this season. Hannah Fohne is the Trojan's leading board grabber, picking up 6.7 rebounds per contest. Janette Merriex is UALR's top threat from 3-point land, knocking down a team-best 36 triples.
• Coach Joe Foley is in his 10th season at UALR and has compiled a 190-112 record during his tenure. He holds an all-time record of 6-11 against the Blue Raiders.

Series with the Trojans

• Middle Tennessee and UALR are meeting for the 24th time since the series began in 2001. The Blue Raiders hold a 17-6 edge in the all-time series. The series has been split, 2-2, in the last four 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.
• Earlier this year, the Raiders bested UALR 65-56 as Ebony Rowe reached a career-high 35 points and 17 rebounds.
• Saturday's meeting is the 10th in Little Rock with the Blue Raiders holding a slight 5-4 edge. UALR has won the previous two meetings at the Jack Stephens Center. Most recently, the Trojans defeated MT, 69-61, in Little Rock on Feb. 20, 2011.
• Rick Insell holds a 8-5 mark against UALR since joining the program in 2005.

A Winning Combination

• The Middle Tennessee men's and women's basketball programs have combined for 40 wins this season, which is tied for fourth nationally. Duke and Gonzaga lead the country with 45 combined wins this season.

Road Warriors 

• MT is in the midst of a new school record with 14 consecutive conference road wins dating back to last season. MT was undefeated in league play last year and has been unharmed in seven SBC road games this season.

Elite Company

Ebony Rowe and Rice's Jessica Kuster are the only two juniors in the country this season to average a double-double in their first three years of collegiate basketball.

Scoring Diversity

• For opponents, it's hard to guess which Raider might strike while the iron is hot. MT is the only team in the nation to have three different players score 30-plus points in different games this season. Ebony Rowe has accomplished this feat twice (Jan. 12 & Jan. 16). Icelyn Elie inked 30 against Memphis (Nov. 11), while Kortni Jones put up 32 versus Arkansas State (Feb. 6).
• There have been only 17 other teams across the nation to have two different players reach 30-plus points this season.

Ebony Rowe All-America Campaign

• The MT Athletic Communications office rolled out the Ebony Rowe for All-America campaign last week.
• MT Athletics launched a Twitter account (@RaidersRowe) for fans and media to follow on the junior's progress this season, while encouraging followers to use the #RaidersRowe hashtag.
• An interactive website, RaidersRowe.com, highlights Rowe's academic and athletic successes since she joined the program.

Overtime Frenzy

• MT has tied a school-record four overtimes this season. MT dropped a 69-63 contest at Iowa before rebounding with a 65-59 win at Tennessee Tech. The Raiders fell 88-81 to No. 16/14 Tennessee in OT on Nov. 28 and lost a 74-70 heartbreak to Troy on Feb. 10.
• The four OT games are the most for a Blue Raider squad since tallying three in the 2001-02 season under head coach Stephany Smith.

Rankings in the Sun Belt

• Middle Tennessee leads the Sun Belt in scoring margin with +10.8 per game. MT is second in four other categories: assists per game (13.5), turnover margin (+4.04), assist/turnover ratio (0.83) and offensive rebounds (15.3). Junior Ebony Rowe leads the SBC with 5.4 offensive rebounds per game and a 55.2 field goal percentage. Rowe is second in points (21.3), rebounds (10.8) and minutes played (39.2). Guard Kortni Jones leads the SBC with 4.6 assists and is second with 2.4 triples made per game. Shanice Cason is second with 2.5 steals per game.

National Statistical Rankings

• The Raiders are in the top 75 in six categories as released by the NCAA on Feb. 15. MT is 38th in turnover margin (+4.04), 40th in scoring margin (+10.8), 62nd in scoring offense (68.5), 71st in field goal percentage (41.5), 85th in scoring defense (57.7) and 72nd in steals per game (10.3).
• MT has four players in the top 100. Ebony Rowe ranks 11th with 21.3 points per game, 21st with 10.8 rebounds a contest and tied for 12th with 14 double-doubles. Rowe is 14th in field goal percentage (55.2), while Icelyn Elie is listed 75th (46.8). Kortni Jones ranks 64th with 4.6 assists per game. Shanice Cason is 87th in the NCAA with 2.5 steals per game.

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