UALR defense limits Blue Raiders in loss

Rowe paced Raiders with 14 points and eight boards

February 16, 2013 · @MTAthletics

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - UALR used a 14-5 run to close out the game and collect a 51-43 victory over Middle Tennessee on Saturday afternoon at the Jack Stephens Center.

The Blue Raiders (18-7, 13-3 Sun Belt) led by as many as 12 before UALR (18-7, 10-6 SBC) stormed back to cut the lead to five points. In the second half, the game see-sawed back and forth until the Trojans reeled off a strong run to clinch their seventh straight victory. The Raiders remain ahead in the Sun Belt East by two games as WKU fell to FIU earlier on Saturday. 

Offensively, MT was held to 35 percent shooting (17-of-48) and had 18 turnovers in the game. The Trojans shot 42 percent, knocking down 18-of-43 from the field. The loss marked the first time MT had dropped back-to-back conference games since the 2007-08 season.

Ebony Rowe led Middle Tennessee with 14 points and eight rebounds in 40 minutes. The junior forward moved to second in school history with 913 career rebounds, passing Priscilla Robinson's 908.

Seniors Icelyn Elie and Kortni Jones each posted 12 points in the game. Elie had seven boards, while Jones hit the Raiders' only two triples in the game.

UALR kept the first half low scoring with Middle Tennessee holding a 22-17 lead at the half. The Raiders knocked 9-of-21 from the field for 43 percent. MT forced 12 UALR turnovers and scored 12 points from those Trojan mistakes. Elie led MT with eight points and four rebounds.

The Blue Raiders opened up to a 7-2 lead, forcing four turnovers in the first four minutes. The Raiders added on five more points with a trey from Jones and Rowe to go up by eight. MT's largest lead was 12 points at 10:29. From there, the Trojans closed out the half on a 13-6 run, which included a five minute scoring drought for the Raiders.

In the second half, UALR cut the deficit and eventually took a 26-25 lead. MT and the Trojans battled point-by-point for several minutes until UALR went 14-5 down the stretch to pick up their third straight win over MT in Little Rock.

The last two home games at Murphy Center are next week when Middle Tennessee hosts South Alabama on Wednesday, Feb. 20 and ULM on Saturday, Feb. 23.


Kortni Jones moved to ninth all-time in school history with 119 games played ... Ebony Rowe moved into ninth all-time with 636 field goals, passing Krystle Horton's 631 makes ... Icelyn moved in to 17th all-time with 638 rebounds ... Middle Tennessee lost back-to-back games in regular season conference action for the first time since 2007-08 when they lost road contests at FIU and UALR ... MT has now dropped three in a row at the Jack Stephens Center and is 17-7 overall against the Trojans.

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