Raiders set to battle Trojans Monday

MT hosts UALR for fourth game in nine days

November 17, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's basketball team (3-0) closes out its four-game homestand Monday, hosting UALR (0-2) at 7 p.m. inside the Murphy Center.


Date: Monday, Nov.18
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Teams: UALR at Middle Tennessee
Location: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Arena: Murphy Center (11,520)
Tickets: Click here or call 1-888-YES-MTSU
Webstream: GoBlueRaiders.com
Radio: WGNS (FM 100.5, FM 101.9, AM 1450) / WMOT (89.5 FM) / The Game (102.5 FM, 97.5 FM)
Play-by-Play: Chip Walters
Color Analyst: Kyle Turnham
Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats

Men's Basketball vs. UALR

• The Blue Raiders look to extend their regular season home winning streak to 32 games Monday night, taking on UALR, while the Trojans are looking for their first win of the 2013-14 season.

• Middle Tennessee improved to 3-0 on the season, collecting an 80-73 win against Akron Saturday. The contest was the second for MT this season against a 2013 NCAA Tournament team. Senior Shawn Jones recorded his first double-double of the season against the Zips, tallying a career-high 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Kerry Hammonds II and Jaqawn Raymond put up 17 points each, while Tweety Knight added 11, marking third-straight game MT has had four or more players score double-figures.

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• MT picked up its second come-from-behind victory of the season Wednesday evening, claiming a 77-70 win over North Florida inside the Murphy Center as four Raiders scored in double-figures. Raymond and Marcus Tarrance led the way with 14 points each, while Jones had 12 points and Reggie Upshaw, Jr., notched the first double-double of the season for MT with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

• The Blue Raiders tipped off regular season play, Nov. 13, picking up a 78-75 victory over 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Southern University. Neiko Hunter led MT with a career-best 20 points and six rebounds, going 6-for-11 from the floor and 3-for-4 from behind the arc. For his efforts, the senior was named Player of the Week by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association Nov. 12.

• MT had five players score in double-figures against the Jaguars Nov. 13 as Hunter had 20, followed by Hammonds with 19, Tarrance with 13, Knight with 12 and Jones with 10.

• The Blue Raiders open the 2013-14 campaign with a four-game homestand, welcoming Southern, North Florida, Akron and UALR to the Murphy Center. MT then hits the road for the first time Nov. 21, traveling to the Sunshine State to take on No. 11/10 Florida. The upcoming season should be exciting and challenging for the Blue Raiders as they face three NCAA Tournament teams in their first five games in Southern, Akron and Florida.

• MT was one of three teams in the country last season to finish 16-0 or better at home. The Blue Raiders are currently enjoying the longest active regular season home winning streak in the nation at 31 games. MT will put that streak on the line once again Monday, hosting UALR at 7 p.m.


This will be the 25th meeting between Middle Tennessee and UALR. The Trojans hold a 13-11 advantage in the all-time series, while the Blue Raiders have a 6-4 edge in Murfreesboro. However, UALR is 7-5 against MT in Little Rock. The squads played six-straight games at UALR from Dec. 18, 2006-Feb. 19, 2011. In the first meeting between the pair, MT captured an 85-54 victory Dec. 1, 1976 at home.

Blue Raider head coach Kermit Davis is 8-9 against the Trojans. In his first meeting against UALR, MT dropped a 71-62 overtime decision on the road Jan. 11, 2003. Under the direction of Davis, MT's largest margin of victory against UALR was 35-points Jan. 10, 2005, when the Raiders claimed an 85-50 win.

In the most recent matchup between UALR and Middle Tennessee, the Raiders picked up a 66-61 victory on the road Feb. 16, 2013. In the contest, Kerry Hammonds II tallied 10 points for MT, going 4-for-7 from the floor.

UALR is 0-2 on the young 2013-14 season, opening the season with a 72-70 loss to North Florida Nov. 11 and dropping an 86-56 decision at No. 11/10 Florida Wednesday. Will Neighbor leads the Trojans, averaging 16.5 points per game, while Josh Hagins is second on the team with 10.0 points a contest. Neighbour also leads UALR on the boards, pulling down 6.0 rebounds a game, while James White is putting up 9.0 points and grabbing 5.5 boards an outing.

In the Trojans' last outing, Neighbour led UALR against Florida with 21 points, going 7-for-11 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the line. White assisted with the Trojans' offensive effort, recording 16 points, while also snagging a team-high nine rebounds to narrowly miss a double-double. Neighbour was second on the team in rebounding, corralling eight boards.

The loss to UNF marked UALR's first home opening loss in over 10 years. Five Trojans scored double-figures in the contest as Hagins led the way with 14 points. Neighbour and White each recorded 12 points, while Mareik Isom added 11 and Gus Leeper had 10.

UALR was picked to finish sixth in the Sun Belt this season, according to the league's preseason coaches' poll. Western Kentucky took top honors in poll, while South Alabama was picked second.

The Trojans went 17-15 overall and 11-9 in Sun Belt play in 2012-13. UALR returns four starters from last season and a total of eight letterwinners, after losing four.

Thirty-ONEderful Wins

MT continued to defend its home court last season after finishing 15-2 at home in 2011-12. The Blue Raiders were 16-0 in home games, including a win at Bridgestone Arena and haven't lost a regular season game in Murphy Center since Nov. 20, 2011, when MT dropped an 87-84 double overtime decision to Belmont. After picking up a 78-75 win over Southern in the 2013-14 season-opener, a 77-70 win over North Florida Wednesday and an 80-73 win against Akron Saturday, MT improved to 31-straight regular season home victories, the longest active regular season home win-streak in the nation.

Home Winning Streak: MT owns the longest active regular season home winning streak in the country with 31 games, but is tied for third in the country in consecutive home victories with 19-straight wins. The Blue Raiders dropped a 78-72 decision in the Glass House during the quarterfinals of the NIT March 21, 2011. With a loss at home to Ohio State Saturday, Marquette's nation-leading home winning-streak ended at 27 victories. Belmont now tops the current home winning streak list with 21 victories, which is also good enough for second on the regular season home win-streak list.

Live audio, stats and a webstream of Saturday's game will be available online at GoBlueRaiders.com.

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