Battle of the Raiders: MT and Wright State square off today

Gulf Coast Showcase semifinals set for 5 p.m. tip

November 30, 2013 · @MTAthletics

It's the Battle of the Raiders, as Middle Tennessee and Wright State square off this evening in the semifinals of the Gulf Coast Showcase. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. CT inside the Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.


Matchup: Middle Tennessee vs. Wright State
Date: Saturday, Nov. 30
Time: 5:00 p.m. CT/6:00 p.m. ET
Tournament: Gulf Coast Showcase
Location: Estero, Fla.
Arena: Germain Arena (7,802)


Overall: First Meeting
Under Rick Insell: First Meeting


Live Stream: America ONE Sports (click here)
Radio: WMOT (89.5 FM)/WGNS 1450 AM, 100.5 FM, 101.9 FM
Play-by-Play: Dick Palmer
Live Video - Live Audio

Quick Hitters

• Middle Tennessee (2-3) plays Wright State for the first time, as both squads meet in the Gulf Coast Showcase semifinals. MT is 11-4 under Rick Insell in regular season tournaments.
• The Blue Raiders collected an 88-71 victory over Southeastern Louisiana on Friday. Four Raiders reached double figures with three of those coming from freshmen. Murfreesboro natives Olivia Jones and Ty Petty had 21 and 20 points, respectively. Ebony Rowe had a double-double (15p/12r), while China Dow collected 11 points.
• Rowe, a Naismith and Wade Watch List candidate, has 1,824 career points and is 10 away from matching Jennifer McFall for seventh all-time. The Lexington, Ky., native is boasting a team-best 21 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.
• Freshman Olivia Jones is the Blue Raiders' second leading scorer with 10 points per game. She is followed by veteran guard Shanice Cason with 7.4 points.

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Series with the Raiders

• Middle Tennessee meets Wright State for the first time on Saturday.
• The Blue Raiders are 0-1 all-time against the Horizon League. MT lost 62-60 to Milwaukee on Dec. 7, 2002 in the Kansas State Wildcats Classic.

MT in Regular Season Tournaments

• For the fourth consecutive year, Middle Tennessee is participating in a regular season tournament.
• The Raiders are 11-4 under Rick Insell in regular season tourneys. The Blue Raiders have won two tournament titles under Insell's watch - the 2010 UTSA Holiday Classic and the 2006 Subway Classic hosted by the University of Minnesota.
• MT has played in five in-season tournaments since 1976 with the latest happening in 2003 at the FAU Embassy Suites Classic. MT has never won a regular season tournament in Florida.
• Last season, MT finished 2-1 in the Preseason WNIT. The Raiders had an 87-45 victory over Kennesaw State and an 82-68 win over Memphis before falling 69-63 at Iowa in overtime.

Perimeter Comes Alive

• Middle Tennessee made a season-best 14 triples in the win over Southeastern Louisiana on Friday. The last time MT hit 14+ free throws was on Feb. 28, 2013 when MT drained 17 at Troy.
• 12 of the Blue Raider's 14 triples came from the freshmen tandem of Ty Petty (6), China Dow (3) and Olivia Jones (3). Petty went 6-of-9 from three-point land, hitting her first four looks from the perimeter.
• MT's 41 3-point attempts ranks fifth all-time in a single game. MT last hit the 40 mark against Louisiana on Jan. 28, 2009.

Blue Raiders Rout SE Louisiana

• Despite trailing by seven early in the game, the Blue Raiders netted a 22-5 run in the first half to take an eight point half-time lead. MT extended its lead to as much as 20 en route to an 88-71 victory over Southeastern Louisiana.
• Four Raiders reached double figures with three of those coming from the hands of freshmen. Murfreesboro natives Olivia Jones (21) and Ty Petty (20) led the way. Ebony Rowe inked her 56th career double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while China Dow chipped in with 11 points.

Rowe Writing History

Ebony Rowe holds the school-record with 56 double-doubles.
• Rowe has reached double figures in 98 of 102 games in her career. She is tied for fifth all-time with Jamie Thomatis ('01). The senior has registered 11 straight games in double-figures.
• Rowe, who has scored 1,824 career points, is just 10 points away from reaching Jennifer McFall ('85) for seventh all-time in career points.

Freshmen Find Confidence

• The Blue Raider freshmen tandem of China Dow, Olivia Jones and Ty Petty combined for 52 of MT's 88 points in the win over Southeastern Louisiana.
• Petty shot 70 percent (7-of-10) from the field, including six triples to finish the game with 20 points. China Dow reached double figures for the first time with 11 points.
• Jones finished in double digits for the second time this season, notching a game-high 21 points. Jones is averaging 10.0 ppg and 5.4 rpg in five contests.

Scouting Wright State

• Wright State (6-1) is off to its best start since 1994-95 after picking up a 99-90 victory over NC State in the first round matchup of the Gulf Coast Showcaseon Friday. Mike Bradbury's Raiders are averaging 86.6 points per game, while holding opponents to 69.4 points a game. WSU is shooting 40.5 percent (193-of-476) from the field, while draining 31.5 percent (58-of-184) from three-point range. WSU is led by guard Kim Demmings, who is posting 23.3 ppg with 5.9 rpg. Ivory James follows with 21.3 ppg and 6.6 rpg, while shooting a squad-best 50 percent (16-of-32) from 3-point range. Tay'ler Mingo is also in double figures with 13.3 points per contest. Forward Taylor Stanton is the leading rebounder, corralling 9.6 boards per game.

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