MT meets Mississippi State for GCS Championship

Blue Raiders take on fourth SEC team this season

December 1, 2013 · @MTAthletics

Middle Tennessee and Mississippi State battle it out for the Gulf Coast Showcase Championship on Sunday afternoon inside Germain Arena. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. in Estero, Fla.


Matchup: Middle Tennessee vs. Mississippi State
Date: Sunday, Dec. 1
Time: 4:00 p.m. CT/5:00 p.m. ET
Tournament: Gulf Coast Showcase
Location: Estero, Fla.
Arena: Germain Arena (7,802)


Overall: MT leads series, 4-3
Under Rick Insell: 0-1 vs. MSU
In Neutral Site: MSU leads, 3-2
Last Meeting: MSU 68, MT 64 - NCAA Tournament (Pittsburgh, Pa.) - 3/21/2010


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

• For the fourth time this season, Middle Tennessee (3-3) meets another SEC opponent in Mississippi State (7-0). The two squads will battle it out for the inaugural Gulf Coast Showcase Championship. MT has won two regular season titles under Rick Insell.
• The Blue Raiders picked up a 69-62 win over Wright State on Saturday. MT scored 48 points inside the paint. Ebony Rowe etched her fourth double-double this season with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Shanice Cason added 14 points, while Laken Leonard picked up 13 points.
• Rowe, a Naismith and Wade Watch List candidate, has 1,852 career points. She has tallied 99 double figure games, which is fourth all-time. This year, she is averaging 22.2 ppg and 11.2 rpg.
• Freshman Olivia Jones is the Blue Raiders' second leading scorer with 9.8 points per game. The Murfreesboro native is followed by veteran guard Shanice Cason with 7.4 points.
• MT's other SEC opponents this season include No. 4 Tennessee, No. 7 Kentucky and Arkansas.

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Scouting Mississippi State

• The Bulldogs (7-0) remain undefeated after a 65-52 win over James Madison on Saturday. MSU has notable victories against Houston and Tennessee Tech. In seven games, the Bulldogs are boasting 82.1 points and a scoring margin of +29.3 Opponents are tallying 52.9 ppg. Vic Schafer's squad is shooting 45 percent (201-of-446), while opponents are knocking down 32.6 percent (116-of-356) from the field. Mississippi State opponents are turning the ball over 28.1 times per game for a +12 turnover margin. Two Bulldogs are in double figures with Martha Alwal leading the way with 17.1 ppg and 7.9 rpg. Kendra Grant follows with 14.7 points and leads the team with nine triples. Dominique Dillingham is posting 9.9 ppg in seven contests.

Series with the Bulldogs

• Middle Tennessee and Mississippi State meet for the eighth time on Sunday. The Blue Raiders hold a 4-3 all-time advantage in the series.
• The squads first met on Feb. 7, 1976 with MSU picking up a 78-73 win.
• MT's first win came a year later with an 83-70 decision over MSU in Murfreesboro. • The two teams last met on March 21, 2010 in the NCAA Tournament opening round in Pittsburgh when MSU won 68-64. Current assistant coach Alysha Clark had 17 point and 14 rebounds in the loss.

MT vs. the SEC

• Rick Insell's Blue Raiders are meeting a SEC team for the fourth time this season.
MT has tough losses to No. 4 Tennessee, No. 7 Kentucky and Arkansas.
• Insell has five wins against the SEC with those coming against Kentucky (2), LSU (2) and Georgia (1).
• The Blue Raiders last knocked off an SEC opponent on Dec. 28, 2011 with a 70-58 over Kentucky at the Murphy Center.

MT in Regular Season Tournaments

• For the fourth consecutive year, Middle Tennessee is participating in a regular season tournament.
• The Raiders are 12-4 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.

Recapping the Gulf Coast Showcase

• 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. Three freshmen Olivia Jones (21) and Ty Petty (20), and China Dow (11) led the way.
• MT never trailed and staved off an 11-0 Wright State run to pick up a 69-62 win on Saturday. The Blue Raiders scored 48 points inside the paint. Ebony Rowe led all scorers with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Shanice Cason had 14, while Laken Leonard followed with 13.

Record Breaking Rowe Ebony Rowe ranks in the top-5 in six different career categories at Middle Tennessee. She is the record holder in double-doubles (57), rebounds (1,081) and offensive boards (534). The senior is fourth in made field goals (729), fourth in free throws (392) and fifth in double figure scoring games (99).
• Rowe has reached 1,852 points in her career and is 39 points from tying Patrice Holmes (1,891) for sixth all-time.
• The senior has 11 consecutive double figure scoring games and is one away from her 100th, which would tie Jennifer McFall ('85) and Priscilla Robinson ('94) for third all-time.

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