Blue Raiders open Florida swing at UCF on Monday

Tip-off against the Knights set for 6 p.m. CT in Orlando

December 15, 2013 · @MTAthletics

Middle Tennessee (6-3) returns to the hardwood on Monday, Dec. 16 in a 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT matchup at UCF (7-2).


Matchup: Middle Tennessee at UCF
Date: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
Time: 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT
Location: Orlando, Fla.
Arena: CFE Arena (10,000)


Overall: MT leads series, 3-0
In Orlando: MT leads, 2-0
Under Rick Insell: 2-0 vs. UCF
Last Meeting: MT 77, UCF 73 - Dec. 7, 2013 - Orlando, Fla.


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Quick Hitters

• Middle Tennessee (6-3) carries its five-game win streak to Florida to take on UCF and USF in a pair of midweek matchups. The Raiders collected a 68-32 win over Kennesaw State in front of 10,028 fans at the Murfreesboro City Schools Education Day game on Thursday. Ebony Rowe led all scorers with 16 points, while Lauren March had a team-best seven rebounds.
• MT and UCF meet for the fourth time in program history. The Raiders are 3-0 against the UCF Knights with MT's most recent victory coming in Orlando on Dec. 7, 2010.
Ebony Rowe leads the Blue Raiders 22.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. The senior has 1,923 points in her career and is 23 away from reaching Tawayna Mucker for fourth all-time.
• The Blue Raiders' attendance average of 8,692 fans per game ranks third nationally.
Shanice Cason is MT's other double-figure scorer with 10.3 points per game. She is followed by freshman Olivia Jones, who is boasting 8.1 ppg.

Scouting UCF

• UCF (7-2)'s three-game win streak was snapped with an 82-69 double-overtime loss at Florida Atlantic on Friday. The Knights' only two losses this season have come to C-USA members. Charlotte picked up UCF's only other defeat, a 62-52 victory in Charlotte. UCF is undefeated inside the CFE Arena, including a win over FIU. Sophomore guard Briahanna Jackson leads the Knights with 17.3 points and 18 three-pointers. Zykira Lewis and Sara Djassi are tallying double-figure averages with 13.0 and 12.8, respectively. Redshirt junior Brittni Montgomery is the leading rebounder with 10.4 boards per game. Joi Williams' squad is averaging 68.4 ppg, while shooting 39.1 percent (221x565). UCF opponents are boasting 62.1 ppg and only shooting 34.2 percent (205x599) in nine games.

Series with the Knights

• Middle Tennessee and UCF meet for the fourth time on Monday. The Blue Raiders have won the previous three meetings.
• MT won the series opener, 71-69 in Orlando, on Dec. 22, 2000.
• MT is 2-0 under Rick Insell. The Raiders defeated UCF 78-53 on Nov. 15, 2009 with Alysha Clark scoring 32 points and pulling in 15 rebounds.
• Most recently, Middle Tennessee knocked off the Knights 77-73 on Dec. 7, 2010 at CFE Arena. Then freshman Ebony Rowe had 20 points and nine rebounds in the victory.

MT vs. the American Athletic Conference

• In its next two meetings, Middle Tennessee is meeting members of the newly formed American Athletic Conference.
• UCF was previously a member of Conference USA, while USF participated in the Big East Conference.
• Prior to this year, MT was 22-30 against teams in C-USA and the Big East.

It's Floridays for the Raiders

• By the end of this season, Florida will be MT's second home. The Raiders make a trek to Florida on four different occasions. The previous two have been very successful as MT holds a 4-0 mark. • The Raiders upended Miami 61-55 on Nov. 15 before capturing the inaugural Gulf Coast Showcase (Nov. 29-Dec. 1) title with wins against Southeastern Louisiana (88-71), Wright State (69-62) and Mississippi State (62-48).
• Florida is no stranger to Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders have an impressive 12-4 mark under Rick Insell with victories at FAU FIU and UCF.
• After MT's visit to USF on Wednesday, the Raiders close out their Florida tour at FIU (Feb. 12) and FAU (Feb. 15).

Raiders Rout KSU in front of 10K

• Middle Tennessee toppled Kennesaw State in a 68-32 decision on Dec. 12. There were 10,028 on hand at the Murphy Center for the second Murfreesboro City Schools Education Day.
• The crowd was the fourth largest in program history. Ebony Rowe led the Raiders with 16 points, while moving to fifth in all-time scoring.
• The trifecta tandem of Lauren March, Olivia Jones and Shanice Cason chipped in with eight points each. In total, Middle Tennessee had 10 different players score in the blowout win over KSU.

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 (59), rebounds (1,118) offensive boards (549), offensive rebounds (569) and free attempted (691).
• The senior is tied for second in double figure scoring games (102) and is six away from reaching the legendary Kim Webb (108).
• Rowe has reached 1,923 points in her career and is 23 points shy from reaching moving into fourth all-time held by hall of famer Tawanya Mucker (1,946).

Working the Paint

• Middle Tennessee has attacked the paint in its last six the games. The Raiders are averaging 38.3 points per game inside.
• During that span, the Raiders are outscoring their opponents by nearly 18 points inside the paint.

Building Production

• Middle Tennessee has a strong lineup around Ebony Rowe. Junior Shanice Cason reached a career-high 20 points, while Olivia Jones made a season-high 12 rebounds in the win over Austin Peay.
• Cason is averaging 10.3 points and has 26 assists in nine games this season. Jones, a freshman from Murfreesboro, is pulling in 8.1 ppg and 6.3 rpg.
• MT has also has help from seniors Laken Leonard (6.3 ppg) and KeKe Stewart (5.3) ppg. Freshman China Dow is chipping in with 4.3 points per contest.
• Senior Lauren March earned her first start and produced a season-best eight points and seven rebounds versus Kennesaw State.
Janiece Johnson and MacKenzie Sells also reached season-highs with six points each in the Dec. 12 win over KSU.

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