Three Raiders post double figures in blowout victory at Clemson
Rowe becomes third player in MT history to reach 2,000 pointsDecember 29, 2013 · @MTAthletics
CLEMSON, S.C. - Three Blue Raiders reached double figures as Middle Tennessee won its ninth straight game with a 76-51 decision at Clemson on Sunday afternoon.
The Blue Raiders (10-3) put little in doubt against the Tigers and never trailed in the contest. MT stretched its lead to as much as 14 in the first half before Clemson (7-6) went on an eight-point run to cut the lead to 32-26 at the break. MT outscored Clemson 44-to-25 in the second half to collect a ninth straight win. MT completed December undefeated for the third time in program history with a 7-0 mark, joining the 1976 (4-0) and 2006 (6-0) squads to accomplish that feat.
Ebony Rowe inked her 10th double-double this season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Rowe now has 2,014 points in her career, passing Priscilla Robinson (2,009) to move into second all-time in scoring. The Lexington, Ky., product joins Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike as the only two active players in the NCAA with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their career. Rowe had a solid stat line shooting 70 percent (7-of-10), grabbing four steals, handing out two assists and collecting a block in 38 minutes.
A pair of freshman made a significant impact on Sunday. Olivia Jones banked 12 points, including a pair of treys, while grabbing five boards. Jones also dished out three assists in the contest. China Dow tallied 10 points and snatched five rebounds in nine minutes. Shanice Cason, Laken Leonard and KeKe Stewart each had seven points. Lauren March added five points, while Janiece Johnson picked up four in the second half.
Statistically, MT shot a season-best 50 percent (27-of-54) and drained 36.8 percent (7-of-19) behind the arch. The inside was dominated by the Raiders, 40-to-28 points. MT also controlled the glass with 39 boards compared to Clemson's 26. The Lady Tigers shot 41.1 percent (23-of-56) from the field.
Jones' trey gave MT a 9-3 edge. From there, the Raiders hit five free throws to extend their lead to 16-7 with 11:44 to play in the opening frame.
The Blue Raiders stretched the lead to 14 with a layup from Rowe at the 7:40 mark. CU used an eight-point run to cut MT's edge to 32-26 at the break. Nikki Dixon had six of those points during that span and finished the half with 14 points. Rowe and Dow led MT with seven points each.
In the first half, MT made 11-of-15 free throws and shot 42.9 percent (9-of-21) from the field. Clemson was held to 41.4 percent (12-of-29) with zero free throw attempts.
Middle Tennessee opened the second half with a 10-2 run, which included treys from Jones and Leonard. Dixon hit a jumper as Clemson chipped away the deficit to 10 with 14:26 remaining. Janiece Johnson hit a layup with six minutes remaining as the Raiders took a 23-point lead. The Blue Raiders maintained the lead en route to their ninth consecutive victory. Dixon led CU with a game-high 21 points.
The Raiders return to the friendly confines of the Murphy Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. Tipoff with the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles is set for 7 p.m. CT.
Ebony Rowe became the third player in school history to reach 2,000-points with her free throw at the 12:32 mark ... Rowe joins Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike as the only two active players in the country to have 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their respective careers ... Rowe also moved to second all-time with 2,014 career points, passing Priscilla Robinson (2,009) ... Rowe has reached double figures in 19 consecutive games and 106 times in her career ... Middle Tennessee is 2-0 against ACC opponents this season and 3-1 all-time versus Clemson ... The Raiders are 8-1 in road and neutral site games this season.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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