Blue Raiders close non-conference slate with Tennessee Tech
Middle Tennessee and Golden Eagles meet for 76th timeJanuary 1, 2014 · @MTAthletics
Middle Tennessee (10-3) looks for its 10th consecutive win when old archrival Tennessee Tech (4-9, 1-0 OVC) visits the Murphy Center on Thursday evening. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
Matchup: Tennessee Tech at Middle Tennessee
Date: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Arena: Murphy Center (11,520)
Tickets: Call 1-888-YES-MTSU or click here
Overall: Tennessee Tech leads series, 38-37
In Murfreesboro: MT leads series, 24-10
Last Meeting: MT 65, TTU 59 (OT) - Nov. 20, 2012 - Cookeville, Tenn.
Last Meeting in Murfreesboro: MT 74, TTU 55 - Nov. 23, 2011
Under Rick Insell: 8-0
• Middle Tennessee (10-3) returns to the Murphy Center with a nine game win streak on the line when the Raiders host old OVC foe Tennessee Tech. MT and the Golden Eagles are meeting for the 76th time on Thursday. TTU holds a slight 38-37 edge in the all-time series.
• MT is coming off a 76-51 victory at Clemson. Ebony Rowe paced the Raiders with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win. For her efforts, Rowe was tabbed the TSWA Player of the Week.
• Rowe became the third Blue Raider to reach 2,000 points in program history at Clemson. She sits second all-time in scoring at MT and joined Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike as the only two active players in the entire NCAA to have 2,000 points and 1,000 career rebounds.
• MT is giving up just 56.6 points per game, which ranks as the 23rd best defense nationally.
• For the fourth time under Rick Insell, MT has reached double digit wins in its non-conference slate.
• Shanice Cason's 9.1 ppg and Olivia Jones' 6.2 rpg are also helping pace the Blue Raiders.
Series with the Golden Eagles
• Two former OVC rivals Tennessee Tech and Middle Tennessee duke it out on the hardwood for the 76th time on Thursday. TTU holds a slight 38-37 edge in the series that began in 1976.
• The Golden Eagles won nine out of the first 10 games of the series. MT won a stretch of six games from 1983 to 1985 to close the gap.
• Most recently, Middle Tennessee has won eight consecutive games and 10 out of the last 11 contests. The win streak is the longest between the two programs.
• The Blue Raiders' only blemish during that time was a 52-50 defeat in Cookeville on Dec. 9, 2004. Coach Rick Insell has never lost to TTU.
• Last season, MT held on to a 65-59 victory over Tennessee Tech in overtime. Ebony Rowe's layup with 25 seconds left in regulation sent the game to OT. MT outscored TTU 9-to-3 in the extra period. Rowe finished the game with 12 points and nine rebounds. Kortni Jones led MT with 24 points.
MT vs. the OVC
• MT owns an all-time 304-103 record all-time against the Ohio Valley Conference.
• Head Coach Rick Insell is 18-1 all-time against OVC opponents.
• The Blue Raiders, who were in the conference from 1978-79 to 1999-2000, won 11 regular season and six OVC Tournament titles during their tenure in the league.
Rowe Garners Fourth TSWA Award
• Ebony Rowe earned Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA) Player of the Week accolades on Jan. 1 for her efforts at Clemson last weekend. The senior posted 17 points and 10 rebounds in MT's 76-51 thrashing of Clemson.
• Rowe has earned TSWA Player of the Week four times (Dec. 3, Dec. 10, Dec. 23 and Jan. 1) this season and 11 in the past two years.
• She has won Conference USA Player of the Week on Dec. 3 and Dec. 23. Rowe was also tabbed the NCAA Women's Basketball Player of the Week on Dec. 4.
• A win over the TTU on Thursday would match the most since 2008-09 when MT collected 11 non-conference wins.
• Under Rick Insell, Middle Tennessee has reached double-digit non-conference wins in five different seasons: 2005-06, 2006-07, 2008-09, 2011-12 and 2013-14.
• MT's perfect 7-0 run in December is the third time the Raiders have went undefeated during that month. MT previously accomplished that feat in 1976 under Pat Jones and 2006 under Insell.
• Insell has a total record of 64-6 in the month of January at MT and has four undefeated January's which include: 2006-07, 2008-09, 2011-12 and 2012-13.
• The Blue Raiders rank 23rd nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 56.6 ppg. MT is 66th nationally with a field goal percentage defense of 36.5.
• MT has allowed just 47.3 ppg in the team's seven contests in December.
• Middle Tennessee has been on the road for nine of its first 13 games. MT has an 8-1 road and neutral site record with the only loss coming to Arkansas.
• MT has road wins over Miami, UCF, USF and Clemson. MT also won the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla.
In the Rankings
• Middle Tennessee's Ebony Rowe ranks 13th nationally with 23.7 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game.
• The senior is the only player in the country to be in the top-15 in points and rebounds average.
• Rowe's 10 double-doubles this season ranks third in the NCAA and first in Conference USA.
• With 295 points this season, Rowe ranks seventh nationally.
• Rowe leads the league with 4.31 offensive rebounds per game. Rowe is second in scoring, rebounding and minutes played.
• MT is earning votes in both the AP (35th) and Coaches Poll (29th).
• The Blue Raiders' nine game win streak is tied for 12th nationally.
Record Breaking Rowe
• Ebony Rowe ranks in the top-5 in nine different career categories at Middle Tennessee. She is the record holder in double-doubles (63), rebounds (1,163) offensive boards (564), defensive rebounds (599) and attempted free throws (727).
• Rowe is second in made field goals (791) and fourth in free throws made (428).
• The senior is second in double figure scoring games (106) and is two away from reaching the legendary Kim Webb.
• Rowe has reached 2,014 points in her career ranking second all-time. She is 134 points shy from reaching the school record held by Webb (2,148).
• Rowe has joined the exclusive 2,000 point club with Kim Webb and Priscilla Robinson.
• Rowe joins Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike as the only two active NCAA players with 2,000 points and 1,000 career rebounds.
• Middle Tennessee is 38-7 overall when Rowe scores 20 or more points.
• The senior has 19 consecutive double figure scoring games.
Raiders have Depth
• Middle Tennessee has one of its most balanced teams to date in the Rick Insell era. The Raiders have six players averaging 4.4 or more points per game.
• Beyond Ebony Rowe's 22.7 points per contest, Shanice Cason is near double-figures with 9.1 ppg. Center KeKe Stewart is boasting 8.2 points per contest, while freshman Olivia Jones follows with 7.8 points. Laken Leonard (6.1 ppg) and China Dow (4.4) are also significant contributing factors.
• Middle Tennessee's five victories against power six conference opponents this year are the most under Rick Insell's tutelage. MT has victories over Miami, Mississippi State, UCF, USF and Clemson this season. That success surpasses the MT's three victories in the 2008-09 season over Indiana, Arizona and Alabama.
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More Women's Basketball NewsJul 11, 2014: Shalon Pillow joins Blue Raider coaching staff
Jun 30, 2014: Rowe Named C-USA's Female Athlete of the Year
Jun 30, 2014: Assistant Coach Mariska Harris resigns from post
Jun 27, 2014: Brinkley named recipient of NCAA Career in Sports Scholarship
Jun 17, 2014: Leonard earns Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship
Jun 12, 2014: Reuter earns MVP honors at Tennessee-Georgia All-Star game