Blue Raiders renew series with LA Tech on Saturday

Tip-off set for 5 p.m. in Ruston

January 10, 2014 · @MTAthletics

Middle Tennessee (12-3, 1-0 C-USA) makes its first Conference USA road appearance with a visit to Louisiana Tech (5-9, 0-1 C-USA) on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, La.


Matchup: Middle Tennessee at Louisiana Tech
Date: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Ruston, La.
Arena: Thomas Assembly Center (8,000)


Overall: Louisiana Tech leads series, 4-0
In Ruston: Louisiana Tech leads series, 2-0
Last Meeting: No. 8/8 TECH 83, MT 64 - Feb. 15, 2001
Under Rick Insell: First Meeting


Radio: WMOT (89.5 FM)
Play-by-Play: Dick Palmer
Live Stream: Conference USA Digital Network (subscription required)
Live Video - Live Audio - Live Stats

Quick Hitters 

• Middle Tennessee makes its first C-USA road game with a former Sun Belt foe Louisiana Tech. The Blue Raiders are coming off an 86-42 win over North Texas on Wednesday.
 • The Raiders' 11-game win streak is one shy of last year's season-long win streak of 12 games. MT has recorded win streaks of 11 or more games in four of the past five seasons.
• Senior Ebony Rowe is one of three players in Conference USA averaging a double-double this season, along with Jessica Kuster of Rice and Shae Kelley of Old Dominion. Rowe is the only player in C-USA in the top-five in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.
 • Freshman Olivia Jones tied a career-high with 21 points in the victory over North Texas (Jan. 8), while tallying seven rebounds and five steals. Jones is tied for fourth in C-USA in steals per game with 2.4.
• The 44-point win over North Texas (Jan. 8) marked the third-highest margin of victory this year by a C-USA team over a Division I opponent. The rout of the Mean Green also marks the third win by 30 or more points during MT's current 11-game winning streak. The Blue Raiders have not trailed by more than seven points at any time during the streak.
• The 15 made three-pointers vs. North Texas (Jan. 8) were the most by a Conference USA team this year, and tied for the second-most ever by a C-USA team. The last time a team from the conference made 15 three's in a game was Feb. 15, 2004, when Charlotte went 15-of-33 from outside vs. TCU. The 45 three-point attempts were the most ever by a C-USA team in a league game.
• MT's 15-of-45 clip from outside the arc was the highest in terms of both makes and attempts this year, but not by much. The Blue Raiders shot 14-of-41 from three in a win over Southeastern Louisiana (Nov. 29). The barrage was slightly more balanced that night, with freshman Ty Petty going 6-of-9 from three on her way to a career-high 20 points.

Stewart Lights It Up

• Senior KeKe Stewart's 11 made three-pointers vs. North Texas (Jan. 8) set new records for both Middle Tennessee and Conference USA. Stewart is just one of 11 players in NCAA history to make 11 threes in a game. Her 26 three-point attempts are tied for the NCAA record.
• Stewart's three-point display vs. North Texas (Jan. 8) brought her three-point shooting up to 40.9-percent for the season, good for third in C-USA. Her 1.9 made threes per game are fourth in the conference.

Stingy Defense

• The 55.4 points allowed per game by the Blue Raiders through the team's first 15 games are the fewest in Conference USA. MT is second in C-USA in field goal defense at 35.9-percent and fourth in three-point defense at 28.3-percent. The Raiders have surrendered just 50.8 points per game during their current 11-game winning streak.

Scouting Louisiana Tech

• Louisiana Tech (5-9, 0-1 C-USA) is in the midst of a two-game losing streak after previously winning four of their last five games. The Lady Techsters dropped their Conference USA opener with a 67-56 loss to Southern Miss on Wednesday. LA Tech is averaging 63.9 points per game, but shooting just 36.3 percent (307-of-845) from the field. Opponents are tallying 65.5 ppg, while shooting 39.7 percent (332-of-836). Coach Teresa Weatherspoon's squad has the league's second-best three-point defense, giving up just 27.5 percent (60-of-218) behind the arch this season. Junior forward Whitney Frazier leads TECH with 15.7 ppg. She is the team's best rebounder with 9.5 boards per game, while ranking fourth in the league. Chrisstasia Walter and JaQuan Jackson are also in double-figures with 13.1 and 12.8 points per game, respectively. Jackson is LA Tech's best three-point shooter with 27 makes in 14 contests. 

Series with the Lady Techsters 

• It has been nearly 13 years since the Blue Raiders and Lady Techsters have squared off. Louisiana Tech owns a 4-0 advantage in the all-time series, with the most historic meeting being the first. On March 17, 1983, the two teams squared off in the new Thomas Assembly Center in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Lady Techsters, the defending national champions and ranked No. 1 in the nation, won the game 91-59. The Blue Raiders would go back to Ruston for a non-conference game on Jan. 6, 1985 before squaring off in a pair of Sun Belt games in 2001.
• Saturday marks the first time in the five meetings between the two programs that the Lady Techsters are unranked. In the previous four meetings, Louisiana Tech was ranked no lower than No. 8 in the nation.

Rick Insell LIVE begins Monday

• Rick Insell Live presented by Ascend Federal Credit Union will be hosted by Dick Palmer and run from 6-7 p.m. on WGNS (100.5 FM, 101.9 FM, 1450 AM) and WMOT (89.5 FM) live at Sam's All-American Sports Grill in Murfreesboro. Fans have the opportunity to ask questions by calling into the show at 1-866-RAIDERS or emailing radio@goblueraiders.com. They can also tweet questions by using the hashtag #InsellLive.

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