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Rowe becomes all-time scorer as MT claims 16th straight

Senior forward breaks 27-year old record held by Kim Webb

January 25, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Senior Ebony Rowe broke the Middle Tennessee's 27-year-old program scoring record, and in the process led the Blue Raiders to a 62-49 win over Old Dominion on Saturday afternoon at Murphy Center.

Rowe entered the day just seven points shy of Kim Webb's program record of 2,148 points. The Lexington, Ky. native made her first six points from the floor, and went for a layup from the left side of the basket with 5:49 to go in the half, aiming for Blue Raider history. Rowe was fouled from behind from the shot attempt, making the first free throw to tie Webb's record, and the second to break it.

Rowe finished with a game-high 17 points and was tied for the game-high with nine rebounds, leading Middle Tennessee (17-3, 6-0 C-USA) to a 16th-straight victory. Sophomore Caroline Warden tallied a season-high 13 points, while senior KeKe Stewart was also in double-figures with 11.

"The crowd was so amazing and they wanted it so bad for me," noted Rowe. "I really almost cried, and I know it sounds so corny but it was just a great atmosphere and I wouldn't want to do this anywhere else but here."

"She's just been a great young lady, a great leader, and a great student-athlete," said head coach Rick Insell. "Very few of those come along. She's very humble. That's the most emotion I've ever seen her show about that. I knew it was bothering her a little bit, but now it's over with. She's there and I thought she played a good game tonight. I haven't seen her yet but she's probably the happiest young lady that's in the dressing room just because we won the ball game, not because she's the all-time leading scorer now."

The game was tied, 12-12, before MT rattled off a 10-0 run that was capped off by Rowe's record-breaking free throw. The Lady Monarchs (9-11, 2-4 C-USA) would pull to within 26-18 before the half, shooting 33.3-percent in the opening 20 minutes with 10 turnovers. MT shot just 29.4-percent, but capitalized on the ODU giveaways.

The Blue Raiders would extend the lead to 29-18 in the opening seconds of the second half on an offensive rebound and three-point play by Stewart. The MT advantage would fluctuate between seven and 11 points before a Warden trey and Rowe layup extended the advantage to 42-30 with 12:32 to play.

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Another Stewart three-point play extended the advantage to 48-34 with 7:45 to play, and led 54-41 after two more Stewart free throws at 5:11. Old Dominion would turn up the defensive pressure, forcing two consecutive backcourt turnovers - a pass out of bounds and a traveling violation - and cutting the deficit to nine.

Rowe would make a free throw to extend the advantage back to 10, before Cason atoned for her earlier travel with a corner three to make it 58-45 with just over three minutes to play. MT would keep the cushion at a double-digit margin the rest of the way, closing out the game with a

For the game, the Lady Monarchs outshot the Blue Raiders, 48.9-percent to 34.4-percent. ODU's undoing proved to be 23 turnovers. MT won the rebounding battle, 35-31. Stephanie Gardner led the Lady Monarchs with nine points. The Blue Raiders held ODU's Shae Kelley to eight points and four rebounds, far below her season averages of 16.8 ppg and 10.5 rpg.

The Blue Raiders embark on a two-game road trip, returning to action with a game in Hattiesburg, Miss., against Southern Miss at 7 p.m. on Jan. 29.

NOTES

Middle Tennessee's Ebony Rowe broke a 27-year old scoring record set by Kim Webb (2,148) in 1987 ... Rowe's 117 starts is second all-time ... Rowe now has 2,158 points in her career ... Caroline Warden scored a season-high 13 points ... Middle Tennessee's 16-game win streak is currently tied for fourth nationally and is the tied for the fourth longest in program history.

QUOTES

Head Coach Rick Insell

Opening Statement:

Overall I'm pretty satisfied with our players. We did another good job defensively. We shot 34 percent for the game, that's not real good, but again we did enough to win the game.

On Ebony Rowe's scoring record:

She's just been a great young lady, a great leader, and a great student-athlete. Very few of those come along. She's very humble. That's the most emotion I've ever seen her show about that. I knew it was bothering her a little bit, but now it's over with. She's there and I thought she played a good game tonight. I haven't seen her yet but she's probably the happiest young lady that's in the dressing room just because we won the ball game, not because she's the all-time leading scorer now.

On potential Top 25 vote:

I'm going to be honest with you, I thought we should have broken in three weeks ago. But I'm not in charge of all that, I've just got to be patient. Who would go into Miami, who would go into South Florida, Central Florida, Clemson? I can just go right down the line. And the teams that we've beat in the conference have been really tougher than them. But we had enough guts to go into those places and play those teams and defeat them. Now, what we've got to do is continue to play hard and hope that at the end of the year, when we look up, that this body of work we've done right now will help us in our seeding in the NCAA tournament.

Senior Forward Ebony Rowe

On the win:

We just don't want to lose. It seems so simple, but we have a lot of girls on our team who are stubborn and have tempers. Coach says it every day, I don't want you unless you have a temper on this team. We are just a feisty group of girls who just don't want to lose.

On breaking school all-time scoring record:

The crowd was so amazing and they wanted it so bad for me. I really almost cried, and I know it sounds so corny but it was just a great atmosphere and I wouldn't want to do this anywhere else but here.

Sophomore Guard Caroline Warden

On her performance:

Coming off the bench, I just want to be a spark to the team. I just want to bring energy and make the team better when I come in.

On Ebony Rowe's record:

I really think we were more proud for her than she was for herself. We are just such team players. Anyone who has an achievement, for example when KeKe hit those eleven threes, we were so excited for her. We're not selfish. Just seeing the crowd, that almost brought tears to my eyes. I'm just so happy for here and it's unbelievable what she's done.

Statement from Kim Webb on Ebony Rowe's scoring record:

I was excited to break the record. At the time I didn't realize I would hold the record for so long. Records are meant to be broken. CONGRATULATIONS EBONY! Great Job!

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