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MT set to host Old Dominion Saturday

Raiders open February with Monarchs on MyTV 30

January 31, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's basketball team (14-7, 4-2 C-USA) is set to host Old Dominion (10-11, 4-2 C-USA) Saturday for a 5 p.m. tip-off in Conference USA action, airing on MyTV 30.

GAME INFORMATION

Date: Saturday, Feb. 1
Tip-Off: 5 p.m. CT
Teams: Middle Tennessee vs. East Carolina
Location: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Arena: Murphy Center (11,520)
Television: MyTV 30
Play-by-Play: Chip Walters
Color Analyst: Kyle Turnham
Radio: WGNS (100.5 FM, 101.9 FM, 1450 AM) / WMOT (89.5 FM) / The Game (102.5 FM, 97.5 FM)
Play-by-Play: Chip Walters
Color Analyst: Kyle Turnham
Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats

VIDEO
Men's Basketball vs. Old Dominion
THE SERIES

This will be the second meeting between Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion. The Blue Raiders defeated the Monarchs 92-70 Dec. 2, 1986 in Norfolk, Va.

SCOUTING OLD DOMINION

The Monarchs are 10-11 overall and 4-2 in C-USA play. ODU closed out its nonconference slate with a 71-66 win over Mason Jan. 4 and carried that success into the start of C-USA play, stringing together a four-game winning streak. Southern Miss snapped the streak as Old Dominion dropped a 75-60 decision Jan. 23. The Monarchs picked up a 70-64 victory over Tulane Jan. 25, before falling on the road at UAB 75-66 Jan. 30.

PHOTOS
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At UAB, ODU was led by Dimitri Batten with 18 points. Ambrose Mosley was second on the team putting up 16 points, while Keenan Palmore added nine points. Batten and Richard Ross each pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

On the season, Aaron Bacote leads Old Dominion, averaging 17.0 points per game and is tied for fourth in scoring in the league statistics. Batten and Palmore also average double-figures, recording 11.9 and 11.2 points an outing, respectively. Ross is next on the list, putting up 9.1 points a contest, while leading the team on the boards with 7.4 rebounds a game.

Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion are tied for fourth in the conference standings alongside Tulsa with a 4-2 C-USA record. In conference only games, the Monarchs are 11th in scoring (65.7 ppg), while MT is tied for seventh (71.7 ppg). On the boards, the Blue Raiders are fourth in C-USA play with a +2.0 rebounding margin, while pulling down 33.0 boards a game. ODU has a +0.7 rebounding margin in league play to rank seventh, while averaging 33.5 rebounds per contest.

BLUE RAIDER BULLETS

• With an 84-67 victory over East Carolina Jan. 30, MT moved to 10-2 at home this season. The Raiders are 41-4 inside Murphy Center over the last three seasons. MT is 12-3 this season when playing in the state of Tennessee, including a 1-1 record in neutral site games.

• Senior forward Shawn Jones collected his seventh double-double of the season against ECU and ranks sixth in C-USA and 46th in the NCAA statistical rankings. He recorded 22 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks, marking his fifth 20-point performance of the season.

• The Blue Raiders went 1-1 on their first C-USA road swing, dropping a heartbreaking 58-53 decision at Tulsa Jan. 23 before picking up their first C-USA road win with a 70-63 victory at North Texas Jan. 25. Jones led MT at Tulsa with 22 points, marking his fourth 20-point contest this season. The game was televised on Fox Sports 1, marking MT's first national C-USA broadcast.

• For the 13th time this season, four Blue Raiders tallied double-digit points against North Texas as Kerry Hammonds II led the way with 18 points. Neiko Hunter added 13 points, while Jaqawn Raymond and Marcus Tarrance posted 12 and 11, respectively.

• In the NCAA statistical rankings released Jan. 31, two MT seniors landed in the top 25 in three different categories. Jones ranks 18th in the NCAA and second in C-USA in field goal percentage, shooting 58.4 from the floor, while point guard Tweety Knight is 19th in the nation and second in the league in total steals, swiping 47. Knight is 25th in the country and third in C-USA in steals per game with 2.24.

• With 297 points this season, Jones has recorded 950 career-points, just shy of joining the 1,000-point club. With 540 career rebounds, he is looking to become just the 15th player in program history to amass 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. With 136 career blocks, he could be the third player in MT history to have 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks.

• Five of MT's nonconference opponents from this season are currently leading or tied for first-place in their respective conferences - Cincinnati (American), Florida (SEC), Murray State and Belmont (OVC) and Southern (SWAC).

• UTEP snapped a three-game winning streak for MT with a 63-54 decision Jan. 16. The loss ended the Raiders' 17-game conference win-streak, dating back to a 66-60 overtime loss at Arkansas State Jan. 3, 2013. MT was also enjoying a 25-game home conference win-streak. MT's last home conference loss came Jan. 13, 2011 against Florida Atlantic via a 71-61 decision.

• Knight swiped a career-high six steals against UTEP, marking the first time a Blue Raider has grabbed five or more steals since Knight snagged five at Akron Dec. 2, 2012.

• With an 89-84 overtime victory against UAB Jan. 11, the Blue Raiders became the fifth MT program to win its opening C-USA game, joining the women's basketball, soccer, volleyball and football teams.

• Jones led MT with 22 points against UAB, while three other Blue Raiders tallied double-figures. Hammonds had 17 points, while Reggie Upshaw, Jr. and Hunter posted 15 and 12 points, respectively.

• The game at Tennessee State Jan. 7 tipped off a stretch of nine TV games over the next 14 contests for the Blue Raiders. MT opened the New Year with a 74-66 win at TSU, moving to 3-1 against instate foes this season with its lone loss coming against Belmont Dec. 3.

• MT snapped a two game skid with a 79-56 win over Grand Canyon in the consolation game of Chattanooga's Dr Pepper Classic Dec. 30.

• Against Maine Dec. 29, Jones recorded a double-double of 16 points and a career-high 20 rebounds. The 20 boards marked a first for a Blue Raider since Napoleon Rhodes snagged 20 at UNC Greensboro Nov. 30, 2002. Jones was named TSWA Player of the Week for his efforts Jan. 1. Hunter tied his career-best 20 points against the Black Bears, which he set in the season-opener against Southern Nov. 10.

• MT dropped 69-48 loss at Cincinnati Dec. 21 as Hammonds led the Raiders with 17 points, going 5-for-8 from three-point range and marking the first time a Blue Raider as made five threes since Raymond Cintron netted six against Troy Feb. 9, 2013. Knight paced the Raiders on the boards at Cincinnati, pulling down a career-high 10 boards.

• MT took on its fifth 2013 NCAA Tournament team of the season Dec. 14, dropping a 72-63 decision on the road at reigning SEC Tournament Champion Ole Miss. Jones recorded a double-double of 18 points and 15 boards. His 15 rebounds against the Rebels marked the first time an MT player collected 15 boards in a game since Lee Nosse grabbed 15 in a 94-88 loss to New Mexico Jan. 10, 2002. Jones went on to earn Player of the Week honors from C-USA and the TSWA Dec. 16 and 17, respectively.

• Knight handed out a career-best 10 assists at Ole Miss Dec. 14, marking the first time a Blue Raider has recorded 10 assists since James Washington dished out 11 against Cumberland Nov. 27, 2009.

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