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Blue Raiders host Charlotte on Saturday

Middle Tennessee and 49ers tip at 3pm on SportSouth

February 21, 2014 · @MTAthletics

Middle Tennessee (22-4, 11-1 Conference USA) hosts Charlotte (12-12, 6-5) in a televised SportSouth/FSN broadcast on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. CT inside the Murphy Center.

GAME INFORMATION

Matchup: Charlotte at Middle Tennessee
Date: Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Arena: Murphy Center (11,520)
Tickets: Click here or call 1-888-YES-MTSU
Promotion: Legends Game

SERIES INFORMATION

Overall: First Meeting
Under Rick Insell: First Meeting
In Murfreesboro: First Meeting

VIDEO
Women's Basketball vs. Charlotte
MEDIA INFORMATION

Radio: WMOT (89.5 FM)
Play-by-Play: Dick Palmer
Color Analyst: Duane Hickey
Television: SportSouth/Fox Sports Net
Play-by-Play: Ron Thulin
Color: Stephanie Ready
Live Audio - Live Stats

Quick Hitters 

• With just four games remaining, Middle Tennessee (22-4, 11-1 C-USA) remains on top of Conference USA. MT is looking for a school-record sixth consecutive regular season title.
• The Blue Raiders picked up a 75-36 win over Marshall on Wednesday with 10 players scoring in the contest. Senior KeKe Stewart led MT with 19 points, Ebony Rowe added 14 and Shanice Cason with reached double-figures with 10.
Ebony Rowe earned Capital One Academic All-America Second Team honors on Thursday becoming the 12 MT student-athlete to earn that distinction.
• The Blue Raiders and Charlotte meet for the first time in program history on Saturday.
• All-America candidate Ebony Rowe ranks in the NCAA's Top 25 in four categories: 2nd with 21 double-doubles, 9th with 11.8 rpg, 14th with 541 final points and 18th with 21.8 ppg.
• The Blue Raiders own a 74-3 mark against conference opponents at home under Rick Insell. Overall, MT holds a 111-14 record inside the Murphy Center during the past nine seasons.

PHOTOS
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What Happened against Marshall

• For the fourth time this season, Middle Tennessee had a 30-plus point victory with a 75-36 rout of Marshall on Wednesday. 10 Blue Raiders scored as three earned double-figures. KeKe Stewart had 19 points, followed by Ebony Rowe's 14 and Shanice Cason's 10. MT pulled in 50-plus rebounds for the second game, out-manning the Herd, 51-33, on the boards.

Series with the 49ers

• Middle Tennessee and Charlotte meet for the first time on Saturday.
• The Blue Raiders are 9-0 all-time against competition from the Tar Heel state, including 1-0 records against NC State and North Carolina.

Scouting Charlotte

• Charlotte (12-12, 6-5 Conference USA) has won two of out its last three games, including a 74-63 victory against Florida Atlantic on Wednesday. The 49ers are averaging 69.5 points and 41.6 rebounds in 24 contests this season. Charlotte ranks third in C-USA with a 72.7 (356-of-490) mark from the charity stripe. From the field, the 49ers shoot 41.4 percent (611-of-1476) and 29 percent (90-of-130) from three-point range. Four players average double-figures with Gabby Tyler boasting a team-best 12.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Guard Hillary Sigmon is boasting 10.2 points and a team-best 38 triples this season. Head Coach Cara Consuegra is in her third season at the helm of the 49ers. Last year, the 49ers reached the WNIT Sweet 16 and completed the year with a 26-6 record.

Single-Season Record Watch

Ebony Rowe is one defensive rebound away from breaking her previous single-season record of 589 set last year.
• Freshman Olivia Jones' 61 steals is 19 away from breaking the freshman record of 80 held by Kim Webb.

Academic All-America Selection

• Senior Ebony Rowe became the fifth MT women's basketball player and 12 MT student-athlete to earn Capital One Academic All-America honors on Thursday.
• The physics major holds a 3.74 GPA and plans to attend graduate school in mechanical engineering. Rowe is the first selection for the Raiders since Brandi Brown and Alysha Clark in 2010.
• Coach Rick Insell has now coach four Academic All-America honorees (Brandi Brown, Alysha Clark, Chrissy Givens and Ebony Rowe). 

Stepping Up

• This season there are five players averaging seven-plus points in games. Beyond Ebony Rowe's 21.5 ppg, the Raiders are seeing contributions from other seniors. KeKe Stewart is second on the team with 9.5 points, while Olivia Jones is adding 8.8 per contest.
Shanice Cason is boasting 7.8 ppg and Laken Leonard is adding 7.3 per contest.
• Jones leads C-USA freshmen with an average of 7 rebounds and 2.34 steals.
• Cason is MT's top assists leader with 68 handouts this season.

Raiders' RPI Rating

• Middle Tennessee has an RPI rating of 28 in the latest report from RealTimeRPI. Other top-100 C-USA teams include Southern Miss (44), UTEP (49), East Carolina (52) and Tulane (76).
• C-USA's RPI is 10th out 32 leagues.

Home Court Advantage

• Middle Tennessee owns a 111-14 advantage inside the Murphy Center under Rick Insell.
• In conference action, the Blue Raiders have held a commanding 74-3 advantage at home in nine seasons. 

In the Rankings

• Middle Tennessee's Ebony Rowe ranks 22nd nationally with 21.5 points per game and 11th with 11.7 rebounds per game.
• Rowe's 21 double-doubles is fourth in the nation and is tied for her personal best. She needs four more to tie Robin Hendrix for the school record.
• Rowe leads the league with 4.50 offensive rebounds per game. She is second in scoring, rebounding and minutes played.
Olivia Jones' 2.35 steals per game is third in C-USA and 50th in the NCAA.

Magic Numbers 

• Middle Tennessee is 18-0 this year when the Raiders commit less turnovers than their opponents.
• The Blue Raiders own a 15-0 mark when scoring in the 60-69 point range.
• MT is a perfect 22-0 when leading with five minutes remaining and is 19-2 when leading at the half.
• Rick Insell is four wins away from reaching his 1,000th career win.

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