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MT looks to extend streak to nine at Marshall

Raiders tangle with Herd Saturday on CSS

February 21, 2014 · @MTAthletics

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Middle Tennessee men's basketball team (20-7, 10-2 C-USA) continues its Conference USA road swing Saturday, heading to Marshall (9-8, 3-9 C-USA) Saturday for a 1 p.m. CT tip-off on CSS.

GAME INFORMATION

Date: Saturday, Feb. 22
Tip-Off: 1 p.m. CT
Teams: Middle Tennessee at Marshall
Location: Huntington, W.Va.
Arena: Cam Henderson Center (9,043)
Television: CSS
Play-by-Play: Richard Cross
Color Analyst: Brian Oliver
Radio: WGNS (100.5 FM, 101.9 FM, 1450 AM) / WMOT (89.5 FM) / The Game (102.5 FM, 97.5)
Play-by-Play: Chip Walters
Live Audio | Live Stats

VIDEO
Men's Basketball vs. Marshall
THE SERIES

This will be the seventh meeting between Middle Tennessee and Marshall. The Blue Raiders lead the all-time series 4-2, while the Herd hold a 2-1 advantage in Huntington, W.Va. MT claimed the last meeting 86-78 inside the Murphy Center March 13, 2012.

SCOUTING MARSHALL

The Thundering Herd is 9-18 overall and 3-9 in C-USA play. Marshall holds a 7-6 mark at home this season, while MT is 6-4 on the road. The Herd snapped a three-game skid with a 59-56 win at Charlotte Feb.15, before falling to UAB at home 68-62 Feb. 20.

In the team's last outing against the Blazers, Marshall had four players post double-figures as Chris Thomas led the way offensively with 22 points, while Kareem Canty tallied 17 points and Ryan Taylor added 11 points. Cheikh Sane snagged a game-best 12 rebounds, while putting up eight points.

On the season, three Marshall players are averaging double-figures in scoring as Canty paces the team with 16.3 points per game. Taylor and Thomas are next on the squad, putting up 13.4 and 12.7 points a contest, respectively. Taylor leads the team on the boards, snagging 7.2 an outing.

BLUE RAIDER BULLETS

• The Blue Raiders extended their conference-best winning streak to eight games with a 71-49 win at Charlotte Feb. 20. With the 22-point victory, MT recorded its 20th win of the season, marking the Raiders' third-straight 20-win season. The last time MT recorded three-straight 20-win seasons was 1986-89 (1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89).

• At Charlotte, senior Shawn Jones led MT with game-highs of 17 points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Fellow seniors Neiko Hunter and Kerry Hammonds II added 15 and 12 points, respectively.

• The win over the 49ers also made seven Blue Raider seniors the winningest class in program history with 91 wins. Last year's seniors posted a 90-43 record over four years.

• With a 10-2 mark in Conference USA, Middle Tennessee is in a two-way tie atop of the league standings alongside UTEP.

• The Raiders jumped 16 spots in the NCAA RPI after beating Tulane and Southern Miss last week. MT climbed 10 more spots to No. 64 after the win at Charlotte Thursday. Three other C-USA teams rank in the 100 of the NCAA RPI released Feb. 21: Southern Miss (41), LA Tech (89) and UTEP (90).

• ESPN Bracketology by Joe Lunardi released Feb. 17 had the Blue Raiders as a No. 14 seed.

• Over the last three years, MT has a mark of 18-2 in the month of February and has won 13-straight, dating back to the 2011-12 season.

• MT is 13-2 at home this season. The Raiders are 44-4 inside the Murphy Center over the last three seasons and 24-1 in home conference games.

• Middle Tennessee ranks second in the nation over the last three seasons (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14) with a 43-5 record in conference games, just behind Davidson (45-4). MT is 19-4 over the last three seasons in conference road wins.

• Six of MT's nonconference opponents from this season are currently leading or tied for first-place in their respective conferences - No. 7/9 Cincinnati (American), No. 2/2 Florida (SEC), Murray State and Belmont (OVC), Akron (Mid-American) and Southern (SWAC).

• MT's 81-64 win over Southern Miss Feb. 15 came when the Golden Eagles were receiving votes in both the AP Top 25 Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll and were ranked 40th in the NCAA RPI to lead all C-USA teams.

• The Blue Raiders drained nine threes in the opening half against Southern Miss Feb. 15, tying a program record for treys in a half set at UT-Martin Jan. 31, 1998 and done again at FIU Jan. 5, 2002.

• Hammonds was named C-USA Player of the Week Feb. 17, after averaging 22.0 points per game, shooting 58.8-percent from three-point range. He connected on 10-of-17 threes for the week, including a 6-for-10 performance against Southern Miss. The six treys tied his career-best mark set against Louisiana Jan. 19, 2013. He led the Blue Raiders against Southern Miss with 26 points.

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