Blue Raiders seek outright C-USA title on Senior Day

Middle Tennessee closes out home slate against UAB

February 28, 2014 · @MTAthletics

No. 23/25 Middle Tennessee (24-4, 13-1 Conference USA) can clinch an outright Conference USA regular season title with a victory over UAB (15-11, 7-6 C-USA) on Saturday. The contest, which is part of a doubleheader with the men's team, is Senior Day and Blue Pride Saturday. Tip-off between the Raiders and Blazers is set for 3 p.m.


Matchup: UAB at No. 23/25 Middle Tennessee
Date: Saturday, March 1, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Arena: Murphy Center (11,520)
Tickets: Click here or call 1-888-YES-MTSU
Promotion: Blue Pride Saturday / Senior Day

Women's Basketball vs. UAB

Overall: UAB leads series, 4-3
Under Rick Insell: Series tied, 1-1
In Murfreesboro: Series tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: MT 61, UAB 55 - Jan. 18, 2014 - Birmingham, Ala.


Radio: WMOT (89.5 FM) / WGNS (1450 AM/100.9FM)
Play-by-Play: Dick Palmer
Color Analyst: Duane Hickey
Live Video: GoBlueRaiders.com
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Quick Hitters

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• No. 23/25 Middle Tennessee (24-4, 13-1 Conference USA) closes out its home schedule against UAB on Senior Day and Blue Pride Saturday.
• MT is coming off a 70-59 win at East Carolina. Ebony Rowe led the Blue Raiders with 23 points, while KeKe Stewart added 18 points in the win. Shanice Cason also had 16 points for MT.
• A win over ECU, gives the Blue Raiders at least a share of the Conference USA title. It marks the sixth straight year that the Raiders have won a conference title. MT joins Gonzaga, Green Bay and Stanford as teams currently competing for a sixth straight championship.
• Saturday's victory over UAB would secure the No. 1 seed in the Conference USA Championship.
• The Raiders knocked off the Blazers, 61-55, in Birmingham on Jan. 18. MT overcame a 12-point first half deficit to win over UAB. Ebony Rowe scored a team-best 16 points in the win.
• All-America candidate Ebony Rowe now holds 13 school records at Middle Tennessee. She set the record for career starts, made free throws and attempted field goals at ECU on Wednesday.

Blue Pride Saturday

• MT Athletics has declared Saturday, March 1 Blue Pride Saturday. Fans can purchase a $10 ticket that will include admission to the baseball game against Kent State and to both the women's and men's basketball games.

Senior Day

• Middle Tennessee will recognize six seniors and one manager on Saturday. Janay Brinkley, Janiece Johnson, Laken Leonard, Lauren March, Ebony Rowe and KeKe Stewart will be recognized after the game. The group has a total of 98 wins, four conference titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances in their time at MT. Also, manager Jacob Bagby will be recognized after the game.

What Happened at East Carolina

• Middle Tennessee overcame an 11 point deficit and held ECU below 30 percent shooting in the second half to take a 70-59 win over the Pirates. Ebony Rowe led the way with 23 points with KeKe Stewart following with 18. Shanice Cason added 16 points in the win. The Blue Raiders' 50 FT attempts were tied for the second most in program and league history in a single game. It was the sixth best performance in the NCAA this season.

Series with the Blazers

• Middle Tennessee and UAB meet for the eighth time on Saturday. The Blazers own a 4-3 all-time mark.
• MT won the meeting earlier this year, 61-55, on Jan. 18. The Blue Raiders overcame a 12-point first half deficit to knock off the Blazers at Bartow Arena. Three Raiders reached double figures with Ebony Rowe scoring a team-high 16 points.

Scouting UAB

• Prior to Wednesday's 72-70 loss at Southern Miss, the Blazers (15-11, 7-6 Conference USA) had won four out of their last five games. UAB upset Tulane last Saturday, 81-79, in Birmingham. UAB is averaging 69 points per game, while shooting 42.8 percent (662-of-1548) from the field. Opponents are only scoring 64.4 points and knocking down 37.8 percent shooting (608-of-1608). Three Blazers are in double figures with Karisma Chapman boasting a team-best 20.4 points and 9.6 rebounds. Ashley Grimes is scoring 15 points and Chelsee Black is tallying 13.5 points per contest. Head Coach Randy Norton is in his first season with UAB after spending three years at Missouri.

Home Court Advantage

• Middle Tennessee owns a 112-14 advantage inside the Murphy Center under Rick Insell.
• In conference action, the Blue Raiders have held a commanding 75-3 advantage at home in nine seasons.

Raiders' RPI Rating

• Middle Tennessee has an RPI rating of 23 in the latest report from the RealTimeRPI. Other top-100 C-USA teams include UTEP (41), Southern Miss (42), East Carolina (74) and Tulane (88).
• C-USA's RPI is 10th out 32 leagues.

Sixth Straight Title

• With a win over ECU, the Raiders earned a least a share of the C-USA title. It is the sixth straight championship for MT. Over the past nine year's Rick Insell's squads are 135-16 in regular season play.
• There are only three other schools (Green Bay, Gonzaga and Stanford) that are seeking a sixth-straight title.
Eyeing 1,000 Wins
• Head Coach Rick Insell is nearing his 1,000th career victory that spans his high school and collegiate days. Insell won 775 games at Shelbyville Central and has amassed 223 victories as MT's all-time winningest coach. He just needs two more victories to accomplish that feat.

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