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Blue Raiders Advance to WNIT Sweet 16

Blue Raiders Advance to WNIT Sweet 16

Posted on 22 March 2015 by Allen

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The Middle Tennessee women’s basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) with a 70-60 win over Arkansas State in front of 2,806 in the Glass House Sunday.

With the victory, Middle Tennessee (23-9) won multiple games in a national postseason tournament for the first time and punched its ticket into the WNIT Sweet 16. The Blue Raiders improved to 12-0 all-time against the Red Wolves (24-11) at Murphy Center.

Middle Tennessee will play the winner of Georgia Tech and Ole Miss in Round 3 of the WNIT this week. Date, time and location will be revealed Sunday night.

Four players in double figures and a strong-second half performance propelled MT past its former Sun Belt Conference foe. MT also held a dominating 51-28 edge in rebounding with a .50 percent-plus offensive rebounding rate.

Sophomore Ty Petty registered a team-high 22 points (17 in the second half) to go along with five boards and four assists. Junior Brea Edwards posted her third double-double in five games with 18 points on an efficient 7-for-11 shooting from the field and12 rebounds.

Sophomore Olivia Jones posted her 12th double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman Rebecca Reuter rounded out the leading scorers with a career-high 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting and six boards.

The Blue Raiders dominated the second half, shooting 19-for-33 (57.6 percent) from the field while holding Arkansas State (24-11) to 41.1 percent shooting from the field (12-for-29).

MT also did a better job protecting the ball against the pesky Red Wolves, turning over the ball just two times in the second half while committing nine miscues in the first half.

Leading by one, 28-27 with 18:52 left in the second half, the Blue Raiders put together a 14-2 run, including five straight points by Jones to ignite the crowd.
Jones and Petty combined for 12 points during the run, and Petty would cap off it off with a layup and a free throw.

From that point on MT lead by double digits and eventually led by as much as 19 with 3:29 left in the contest after Edwards found Petty for a trifecta.

Before the second half surge, MT struggled from the field in the first half connecting on just 10-of-34 shots en route to both teams going into the locker room tied at 25-all.

No team led by more than four points in the first stanza as there was five ties and nine leads exchanged. Edwards scored eight of the team’s first 13 points after connecting on a 3-pointer from the right corner to give MT a 13-12 lead.

Both teams would go back and forth until Arkansas State took a three-point lead, 23-20. A Petty 3-pointer and an Edwards layup gave MT a 25-20 lead after a 5-0 spurt before an ASU buzzer beater tied the half.

The starters stepped up in the game as 69 of the 70 points came from the starting five.

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Parker dismissed from MTSU Women’s Basketball Team

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Parker dismissed from MTSU Women’s Basketball Team

Posted on 28 February 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee senior forward Cheyenne Parker has been dismissed from the women’s basketball program due to violations of athletic department policy, according to Director of Athletics Chris Massaro.

Parker remains in good academic standing and is expected to finish the spring semester.

Parker was suspended for the first five games of the 2014-15 season for violating athletic department policy.

“We have high standards at Middle Tennessee,” Massaro said. “We expect all of our players to abide by the rules. Unfortunately, (Parker) could not meet those expectations. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

Parker averaged 18.6 points and 11.0 rebounds in 22 games as a Blue Raider. The Queen, N.Y., native set the single-season blocked shots record at Middle Tennessee with 88 and leads C-USA with 4.0 blocks per game.

Middle Tennessee plays host to UAB at Murphy Center Saturday at 5 p.m.

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Jones, Parker combine for 50 in Middle TN win

Jones, Parker combine for 50 in Middle TN win

Posted on 24 January 2015 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee put on a dynamic performance in a national broadcast as it throttled Charlotte, 84-54, at Halton Arena Saturday afternoon.

The Blue Raiders won for the eighth time in nine games while extending its C-USA road win streak to nine games in a game televised by Fox Sports. Middle Tennessee (12-5, 6-1) won its third straight overall and maintained sole possession of second place in the league standings after sweeping the road trip at Old Dominion and Charlotte.

“Our young ladies played extremely well and put together a very good road trip,” Blue Raider Head Coach Rick Insell said. “We ran the floor well, moved the ball and were able to get some high-percentage shots because we did a good job of executing our offense instead of just running it.”

Cheyenne Parker and Olivia Jones were double trouble against the 49ers (7-12, 3-4) as they combined for 50 points, 19 rebounds, five blocks, and four steals.

Parker produced her best game as a Blue Raider with a career-high 30 points on 13-of-18 shooting to go with her nine rebounds and five blocked shots. Parker started the game 11-of-11 from the field. Her 14 blocks on the road trip are the most in consecutive games in program history.

Jones was her usual strong self with her eighth double-double. She had 20 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. She knocked down three 3-pointers. Jones came into the game leading C-USA in scoring and has scored 20-plus in nine of the last 10 games.

Ty Petty and Abbey Sissom each scored nine, and China Dow finished with seven. Petty produced a solid all-around-game with nine points, eight assists and two steals.

Sissom and Dow provided a spark off of the bench as the Blue Raider reserves outscored Charlotte’s 22-13. Sissom’s nine points came on 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range and she also had two rebounds, one assist and one steal. She connected on three straight 3-point attempts after missing her first.

Dow was also spectacular in a reserve role. She scored seven points, pulled six rebounds, and had five assists, one turnover and two blocked shots.

Shanice Cason and Dow also combined to provide exceptional defense on Charlotte’s leading scorer, Lefty Webster as they limited her to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting. Cason also had four steals and two assists.

Middle Tennessee enjoyed a strong shooting game, knocking down 48 percent (34-of-71) of its shots, including 10-of-29 from 3-point range. The Blue Raiders held Charlotte to 34 percent (19-of-56) shooting.

Charlotte started strong and led 15-7 with 14:53 remaining in the first half. Middle Tennessee answered with an 11-0 run to take an 18-15 lead. The game was tied 18-18 before the Blue Raiders bombarded the 49ers with a 29-5 run the remainder of the first half to take a 47-23 lead at intermission.

The Blue Raiders never let up in the second half and built as much 33-point lead in the second half. Middle Tennessee outscored Charlotte 48-28 in the paint and turned 22 Charlotte turnovers into 33 points.

Middle Tennessee will look to extend its winning streak when it returns home to face UTSA Thursday at Murphy Center.

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Jones named C-USA Player of the Week

Jones named C-USA Player of the Week

Posted on 30 December 2014 by Allen

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- Middle Tennessee sophomore Olivia Jones has been named the C-USA Player of the Week for the second time this month following a stellar performance in the Blue Raiders’ 98-76 win at Tennessee Tech Sunday.

Jones produced her C-USA leading fifth double-double of the season with 30 points and 12 rebounds. She added two assists and one steal. Jones was efficient in turning in her second 30-plus point game of the season, shooting 65 percent (11-of-17) from the field.

The hometown standout established a career-high with five 3-pointers and shot 56 percent (5-of-9) from beyond the arc.

“We were running our offense well and getting some open looks and high percentage shots,” Jones said. “It was a team win. Everyone played well.”

The Blue Raiders led by eight, 40-32, at the intermission but Jones shot Tennessee Tech out of the game in the second half when she was 6-of-8 from the field, including an eye-popping 4-of-5 from 3-point range.

Jones ranks in the top five of seven statistical categories in C-USA. She leads the conference in scoring with 19.4 points per game.

Middle Tennessee begins C-USA play at UAB Sunday.
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Lady Raiders top UAH 75-50

Lady Raiders top UAH 75-50

Posted on 10 November 2014 by Allen

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Backed by great defense and rebounding, the Middle Tennessee women’s basketball team defeated the UAH Lady Chargers in convincing fashion 75-50 inside the Murphy Center Monday evening.

With the 3-pointer not working like in the first exhibition game (14 3s made), the Blue Raiders used inside play, defense and rebounding to key their 25-point victory.
Middle Tennessee suffocated UAH into 30 turnovers while scoring 37 points off UAH’s miscues, and turning 19 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points. The bench also did its part as well, outscoring the visiting bench 38-24, while the paint belonged to Middle Tennessee 34-20.

Sophomore Olivia Jones shot 8-of-16 from the field for 17 points while grabbing seven offensive boards on her way to picking up 11 rebounds for a double-double. Jones also dished out four assists and recorded six swipes to lead the team in both categories.

Junior transfer Brea Edwards made three trifectas and two freebies for 11 points, while junior Caroline Warden came off the bench to put in 10 points on an efficient 4-for-5 shooting with two free throws.

Defensively, MT held UAH scoreless for the first 5:48 while forcing the Lady Chargers into four miscues and 0-of-4 shooting from the field. Overall, UAH shot 36.4 percent (8-for-22) over the half and committed 15 turnovers.

MT started to slowly take control of the opening frame after taking a 14-4 lead through the first 11:51 of the contest thanks to six points by Jones and jumpers by freshman Rebecca Reuter, redshirt junior Tianna Porter and freshman Abbey Sissom.

UAH cut the deficit to seven, 31-24, but sophomore Caya Williams converted a pair of free throws and Edwards drilled a three to put the Blue Raiders ahead, 36-24, going into the locker room.

Jones led the Blue Raiders in the first half with 10 points and eight boards while Porter chipped in with six points.

The Blue Raiders came out of the locker room clicking on offense, outscoring UAH 20-7 to take their largest lead of the game at 54-31. From that point on MT cruised the rest of the way by more than 20 for the victory in its final exhibition contest.

Middle Tennessee will open the regular season at Arizona State Friday. Tipoff is 6 p.m.

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Assistant Coach Mariska Harris resigns from post

Assistant Coach Mariska Harris resigns from post

Posted on 01 July 2014 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee women’s basketball head coach Rick Insell announced on Monday that assistant coach Mariska Harris has tendered her resignation. Harris has decided to step away from coaching to focus on her family.

“Mariska has made a tremendous impact to our staff the past four seasons,” said Insell. “With the birth of her first son Callum, she had decided to make family her first priority. I am grateful to everything that Mariska has given to Middle Tennessee the past four years. I wish her and Chris, along with baby Callum, the best as they move forward.”

“I want to thank President McPhee, Chris Massaro, Diane Turnham and Coach Insell for giving me the opportunity to work the past four years at MTSU,” said Harris. “The community support has been overwhelming during my time there. I had tremendous support during my high-risk pregnancy and the support I received from the MTSU community makes it even harder to leave. I will still be around to support MTSU Athletics. I have decided at this time I need to focus on spending time and helping raise Callum. I am grateful for everything that Middle Tennessee has done for me.”

Harris helped the Blue Raiders to four regular season championships and two tournament titles. She helped guide MT to a 29-5 record and a Conference USA regular season and tournament title last season.

The Nashville native spent two years as the director of operations before transitioning to a full-time assistant coach role in 2012-13. Harris played a pivotal role in coaching the guards, including the development of Caroline Warden.

Harris graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in physical education from Trevecca Nazarene in 2008. The search for Harris’ replacement is currently underway.

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Rowe Named C-USA’s Female Athlete of the Year

Rowe Named C-USA’s Female Athlete of the Year

Posted on 01 July 2014 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee’s Ebony Rowe was named Conference USA’s 2013-14 Female Athlete of the Year as announced by the conference office this morning.

Rowe adds this honor to a long list of awards earned throughout her four-year career as a Blue Raider.

This past season, Rowe garnered numerous awards including the C-USA Player of the Year and the C-USA Championship MVP. She was also a unanimous All-CUSA first team selection, while earning All-Defensive team accolades. Rowe recorded WBCA All-Region honors for the third straight year. She was tabbed the NCAA Player of the Week on Dec. 3, while earning four C-USA Player of the Week awards. Rowe’s performance at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Florida, earned her MVP honors.

The Lexington, Kentucky, native ranked in the NCAA Top 25 in four statistical categories. Her school-record 26 double-doubles this season was fifth nationally. She ranked 12th with 11.6 rebounds per game, 13th with 735 final points and 20th with 21.6 points each contest.

Rowe was tabbed a two-time All-America Honorable Mention, as voted by the Associated Press and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Additionally, Rowe was selected Full Court All-America Honorable Mention in 2014. College Sports Madness named Rowe the High-Major Player of the Year and gave her a spot on the High-Major All-America team.

Rowe finished her illustrious career with a school record 2,453 points and 1,410 rebounds. In addition to those two records, she holds 13 other school records including the single-season rebounding and double-doubles mark.

Academically, Rowe was a 2014 Capital One Academic All-America Second Team selection. Conference USA named Rowe to the Women’s Basketball All-Academic team in March. She is also a two-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar selection.

Rowe becomes the first female basketball student-athlete to win the C-USA Athlete of the Year award since 2006 and is the first-ever Blue Raider to take home the honor.

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Reuter earns MVP honors at Tennessee-Georgia All-Star game

Reuter earns MVP honors at Tennessee-Georgia All-Star game

Posted on 13 June 2014 by Allen

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Incoming Middle Tennessee women’s basketball freshman Rebecca Reuter garnered MVP honors at the Tennessee-Georgia High School All-Star game on Tuesday.

Reuter, a standout from Bradley Center, scored 12 points and reeled in seven rebounds. She also blocked a pair of shots and handed out two assists during Tennessee’s 60-31 blowout victory over Georgia.

The Cleveland native averaged 12 points and nine rebounds per game during her senior campaign. The forward shot 59 percent (121-of-204) from the field and made 73 percent (85-of-116) from the charity stripe. Reuter finished 17th on the program’s scoring chart with 1,108 points. She helped the Bearettes win their fourth straight district and region title en route to a berth in the TSSAA State Tournament. Additionally, Reuter was an All-State selection in 2014.

Reuter joins the Blue Raiders for the upcoming 2014-15 season, along with fellow in-state freshmen Gabby Lyon and Abbey Sissom.

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Lady Raiders fall to Oregon State in NCAA Tournament

Lady Raiders fall to Oregon State in NCAA Tournament

Posted on 24 March 2014 by Allen

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Three-pointers and stingy defense carried No. 9-seed Oregon State past No. 8-seed Middle Tennessee, 55-36, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday at the University of Washington.

The Blue Raiders (29-5) ended a noteworthy season that saw the team collect the school’s first regular season and tournament Conference USA titles. The Blue Raiders were held to 23 percent shooting (14-of-61) on the evening. Oregon State (24-10) never trailed in the contest, earning a matchup with No. 1-seed South Carolina on Tuesday evening.

Senior Ebony Rowe led the Blue Raiders with a school-record 26th double-double this season. The Lexington, Ky., native inked 17 points and 11 rebounds to carry Middle Tennessee. Her mark passed Robin Hendrix’s previous single-season record of 25 set in 1981. C-USA Freshman of the Year Olivia Jones had 10 points and eight rebounds.

MT was outmanned on the boards, 49-41. The Beavers knocked down 32.7 percent (18-of-55) from the field. OSU hit 10 triples in the contest, with six of those coming from freshman Sydney Wiese. She led OSU with 26 total points, while Deven Hunter had a team-best 11 rebounds.

Oregon State’s defense presented problems early on with the Beavers holding MT scoreless in the first five-plus minutes. The Beavers jumped out to an 8-0 lead with 14:48 remaining.

Middle Tennessee battled back to cut the deficit to 13-10 with 7:01 remaining in the opening half. A four minute scoring drought gave Oregon State 10-0 run. The Beavers held a 26-15 lead at the break, marking the first time MT had trailed by double digits at the half since losing to Troy on Feb. 10, 2013.

Statistically, the Raiders shot just 19.4 percent (6-of-31) from the field, while OSU was limited to 26.7 percent (8-of-30). MT was out rebounded 28-to-22 by the Beavers. Ebony Rowe and KeKe Stewart each had six at the half.

MT used a 7-2 run late in the first half and early in the second to trail by just nine. However, Oregon State stretched their edge to 14 at the 11:44 mark. The Beavers kept ahead of the Raiders, holding a 44-28 edge under eight minutes left.

The Beavers held on in the final minutes, stretching their lead to 19. Middle Tennessee closes out the 2013-14 season with 29 wins, the second most in program history. MT also finished the year with the school’s 17th NCAA Tournament appearance and school-record sixth straight.

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MTSU Women get Oregon State in NCAA Tournament

MTSU Women get Oregon State in NCAA Tournament

Posted on 18 March 2014 by Allen

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No. 20/22 Middle Tennessee Women’s Basketball heads west to Seattle, Wash., this week for the program’s 17th NCAA Tournament appearance, as the team learned their destination in front of a packed Student Union Ballroom on Monday.

The 8th seeded Blue Raiders take on No. seed 9 Oregon State in the Stanford Regional. Both first and second round games will take place inside Alaska Airlines Arena on the campus of the University of Washington. Tipoff is set for Sunday, March 23 at 7 p.m. Central.

The Blue Raiders (29-4) put together the second most wins in program history. MT has won 28 out of its last 29 games, including ranking in the Top 25 poll for six weeks this season. The 20/22 Raiders won the Conference USA regular season and tournament title in the school’s first year in the league.

On Saturday, Middle Tennessee secured the school’s 14th conference tournament title and the fifth under Head Coach Rick Insell.

Sunday’s game will be the school’s 17th NCAA Tournament appearance and a school-record sixth straight NCAA berth. MT had previously made the tournament five straight on two different occasions. The No. 8 seed is the third time the Raiders have recorded a single digit seed since the tournament field expanded. MT was a No. 8 seed in 2009 versus No. 9 Michigan State in East Lansing. The Raiders were a No. 5 seed in Palo Alto against No. 12 Gonzaga.

Conference USA Player of the Year Ebony Rowe leads the Raiders with 21.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. Rowe, the team’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, ranks fifth nationally with 25 double-doubles. Joining Rowe in double figures is senior center KeKe Stewart with 10.2 points per game. Olivia Jones, C-USA Freshman of the Year, ranks third on the team with 8.5 points and second with 7.3 rebounds.

OSU compiled one of the best seasons in program history in 2013-14. The Beavers are 23-10 overall, just their third 23-win campaign and first since 1982-83. OSU’s 13-5 conference record was a new program best and it tied for second in the final conference standings, matching OSU’s best finish as a conference member (1996). Last weekend in Seattle, Oregon State made it to the Pac-12 Tournament Championship for the first time.

Prior to the MT/Oregon State matchup, No. 1 South Carolina will play No. 16 CSU Northridge in a 5:30 p.m. CT contest. MT’s game will air on ESPN2 with ESPN’s whip-around coverage. The entire broadcast will be on in its entirety in the Nashville market and through ESPN3. Full TV details will be released later this week. The second round matchup is set for Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT.

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Blue Raiders power past USM to claim C-USA title

Blue Raiders power past USM to claim C-USA title

Posted on 16 March 2014 by Allen

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No. 22/25 Middle Tennessee’s explosive offense helped the Blue Raiders prevail 84-55 over Southern Miss, giving the Blue Raiders their first Conference USA Championship title. The victory marked the 14th conference tournament title in program history and clinched the school’s 17th NCAA Tournament berth.

2014 Conference USA Player of the Year Ebony Rowe poured in 23 points and the Raiders forced 20 turnovers to slow down the high-powered attack of second-seed Southern Miss. MT advances to the big dance for the 10th time out of the last 11 years.

Rowe was named the 2014 Tournament MVP for helping the Blue Raiders (29-4) receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 29 victories are the second most in program history, just one shy of the 2006-07 squad. The Lady Eagles (26-6), who had their 13-game winning streak snapped, will learn their postseason fate on Selection Monday.

While both teams shot well (USM 23-55, 41.8% and MT 29-58, 50.8%), the Blue Raiders separated themselves through their pressure defense and by crashing the offensives boards. Middle Tennessee enjoyed a 25-10 advantage in points off turnovers, while using 17 offensive boards to out-score the Lady Eagles, 19-9, in second-chance points.

C-USA Freshman of the Year Olivia Jones buoyed Rowe with a double-double, notching 18 points and 14 rebounds. Also reaching double figures was KeKe Stewart with 15 and China Dow matching a career-high 11. Rowe also hurt USM with her passing, threading the needle on double teams to post five assists.

Southern Miss scored the first five points of the contest to grab the early lead before Middle Tennessee struck back in the form of a 15-7 surge. Rowe capped it with a triple to give the Blue Raiders a 15-12 advantage with 10:32 to play in the period.

The Lady Eagles regrouped and scored eight of the game’s next 10 points to stake a 20-17 advantage with 5:35 to play in the period. Middle Tennessee didn’t flinch, though, relying on its vaunted defense to take control of the game heading into halftime.

USM scored just two points- a jumper by Faulkner-while being forced into five turnovers in the sequence, helping fuel a 13-2 run by the top seed to secure a 30-22 advantage at the break.

It was back-and-forth action over the first several minutes of the second stanza, and the difference was just 10 (41-31) with 15:30 to play in the game after a Tamara Jones triple. Similar to the first half, though, Middle Tennessee found another gear, with a 16-2 surge that spanned seven minutes putting the Lady Eagles in a hole too deep even for their high-octane offense to overcome.

The margin swelled to as many as 31 at one point, in part due to USM fouling down the stretch.

After securing their 17th NCAA berth, Middle Tennessee will host a selection show event open to the public on Monday, March 17 at the Jeff Hendrix Stadium Club. The show is set to start at 6 p.m. CT. Full details will be released on Sunday.

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MTSU Women win C-USA Championship

MTSU Women win C-USA Championship

Posted on 15 March 2014 by Allen

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No. 20 Middle Tennessee (29-4) picked up an 84-55 victory over Southern Miss to claim the 2014 Conference USA Championship. The Blue Raiders were led by Ebony Rowe with 23 points and nine rebounds. Olivia Jones had 18 points and 14 rebounds in the win.

Middle Tennessee’s 29th victory is the second most in program history. The school record is 30 held by the 2006-07 squad.

The Blue Raiders won their 14th conference tournament title and the fifth in nine seasons under Rick Insell.

MT will make its 17th NCAA Tournament appearance and the eighth under Insell. MT has made a school-record six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

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MTSU Women advance to C-USA Championship Game

MTSU Women advance to C-USA Championship Game

Posted on 14 March 2014 by Allen

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No. 20/22 Middle Tennessee used double-double efforts from Ebony Rowe and Olivia Jones to down FIU, 64-57, on Friday to advance to the Conference USA Championship game.

The Blue Raiders (28-4) overcame a seven point first half deficit, while holding FIU All-American Jerica Coley in check. A fueled FIU (15-18) comeback fell short, as the Blue Raiders clinched their 11th conference tournament title game in the 12 past seasons. MT will take on the winner of the (3) UTEP / (2) Southern Miss game, which proceeded the Raiders semifinal contest.

Rowe went 11-of-15 from the field, scoring 25 points and pulling in 14 rebounds. She filled out the stat line with an assist, block and steal. Jones managed her third double-double of the year with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Shanice Cason added eight points, while KeKe Stewart tacked on five.

Early momentum shifted to the Panthers, as FIU took an 8-3 lead within the first four minutes. The Panthers stretched their lead to seven with 11 minutes remaining. However, Cason responded with a trey to cut MT’s shortfall to four.

The Blue Raiders went on a 13-0 run to take a 22-18 advantage over the Panthers at the 7:23 mark. The Panthers used free throws from Coley and a Katrina Epnere triple to cut MT’s lead to 24-23 with 3:33 left to play.

The Blue Raiders closed the half expanding their edge to 32-25 at the break. Jones led all scorers with 10 points, while Rowe had eight rebounds. Coley led FIU with nine points.

Middle Tennessee shot 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the field, while FIU shot 32 percent (8-of-25). MT had outmanned the Panthers on the boards, 22-15.
A second half surge propelled MT to a 10-point lead within the first five minutes of the second half. FIU chipped away to cut the deficit to 43-39 with less than 12 minutes remaining.

Rowe’s jumper at 5:37 extended the Blue Raiders’ lead to 13 points. The Eagles went on a 12-4 run to make it a five point game with 55 seconds. Four made free throws down the stretch gave the Blue Raiders their 10th straight victory.

Middle Tennessee shot 40 percent from the field, making 22-of-54. The Blue Raiders out-manned FIU, 44-40, on the boards. The Panthers were held to 29 percent shooting, going 18-of-62 from the floor. Coley finished the game significantly under her 29 point average, finishing with 10.

Saturday’s C-USA Championship game will tip at 7 p.m. CT / 6 p.m. MT on the CBS Sports Network.

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Raiders’ Jones and Rowe grab All-C-USA honors

Raiders’ Jones and Rowe grab All-C-USA honors

Posted on 09 March 2014 by Allen

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Middle Tennessee’s Olivia Jones and Ebony Rowe grabbed All-Conference USA honors, as announced by the league office on Sunday. Jones earned a spot on the All-Freshman team, while Rowe was selected to the All-Conference USA first team and All-Defensive team.

Jones earned her first collegiate honor after a stellar rookie season. The Murfreesboro native led Middle Tennessee with 67 steals and was second on the team with a 6.8 rebounding average. Jones’ 8.1 points per contest was fourth on the Blue Raider squad. Her steals of 2.2 per game was fourth nationally among freshmen and fourth overall in Conference USA. Jones’ rebounding total was the best for a Conference USA freshman. She has notched eight 10-plus rebound performances and two double-doubles this season.

A two-time Freshman of the Week honoree this season, Jones was selected to the All-Tournament team at the Gulf Coast Showcase after averaging 11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in two games. She becomes the 23rd Blue Raider to earn All-Freshman honors and the first since Jamie Thomatis was tabbed to the OVC All-Freshman team in 1999. The Sun Belt did not name an All-Freshman team.

Rowe was a unanimous All-Conference USA first team selection and All-Defensive team honoree. She led Middle Tennessee in points, rebounds, field goals, field goal percentage blocks and minutes played this season. She ranked fifth in the NCAA with 23 double-doubles, 13th with 11.6 rebounds per game, 19th with 641 final points and 25th with 21.4 points per game. The Lexington, Ky., native led Conference USA with 128 offensive rebounds, while ranking second in points, rebounds, defensive rebounds, double-doubles and minutes played. Her 212 defensive rebounds was a school record. Rowe currently holds 12 school records, including becoming Middle Tennessee’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder this season.

She is one of nine active NCAA players with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds and was a four-time Conference USA Player of the Week selection this year. On Dec. 3, Rowe earned NCAA National Player of the Week honors for her MVP performance at the Gulf Coast Showcase. Academically, Rowe earned Capital One Academic All-America second team and C-USA All-Academic team honors. Rowe joins Jennifer McFall, Priscilla Robinson and Patrice Holmes as the only Blue Raiders to garner first team All-Conference honors in all four years of their respective college careers.

The 22nd ranked Blue Raiders open the Conference USA Championship in the quarterfinal round on Thursday, March 10. MT will play at Noon CT/11 a.m. MDT in El Paso, Texas. Middle Tennessee will take on the winner of the No. 16 Marshall/No. 9 Florida Atlantic vs. No. 8 UAB matchup.

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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