Courtesy: Mark Wagner
Sophomore Taylor Gault has scored 49 points in her last two games.
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UALR Travels to Murfreesboro for a Showdown with Middle Tennessee Wednesday
UALR Sports Information
Release: 01/15/2013

The Opening Tip

     UALR (11-5, 4-4 Sun Belt) is looking to snap its three-game losing streak Wednesday (Jan. 16) when it visits Middle Tennessee (11-5, 6-1 SBC). The Blue Raiders sit atop the conference standings with Western Kentucky.

     Unable to attend? There are multiple ways you can follow all the action. If you want to listen to audio, you can hear Phil Elson (Play-by-Play) either on terrestrial radio at 920 AM or via the world wide web by clicking here. For subscription video, you can watch on by clicking here.


Quick Hits

  • UALR (11-5, 4-4) looks to snap a three-game skid when it visits Middle Tennessee (11-5. 6-1) Wednesday (Jan. 16).
  • The Trojans and Blue Raiders have split the last six meetings with Middle Tennessee holding a slim 377-376 lead in combined score. Three of the last seven games between these two teams have gone into overtime.
  • Freshman Carolee Dillard turned in career-highs in rebounds (16) and points (10) against FIU Saturday (Jan. 12). It was the second Trojan double-double of the season and the first in Dillard's career.
  • UALR outrebounded FIU 37-28 Saturday, only the fourth time on the season FIU has lost the rebounding battle. FIU came into the game averaging +9 on the boards.
  • Middle Tennessee is on a five-game winning streak and winners of seven of its last nine games.


Scouting Middle Tennessee

     Middle Tennessee (11-5, 6-1) currently sits in a first-place tie in the Sun Belt with its neighbors to the north, Western Kentucky. After the Blue Raiders finished tied for third in the women's preseason NIT, they split their first two conference games before its current five-game winning streak. Two of Middle Tennessee's losses have come in overtime: 69-63 at Iowa and 88-81 at Tennessee.

     The Blue Raiders are coming off a pair of double-digit wins this past week. In its last outing, Middle Tennessee led from start to finish in dispatching ULM 66-48. Rowe scored a game-high 32 points and grabbed nine boards, but it was Icelyn Elie who recorded the double-double with 15 points and 10 boards. Rowe and Elie combined for more rebounds (19) than the rest of the team (17).

     Rowe is second in the Sun Belt and eighth in the nation with 21.6 points per game. She is also a double-double machine with 10.8 rebounds per game (second in the SBC and 22nd in the nation), sitting second in the SBC and ninth in the nation with 10 double-doubles.

     To say Middle Tennessee was just Ebony Rowe would be dangerous.  Elie adds 13.9 points and 6.6 rebounds a game. Kortni Jones contributes 13 points and 4.7 assists per game.


Flashback to Last Year

     It was the win which sent shock waves through the country. UALR upset Middle Tennessee 71-70 in overtime in the finals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament. It was the only loss all season for MTSU against a SBC opponent.

     Middle Tennessee recorded the first bucket before Marian Kursh tied it up with a lay up off of an offensive rebound. That started an 18-0 Trojan run, punctuated by triples by Taylor Gault and Janette Merriex. During the 18-0 run, UALR was 8-9 from the field while MTSU missed all eight shots. UALR led by as much as 22 in the first half and 13 at the break.

     It only took Middle Tennessee eight minutes to take a one-point advantage in the second half. Gault sent the game into overtime with an elbow jumper. Middle Tennessee led 70-67 with two minutes left before Taylor Ford scored the final four points, including the final jumper with nine seconds left.

     Gault scored 20 points while Ford had 13 and Merriex added 11. Icelyn Elie scored a game-high 22 while Kortni Jones added 20. Ebony Rowe tallied the double-double thanks to 15 rebounds but was held to only 12 points.

     To read more, click here.


Youth Served

     The UALR freshmen are certainly getting their time to shine this season.

    Carolee Dillard has started the last three ballgames and has double-digit rebounds in two of those contests. Dillard recorded a double-double against FIU Saturday (Jan. 12) with 16 rebounds and 10 points, the second double dip for a Trojan this season and the first in Dillard's career.

     Morgan Bolton and Shanity James started against FIU. Combined with Dillard, it was the first time three freshmen were in the starting line-up since Nov. 18, 2005 against Jackson State.

     Earlier this season, James exploded for 20 points against Rice Nov. 24 after only 11 points total in the previous four games. Bolton scored a career-best 10 points and grabbed four boards at Troy Jan. 5. Last but certainly not least, Jakeisha Wells had five field goals at SMU Nov. 19 after not making a basket in her first two games.

Trojans Rewind: FIU

     In the battle of coaches with a combined 1,300 wins, Cindy Russo got the upper hand as FIU edged UALR 55-53 Saturday (Jan. 12) in Little Rock.

     Trailing 52-48, the Panthers were whistled for a foul with sophomore Taylor Gault shooting a three-pointer. The FIU bench was whistled for a technical foul, allowing Gault to have a chance to give the Trojans their first lead of the second half. She sank all five, but Jerica Coley hit a jumper and free throw to give the visitors the two-point win.

     Gault led UALR with 23 points. Freshman Carolee Dillard added only the second Trojan double-double of the season with 16 boards and 10 points.

     Freshmen Shanity James and Morgan Bolton both made their first career start. It was the first time three freshmen appeared in the starting line-up for UALR since Nov. 18, 2005 against Jackson State.

     To read more, click here.


Next Up:

     UALR returns to action Saturday (Jan. 19) when it makes the return trip to Bowling Green, Ky. to take on Western Kentucky. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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