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.
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- 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
- 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
- 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.
Tennessee is on a five-game winning streak and winners of seven of its last
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.