GM27 // UALR (15-11, 9-6 SBC) vs. Middle Tennessee (22-4, 14-1 SBC)
Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 • 7 PM (CST)
Little Rock, Ark. • Jack Stephens Center (5,600)
Radio: KABZ - 103.7 FM
Online Radio: 1037TheBuzz.com
Radio Talent: Ray Tucker (PXP) & Pat Bradley (Analyst)
Live Video: UALRTrojans.com
Live Stats: UALRTrojans.com
Series (Overall): UALR leads, 13-10
Series (at UALR): UALR leads, 8-3
Current Streak: MT, 2 wins
Last Meeting: 1/17/12 - MT, 82-50
Shields Record vs. MT: 7-7
2012-13 Record: 15-11
Home Record: 11-2
Head Coach: Steve Shields (10th year)
Record at UALR: 162-139
Career Record: Same
UALR Statistical Leaders
Points: Will Neighbour (11.1)
Rebounds: Will Neighbour (6.9)
Assists: Josh Hagins (3.0)
Steals: Leroy Isler (1.5)
Blocks: Michael Javes (1.1)
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
2012-13 Record: 22-4
Road Record: 11-2
Head Coach: Kermit Davis (11th year)
Record at MT: 202-137
Career Record: 339-212 (18th year)
Middle Tennessee Statistical Leaders
Points: Marcos Knight (12.6)
Rebounds: Marcos Knight (5.8)
Assists: Bruce Massey (3.2)
Steals: Ed Townsel (1.5)
Blocks: Shawn Jones (1.1)
• UALR and Middle Tennessee will square off Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center. In the teams' first meeting of the season, the Blue Raiders topped the Trojans 82-50 on Jan. 17 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
• Saturday's festivities will include the Hall of Fame inductions of former basketball player Jimmy Lampley and former track athlete Leo Settle at halftime of the men's game.
• UALR finds itself a half-game behind Arkansas State for the Sun Belt West Division lead after Thursday night's loss in Jonesboro. Middle Tennessee leads the East Division at 14-1 in league play.
• The Trojans are 11-2 at home this season and 103-42 at home since Shields took over in 2003.
• In terms of minutes played by class, UALR is the least-experienced team in the nation. Nine of UALR's top 11 players (by minutes played) are freshmen and sophomores.
• UALR is 14-1 on the season when holding opponents under 70 points and 1-10 when surrendering 70 or more.
• Under Shields, UALR is 141-54 when holding opponents below 70 points and 83-20 when keeping opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field.
• Shields is second among active coaches in career SBC wins (90). Middle Tennessee's Kermit Davis (112) ranks first.
• Junior Will Neighbour leads UALR in scoring (11.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg). Those numbers increase to 11.5 ppg and 7.9 rpg in conference games.
• Sophomore Michael Javes is three blocks shy of tying Gilbert Maxwell (1979-81) for sixth place on UALR's all-time blocks list. Javes leads UALR with 28 blocks this season and has 72 for his career.
• Freshman Josh Hagins is averaging 11.1 points, 3.8 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor since being inserted into the starting lineup vs. Western Kentucky (1/3/13).
• UALR is 5-0 on the season when at least four Trojans finish in double figures.
• UALR currently ranks fourth in the Sun Belt Conference in offensive field goal percentage (42.9 percent) and third in three-point field goal percentage (36.0 percent).
• The Trojans rank fourth in the conference in defensive field goal percentage (42.0 percent) and sixth in defensive three-point field goal percentage (33.1 percent).
• Other current UALR ranks amongst SBC teams: third in assists (12.0 apg), fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.8), fourth in blocks (3.8 bpg), sixth in steals (7.1 spg) and fifth in turnover margin (+0.96).
• The Trojans have won five games this season in which they trailed at halftime.
• UALR has finished even or better in points-in-the-paint in ten of its last 12 games.
• UALR has already matched its season total for wins (15) from all of last season.
• In games won this season, UALR is averaging 14.1 assists per game, compared to 9.0 apg in its losses.
• The Trojans are averaging nearly five fewer turnovers per game in wins this season (13.2) than in losses (17.9).
• Junior Will Neighbour has led or tied for the team lead in rebounding in 12 of the last 13 games.
• Sophomore Gus Leeper scored a career-best 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in UALR's win at ULM (2/7/13). Leeper is shooting 81.0 percent from the foul line this season.
• Sophomore Ben Dillard is shooting 51.9 percent from three-point range in Sun Belt games. Dillard is shooting 71.4 percent from long range over his last four games.
• Junior Leroy Isler has at least one steal in 11 of his last 12 games.
• Freshman Josh Hagins' shooting numbers in conference play: 50.5 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from three-point range, 84.1 percent from the free throw line.
• Hagins has made at least one three pointer in seven-straight games and in 11 of his last 12.
• Freshman Kemy Osse is shooting 54.5 percent from three-point range over his last ten games.
Last Time Out
• Arkansas State (16-9, 10-6 SBC) finished the night shooting 51.0 percent from the floor and 47.1 percent from three-point range, as the Red Wolves defeated UALR (15-11, 9-6 SBC) by an 86-62 final Thursday night at the Convocation Center. The Trojans shot just 37.7 percent in the contest and were forced into 18 turnovers.
• Freshmen Josh Hagins and John Gillon led UALR with 11 points apiece. Freshman James White scored nine points and grabbed four boards. Junior Will Neighbour pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
• Brandon Peterson led four Arkansas State players in double figures with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Ed Townsel chipped in 15 points for the Red Wolves.
• Arkansas State finished the night with a 21-to-5 advantage in points off turnovers. The Red Wolves knocked down 26-of-32 free throws on the night, compared to 14-of-20 for the Trojans.
About Middle Tennessee
• Middle Tennessee leads the Sun Belt with a 22-4 overall record and a 14-1 mark in conference play. The Blue Raiders will bring an 11-game win streak into the Jack Stephens Center on Saturday.
• The Blue Raiders' scoring defense (57.9 ppg), field goal percentage defense (40.0 percent) and three-point field goal percentage defense (29.3 percent) are all tops in the Sun Belt. Offensively, Middle Tennessee leads the conference in scoring margin (+12.8), field goal percentage (46.3 percent) and three-point field goal percentage (38.0 percent).
• Guard Marcos Knight leads Middle Tennessee in scoring (12.6 ppg) and rebounding (5.8 rpg). Raymond Cintron averages 9.1 ppg and is shooting 43.5 percent from three on the year.
All-Time Against the Blue Raiders
• UALR leads 13-10 in the all-time series, including 8-3 in games played in Little Rock. The series is tied at 7-all since Shields took over in 2003 and tied at 5-each over the last 10 meetings.
• Most recently, Middle Tennessee topped UALR 82-50 in Murfreesboro on Jan. 17. The Blue Raiders finished the game with five players in double figures and shot 56.0 percent from the floor and 64.3 percent from three-point range.
• The Blue Raiders' defense forced the Trojans into 19 turnovers and limited UALR to just 35.3 percent shooting from the field. MT also held the Trojans to a season-low four assists.