BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Looking for a season sweep of Middle Tennessee for the first time since 2003-04, WKU will square off with the Blue Raiders with first place in C-USA on the line inside the Murphy Center on Thursday evening, its first of four road matchups in its final six regular season games.
Middle Tennessee leads the all-time series in the rivalry by a 41-28 margin, including 25-7 in games played in Murfreesboro, but WKU has claimed three of the last four meetings and has won back-to-back contests in the series for the first time since winning four straight during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons; WKU claimed a 66-51 win in Bowling Green on Jan. 15.
The Blue Raiders enter Thursday’s matchup on a five-game winning streak and picked up a hotly-contested 83-81 win at Charlotte in their last time out last Saturday. Aside from that two-point win, the other four wins during the streak have come by 14 or more points.
Coming into Thursday’s tilt, Middle Tennessee has a pair of players in double figures in Alex Johnson (20.5) and Ty Petty (17.6). Johnson and Gabby Lyon are tied for the team lead with 5.5 rebounds per game, while Petty has dished out a team-best 128 assists this season while also committing 99 turnovers.
WKU will close out its week on the road at UAB on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. (CT). WKU earned a 60-48 win over the Blazers that featured a 13-point comeback on Jan. 12.
GAME #25 – WKU AT MIDDLE TENNESSEE
WKU (18-6, 10-2 C-USA) at Middle Tennessee (16-8, 11-2 C-USA)
February 16, 2017 | 6:30 p.m. (CT)
Murfreesboro, Tenn. | Murphy Center (11,520)
WKU Game Notes
– With Micah Jones just 19 points short of 1,000 for her career, WKU has the potential to field a trio of 1,000-point scorers on the same team for just the second time in school history. Kendall Noble, Tashia Brown and Jones would match the feat achieved by Lillie Mason, Kami Thomas and Clemette Haskins during the 1985-86 campaign.
– Jones leads all C-USA players and ranks seventh among all Division I players with a 3.30 assist-to-turnover ratio this season. Jones has dished out 99 assists to just 30 turnovers and now ranks ninth on WKU’s career charts in the category with 404 assists.
– As a team, WKU is currently seventh in the nation with just 11.9 turnovers per game, a number that also leads C-USA for fewest among the league’s teams.
– Defending C-USA Player of the Year Kendall Noble is currently the only Division I player in the nation averaging at least 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game for the season. Noble has either scored or assisted on 36.3 percent of WKU’s points this season, a number that increases to 42.6 percent in C-USA matchups.
– With 31 more minutes played, Noble will become the all-time leader in minutes played in Lady Topper history. The redshirt senior currently sits at 4,106 minutes played and is one of just three players in school history to play 4,000 or more minutes.
– Ivy Brown has moved into the top 10 on WKU’s all-time career blocked shots list. Brown now has 83 swats for her career and sits in 10th place all-time for the Lady Toppers.
– WKU owns C-USA’s top-scoring offense through 24 games, averaging 75.6 points per outing. The Lady Toppers have scored 80 or more points eight times this season and have reached 90 points three times and own the top scoring offense in the state of Kentucky.
– Now sixth in school history with 173 three-pointers, Micah Jones needs just 10 more to pass Jaime Walz (1997-2000) for fifth place on the charts. Jones also sits at 981 career points and is seeking to become the 38th member of WKU’s 1,000-point club.
– Under Michelle Clark-Heard, WKU has trailed by double digits in 40 games and has rallied to win 17 times (42.5 percent of the time) when facing a double-digit deficit. Six of those victories have come in the last two seasons alone, including wins this season after trailing by 14 (Kent State) and 13 (UAB).
– WKU is shooting 334-of-430 (77.7 percent) from the free throw line this season, an improvement of nine percent from the 2015-16 season. Currently, WKU ranks 13th among all Division I teams in free-throw percentage this season.
– WKU broke the NCAA women’s basketball record for fewest points allowed in a half by holding Lipscomb to just two first-half points on Dec. 15. The mark was also the fewest in men’s basketball since the introduction of the shot clock. In addition, WKU had six players reach double figures for the first time since Jan. 21, 2009, in the victory, a stretch of nearly eight years.
Listen: 102.7 FM, 1450AM in Bowling Green (Barry Williams, pxp)
Watch: beIN Sports (Tape Delay and Online Stream)
Live Stats: GoBlueRaiders.com
How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Lady Topper Basketball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the program via social media @LadyTopperHoops on Twitter, @LadyTopperHoops on Instagram and on Facebook at facebook.com/WKUWomensBasketball.