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Tulane (13-11) at Middle Tennessee (17-7)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 13, 8 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Murphy Center (11,520) -- Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Television: MyTV 30. Home Record: Tulane 10-4, MTSU 11-2. Away Record: Tulane 3-4, MTSU 5-4. Neutral Record: Tulane 0-3, MTSU 1-1. Conference Record: Tulane 5-4, MTSU 7-2. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will try to stay hot when they take on the Tulane Green Wave in a Conference USA clash at the Murphy Center on Thursday night.

Middle Tennessee has enjoyed its first season in Conference USA, posting a 7-2 mark in league play thanks to its current five-game win streak. The Blue Raiders are also an impressive 17-7 overall, which includes an 11-2 mark at home. However, they play four of their final six games on the road.

Tulane has won back-to-back tilts entering this contest, although the two decisions against Charlotte (64-63) and Marshall (68-65) came by a combined four points. The Green Wave are 13-11 overall, with a more mediocre success rate against the rest of the conference (5-4). They visit UAB next before playing four of their final five games at home.

This is the only scheduled meeting between these two teams this season, and also the first matchup between them in history.

Jay Hook nailed a 3-pointer with two seconds to play to propel Tulane past Marshall. The Green Wave connected on 45.8 percent of their shots from the field, including 8-of-16 from beyond the arc, and were paced by a 17-point effort from Jonathan Stark.

On the year, Tulane has not been much of an offensive power, as the team ranks dead last in the league in assists (8.6 apg), while sitting among the bottom three teams in both scoring (65.5 ppg) and field goal percentage (.418). Missing so many shots has hurt even more considering they are the worst rebounding team in the league as well (32.1 rpg). Louis Dabney (16.8 ppg) leads a trio of players scoring in double figures, but the team lacks depth from there, with no other contributor putting in more than six ppg. Stark (14.7 pg, 4.2 apg) and Hook (14.3 ppg) are the other reliable scoring options.

Middle Tennessee also won in dramatic fashion its last time out. The Blue Raids earned a 70-68 victory over FIU thanks to a layup from Jaqawn Raymond with 30 seconds to play. The basket accounted for Raymond's only points of the game, as Neiko Hunter (25 points) and Shawn Jones (23) really carried the load.

Although they are not lighting the world on fire, the Blue Raiders are a more sound offensive unit than Tulane. They are netting 73.8 ppg on the third-best field goal percentage in the conference (.461). Middle Tennessee also plays well at the defensive end, limiting foes to 66 ppg on 41.5 percent shooting. Jones (15.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg is the leading scorer on the roster, as well as the top contributor on the glass. He has been heating up recently with four straight games of at least 20 points. Hunter (13.2 ppg) and Kerry Hammonds (12.1 ppg) lend support.

Combining a more consistent offensive approach with their successful track record at home, the Blue Raiders should be able to take down Tulane and keep pace near the top of the Sun Belt standings.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Middle Tennessee 74, Tulane 66

02/13 10:31:43 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
DET 109
PHI 103
Final
NOP 88
DAL 85
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
MIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
PHO
 
10:00pm Tonight
LAL
SAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
 
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
VT 6
MIAMI 30
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
SFLA
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
TROY
9:00pm Tonight
BSU
BYU
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
OREG
Final
BOS 2
NYI 3
Final
DET 4
PIT 3
Final
MIN 2
ARI 0
Final
NAS 3
CHI 2
Final
STL 1
VAN 4
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
Final
LOS 2
BUF 0
Final
SJS 4
CLB 5
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
TAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
VAN
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CLB
 
Final
DEN 35
SDC 21