UALR Trojans Take on Middle Tennessee Thursday on ESPN3

Courtesy UALR Athletics Department


GM20 // UALR (11-8, 5-3 SBC) at Middle Tennessee (14-4, 6-1 SBC)

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 • 7 PM (CST)

Murfreesboro, Tenn. • Murphy Center (11,520)

Television: ESPN3

TV Talent: Chip Walters (PXP) & Kyle Turnham (Analyst)

Radio: KABZ – 103.7 FM

Online Radio:

Radio Talent: Phil Elson (PXP)

Live Video:

Live Stats:

UALR Trojans

2012-13 Record: 11-8

Road Record: 0-6

Head Coach: Steve Shields (10th year)

Record at UALR: 158-136

Career Record: Same 

UALR Statistical Leaders

Points: Will Neighbour (11.4)

Rebounds: Will Neighbour (6.9)

Assists: Josh Hagins (3.2)

Steals: Leroy Isler (1.6)

Blocks: James White (1.3) 

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

2012-13 Record: 14-4

Home Record: 9-0

Head Coach: Kermit Davis (11th year)

Record at MT: 194-137

Career Record: 331-212 (18th year)

Middle Tennessee Statistical Leaders

Points: Marcos Knight (12.7)

Rebounds: Shawn Jones (6.1)

Assists: Bruce Massey (2.7)

Steals: Tweety Knight (1.6)

Blocks: Shawn Jones (1.0)

Series (Overall): UALR leads, 13-9

Series (at MT): MT leads, 6-4

Current Streak: MT, 1 win

Last Meeting: 2/11/12 – MT, 68-60

Shields Record vs. MT: 7-6

Quick Hits

• 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. Middle Tennessee is the second-most experienced team in the nation with 11 of their top 12 players (by minutes played) being juniors and seniors.

• UALR has played the third-most games in the country (19) at this point in the season.

• UALR is 10-1 at home this season and 102-41 at home in the tenure of head coach Steve Shields.

• UALR is currently 0-6 on the road this season with one neutral court victory (SMU).

• UALR leads the SBC in free throws made (288) and attempted (434) on the season and is averaging 15.2 points per game from the foul line. UALR has attempted the seventh-most free throws in the nation.

• UALR’s field goal percentage defense (41.3 percent) ranks third in the Sun Belt, while their three-point field goal percentage defense (30.5 percent) ranks second. Middle Tennessee leads the league in both categories.

• UALR is 10-1 on the season when holding opponents under 70 points and 1-7 when surrendering 70 or more.

• Under Shields, UALR is 137-54 when holding opponents below 70 points and 81-20 when keeping opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field.

• Junior Will Neighbour leads UALR in scoring (11.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg). Those numbers jump to 12.5 ppg and 8.6 rpg in conference games.

• Freshman Josh Hagins is averaging 9.5 points, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the floor (15-of-31) since being inserted into the starting lineup vs. Western Kentucky (1/3/13).

More Quick Hits

• Freshman Josh Hagins was named College Sports Madness’ Sun Belt Player of the Week after averaging 10.5 points, 7.5 assists and 3.0 steals per game in UALR’s wins over North Texas and FIU. Hagins shot 50 percent from the floor (8-of-16) and 80 percent from the foul line (4-of-5) in the wins.

• Hagins’ eight assists vs. North Texas and seven assists vs. FIU are the two highest single-game assist totals of the season for any UALR player.

• Freshman Michael Javes scored a career-best 15 points in the Trojans’ win over FIU on Saturday. A career 45.4 percent foul shooter, Javes went a perfect 5-of-5 from the foul line in the win.

• UALR is 5-1 (3-0 this season) when Javes scores 10+ points.

• Freshman James White averaged 15 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in UALR’s two wins last week.

• The Trojans are 8-1 when White goes for 10+ points in a game.

• Junior Will Neighbour’s current SBC-games-only rankings: 15th in scoring (12.5 ppg), fourth in rebounding (8.6 rpg), 11th in blocks (7) and second in offensive boards (28/3.5 per game).

• Freshman Kemy Osse has knocked down six three pointers over UALR’s last three games.

• UALR put five players in double figures for the first time this season in its win over FIU (1/12/13). The Trojans are 7-1 under Shields when five players finish in double figures.

• As a team, UALR has finished its last two games shooting better than 50 percent from the field, including a season best 59.2 percent (29-of-49) vs. FIU. The Trojans are 5-0 this season when finishing games shooting better than 50 percent from the floor.

• UALR currently leads the Sun Belt Conference in offensive field goal percentage (43.8 percent). Middle Tennessee ranks second at 43.7 percent.

• The Trojans averaged 19.5 assists per game in their two wins last week. UALR’s 21 assists vs. FIU on Saturday were a new season best.

• UALR currently ranks second in the Sun Belt with 13.5 assists per game. Middle Tennessee (13.6) leads the league.

• UALR ranks fourth in the league with 4.1 blocks per game. 

Last Time Out

• UALR finished with five players in double figures and set or equaled season highs in shooting (59.2 percent), assists (21) and made free throws (24), as the Trojans (11-8, 5-3 SBC) beat FIU (8-8, 3-4 SBC) 88-76 Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Jack Stephens Center.

• Junior Will Neighbour and sophomore Michael Javes paced the UALR scoring attack with 15 points each.

• The Trojans finished the game 29-of-49 from the field, and their 88 points scored were the most since they totaled 91 against St. Gregory’s on Dec. 4.

• UALR finished the night shooting 85.7 percent from the foul stripe (24-of-28), which was also a season best.

About Middle Tennessee

• The unanimous preseason pick to win the Sun Belt’s East Division, Middle Tennessee currently sports a 14-4 overall record and a 6-1 mark in conference play. The Blue Raiders’ 14 overall wins and six conference victories are both tops in the league.

• One of the most experienced teams in the country, Middle Tennessee’s roster features six seniors and seven juniors.

• Middle Tennessee is 8-0 at home this season.

• The Blue Raiders lead the conference in scoring defense (58.7 ppg), scoring margin (+9.4), defensive field goal percentage (40.7 percent) and rebounding margin (+5.7).

• Senior Marcos Knight is the only Blue Raider averaging double figures (12.7 ppg), but is one of seven MT players averaging 5+ points per game.

• Junior Shawn Jones leads Middle Tennessee in rebounding (6.1 rpg) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg). 

All-Time Against the Blue Raiders

• UALR leads 13-9 in the all-time series with Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders lead 6-4 in games played in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

• The last time these two teams met, Middle Tennessee defeated UALR 68-60 at the Murphy Center on Feb. 11, 2012.

• Will Neighbour scored a career-best 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting (3-of-6 from three-point range) to lead UALR, but Middle Tennessee finished the game shooting 63.4 percent from the floor and forced the Trojans into 15 turnovers.

• Head coach Steve Shields is 7-6 all-time against Middle Tennessee.

Up Next

• UALR will continue its road swing with a trip to Bowling Green, Ky., to face Western Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 19. The game can be seen on ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court.

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