MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Middle Tennessee men’s and women’s basketball teams will face Southern Miss this Thursday. Here’s a preview of both games:
The Blue Raiders (12-10, 5-4 C-USA) are reeling after two straight losses to Texas-San Antonio and Texas-El Paso this past week.
Southern Miss (6-14, 1-8 C-USA) has lost 11 of their last 12 games, and have the worst record in the conference to this point in the season.
Scoring may be hard to come by in this matchup as both teams rank near the bottom of C-USA in scoring offense. MTSU’s No. 12-ranked scoring offense puts up a mere 62 points per game. USM is last in the league in scoring, averaging 60.8 points per game.
The Golden Eagles match up against a tough Blue Raiders defense, as Middle Tennessee has the second-best scoring defense in the conference, allowing only 61.9 points per game.
MTSU senior forward Jacquez Rozier has been a bright spot for the Blue Raiders. Rozier has scored in double figures nine times this season and is coming off of a 12-point, six-rebound performance against UTEP.
Blue Raider sophomore forward Reggie Upshaw has also added some much needed scoring over the past two games for Middle Tennessee. Upshaw scored 11 points against UTSA and 15 points against UTEP.
Guard Chip Armelin is the biggest scoring force for the Golden Eagles. He ranks tenth in the conference in scoring, averaging 14.5 points per game. In USM’s last game against Western Kentucky, Armelin scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
Kermit Davis and the Blue Raiders face off against the Golden Eagles at the Murphy Center on Thursday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CST.
Middle Tennessee’s women’s basketball team (14-5, 8-1 C-USA) has been unstoppable as of late, having won five games in a row. After last Saturday’s victory over UTEP, the Blue Raiders currently sit at first in the C-USA standings.
Southern Miss (13-7, 6-3 C-USA) has won three of its last four games. The Lady Eagles are third in the conference standings and are coming off of an impressive win against C-USA’s No.2-ranked WKU.
MTSU lost the first contest against Southern Miss this season, 77-75, in the Murphy Center back on January 15.
Both defenses will have to stay on high alert, as both the Blue Raiders and Lady Eagles are two of the best shooting teams in the conference.
USM is second in offensive field goal percentage (45.6 percent), while MTSU is third in field goal percentage with a mark of 42.4 percent.
Specifically, the Blue Raiders will have to pay special attention to the three-point line. Southern Miss is the best team in the conference in three-point shooting percentage, knocking down 38.8 percent from beyond the arc.
MTSU senior forward Cheyenne Parker has been the main story for the Blue Raiders. She recorded the first-ever triple-double in Blue Raider women’s basketball history in their last game against UTEP.
In the game, Parker scored 18 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and swatted a school-record 11 shots.
Parker was named C-USA Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for a second-consecutive week on Monday. The senior forward is averaging a double-double on the season with 17.9 points per game and 10.6 rebounds per game.
Sophomore guard Olivia Jones is the other main piece of the high-octane offense of the Blue Raiders. She is leading the conference in scoring with an average of 21.7 points per game.
Tamara Jones and Jerontay Clemons are the two main scorers for Southern Miss. Both are averaging double-digit points per game. Jones is putting up 16.4 points per game while Clemons averages 12.1 points per game.
Rick Insell’s Blue Raiders will collide with the Golden Eagles this Thursday at Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg, Miss. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST.
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To contact sports editor Connor Grott, email firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him on Twitter at @Connor_Grott.