MURFREESBORO - Middle Tennessee will bring a four-game winning streak into Wednesday night's women's basketball game, as the Blue Raiders play host to New Orleans at 7 p.m. inside the Murphy Center. The contest will open a three-game homestand, the longest of the regular season for the current Sun Belt East Division leaders.
Middle Tennessee owns a 13-5 overall and 8-1 league record entering Wednesday's matchup with the Lady Privateers. The game will serve as the last regular-season tilt between the two schools as members of the Sun Belt after UNO announced intentions of leaving the league this summer.
New Orleans is 7-13 overall and 1-8 in the conference, having dropped five straight games. Head coach Amy Champion's squad features leading scorer Brittany Helm (12.6 ppg) and top rebounder Candice McGee (7.2 rpg). The Lady Privateers fell their last time out, 63-58, at home against ULM Saturday.
The Blue Raiders are coming off an 88-63 triumph at Western Kentucky Sunday in which four starters scored in double figures - including three with at least 20 - to complete the regular-season sweep and earn the program's fourth-straight win against the Lady Toppers. The victory vaulted Middle Tennessee into a one-game lead in the East Division over South Alabama after the Lady Jags dropped both of their outings last week.
All-American Alysha Clark continues to lead the conference in scoring and rebounding, averaging 25.4 ppg and 11.6 rpg. Her double-double of 25 points and 15 rebounds in Sunday's win is the 66th of her career, moving her into a tie for 10th in NCAA history.
Jackie Pickel (13.1 ppg) and Brandi Brown (12.7 ppg) join Clark to give the Blue Raiders a trio in double-figure scoring. The pair are closing in on the school's all-time 3-pointers made record, needing just 14 and six, respectively, to pass Heather Prater's standard of 224.
Wednesday's game will be the first of three-straight inside the Murphy Center for Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders will also play host to North Texas (2 p.m., Saturday) and Troy (7 p.m., Feb. 3) during the run. Saturday's contest will be a Hoop and Hollar for a Dollar Day, where all tickets are $1.