South Alabama (4-2) at Middle Tennessee (5-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Murphy Center (11,520) � Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Television: CSS. Home Record: South Alabama 4-1, Middle Tennessee 4-0. Away Record: South Alabama 0-1, Middle Tennessee 1-1. Neutral Record: South Alabama 0-0, Middle Tennessee 0-0. Conference Record: South Alabama 0-0, Middle Tennessee 0-0. Series Record: Middle Tennessee leads, 17-12.
GAME NOTES: The South Alabama Jaguars hit the road for just the second time this season with they travel to the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro to battle former Sun Belt Conference foe Middle Tennessee on Saturday.
South Alabama and Middle Tennessee are very familiar with each other. The two schools were Sun Belt rivals for a number of years and this will be the 30th all-time meeting between the two squads. However, Middle Tennessee, which won the Sun Belt title last year, moved to Conference USA for this season and South Alabama remained behind.
Last time out, South Alabama easily handled Houston Baptist, 79-59, in the final day of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Jaguars held a season best 15- point halftime lead, 46-31, and opened the second half with a 16-2 run to put the game well out of reach. Augustine Rubit scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed 13 boards and Ken Williams added 13 points for South Alabama, which saw 11 of its 13 players score.
The Jaguars have now won two straight and head on the road from just the second time this season. The last time South Alabama hit the road was on Nov. 12 when it lost 84-77 at Texas.
Rubit leads the Jaguars with 16.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game this season. He is the only South Alabama players averaging in double figures, but a trio is on the cusp with Barrington Stevens (9.5), Williams (9.5) and Antoine Allen (9.0) all contributing to a squad that averages 73.2 points per game.
Middle Tennessee is coming off a convincing 80-62 win over Murray State on Tuesday. Freshman guard Eric Wortham scored a career-high 17 points and junior forward Jacquez Rozier added a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards, as the Blue Raiders used a 13-2 run to end the first half, building a 38-24 halftime lead, and cruised to the victory.
Three other Blue Raiders scored in double figures with Neiko Hunter scoring 17, Shawn Jones adding 12 and Tweety Knight chipping in with 11. It was the most lopsided win of the season for Middle Tennessee, which was coming off a 20-point loss to nationally-ranked Florida just five days prior.
The Blue Raiders have received some balanced scoring this season. Jones leads the squad with 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, while Kerry Hammonds (13.0 points), Hunter (11.3) and Wortham (10) round out the double-figure scorers for Middle Tennessee, which has been averaging 75 points per game this young season. Knight has been setting up his teammates, averaging five assists per game and posting a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
This is the second of a four-game homestand for the Blue Raiders, who are a perfect 4-0 at the Murphy Center this season.
Middle Tennessee has won five straight against the Jaguars, most recently picking up an 85-50 triumph at the Murphy Center on Feb. 21, 2013. This will likely be a closer game than the last time the two teams met, but expect the Blue Raiders to have too much firepower and come away with the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Middle Tennessee 82, South Alabama 78
11/30 10:36:59 ET