Hashtag: TrueBlue, BlueRaiders
Date: Thursday, January 19
Time: 6:00 p.m. CT
Teams: Middle Tennessee (15-3, 5-0) vs. FIU (4-14, 0-5)
Location: Miami, Fla.
Arena: FIU Arena (5,000)
Middle Tennessee puts its unblemished Conference USA record on the line as it travels to Miami to face FIU Thursday.
The Blue Raiders and Panthers will be meeting for the 36th time as MT holds a 27-8 advantage in the series. Middle has won four of the last five and 12 of the last 14 meetings between the two schools and seven of the last eight in Miami while Blue Raider Head Coach Kermit Davis is 24-5 against the Panthers.
Middle Tennessee swept FIU a season ago, winning 67-66 in Murfreesboro and 61-58 on a JaQawn Raymond game winner in Miami to clinch the No. 2 seed on the final day of the regular season.
The Blue Raiders (15-3, 5-0) have won five straight and are looking to remain perfect behind the high-scoring trio of JaCorey Williams (17.9), Reggie Upshaw (15.2) and Giddy Potts (15.2).
Freshman point guard Tyrik Dixon is also on a roll for MT, averaging 7.8 points and 4.4 rebounds while dishing out 23 assists to just six turnovers in conference play.
The Panthers (4-14, 0-5) are looking for their first conference win of the year with Donte McGill leading the offensive attack with his 18.8 points per outing, the third-highest average in Conference USA. The senior also ranks seventh in the nation in free throw percentage, converting 92.4 percent of his attempts from the stripe.
Averaging 44 rebounds per game in the last three contests, Middle Tennessee will need to continue its dominance on the boards to help extend the five-game run as FIU ranks as the third-best offensive rebounding team in the league.
The Raiders and Panthers are set to tip at 6:00 p.m. Thursday in FIU Arena.