Preview: Western Kentucky at Middle Tennessee

The Lady Raiders and Lady Hilltoppers face each other in the most storied rivalry in the Sun Belt Conference. The Blue Raider Zone breaks down the upcoming game.

Records:  Western  6-3, 2-0     Middle Tennessee  9-3, 2-0
7:00 Murphy Center-Murfreesboro, TN

About Western:  MTSU's arch nemesis is back and this time right after Christmas.  The Hilltoppers are a team on a mission with a chip on their shoulder.  Last year at the SunBelt Championships, the Lady Raiders embarrassed them by coming back from an 18 point deficit to win.  Granted, they should have gone to the NCAA's, but alas, they got to watch Middle Tennessee instead.  This is a good team with a lot of speed.  There are some old names like Tiffany Zaragoza and Dominique Duck as well as some news ones like Alicia Bunton.  This will be a streetfight with the win going to who wants it most.

Players to watch for Western Kentucky:  The good news is you will not see Tiffany Porter-Talbot on the floor.  The bad news is you will see all you want of Crystal Kelly.  She is the leading scorer at 22.1 PPG, and the leading rebounder.  Dominique Duck, who is just a sophomore is the second leading scorer at 12.4 PPG.  They have a freshman that starts at guard by the name of Kenzie Rick, but Tiffany Zaragoza still gets plenty of playing time.

Players to watch for Middle Tennessee:  Krystle Horton had her first breakout game against ODU and look for it to continue as Chrissy Givens and Amber Holt draw most of the attention on the inside.  Johnna Abney got into foul trouble early and we got to see a lot of Chelsea Lymon.  With Jackie Pickel, the game will be broken open early!

Intangibles:  It is no secret that Mary Taylor-Cowles and Rick Insell did not exchange Christmas gifts this year and look for the pleasantries to be kept to a minimum.  These two teams look to be the ones that will battle for supremacy in a conference that should send two teams to the big dance this year.  Who will draw first blood?  Come 9:00 on Wednesday night, we will know.

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