Southeast Missouri State (13-13) at Tennessee-Martin (7-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Elam Center (4,800) -- Martin, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: SEMO 9-4, UTM 6-6. Away Record: SEMO 3-7, UTM 1-11. Neutral Record: SEMO 1-2, UTM 0-0. Conference Record: SEMO 5-7, UTM 4-8. Series Record: SEMO leads, 43-26.
GAMES NOTES: In an Ohio Valley Conference rematch at the Elam Center, the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks will take on the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks on Saturday night.
With wins in each of its last two outings, SEMO has posted back-to-back victories for the first time since a four-game winning streak at the end of December. The most recent was a 77-64 victory over Eastern Illinois last Saturday that evened the Redhawks record to 13-13 overall, improving their league mark to 5-7. This game is the first half of a two-game road trip as SEMO will visits Jacksonville State next.
Tennessee-Martin is also in the midst of one of its most successful stretches of the season. The Skyhawks defeated SIU-Edwardsville, 77-68, last Saturday for their third win in the last four games. The Skyhawks are still just 7-17 overall, but at 4-8 in league action, have managed to remain out of the basement of the OVC, tied for ninth. Up next the Skyhawks will visit Tennessee Tech.
When these teams met at the end of December it was SEMO that came away with a 65-60 victory. The win was the third straight for the Redhawks who lead the all-time series by a convincing 43-26 margin.
Marland Smith absolutely erupted from 3-point range to lead SEMO over Eastern Illinois. The senior guard scored a game-high 29 points, tying a school record with nine 3-pointers in the contest. The Redhawks shot 51.9 percent from the field as a team with four players in double figures.
On the season, Smith has only been scoring 8.8 points per game, shooting at a respectable 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. However, he has scored in double figures in four of the last five games, hitting 52.7 percent of his attempts from long range. If Smith keeps up that rate from beyond the arc it will open up the inside for leading scorer Tyler Stone (16.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg) along with fellow frontcourt contributor Nino Johnson (10.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg). Corey Wilford (14.5 ppg) is normally the top option out of the backcourt. Overall, SEMO is scoring a solid 71.7 points per game on 45.9 percent shooting ,while leading the OVC in rebounds (37.2 pg).
Led by 23 points off the bench from Myles Taylor the Skyhawks were able to sprint by SIU Edwardsville. The Skyhawks shot 57.8 percent from the floor as a team and made up for a 36-26 deficit on the boards by forcing 15 Cougar turnovers.
Experimenting with Taylor (17.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg) off the bench certainly paid dividends against SIU Edwardsville. UTM's leading scorer was extremely efficient in the contest, hitting 5-of-6 from the field while playing just 22 minutes. Taylor is fifth in the conference in both scoring and rebounding and one of just two players on the roster scoring more than 8.5 points per game. Mike Liabo (12.8 ppg) is also scoring more than 10 points per game, although he shoots at just a 36.4 percent clip from the field. As a team the Skyhawks are scoring 66 points per game, shooting the worst percentage among OVC teams (.397). The Skyhawks are also being lit up for 75.2 points per game on 45.2 percent shooting on the defensive end.
It wasn't a runaway game for SEMO when these teams met earlier this season and this time around, on its home floor, Tennessee-Martin may be able to get some revenge. However if Smith keeps shooting well from long range the Skyhawks will be hard-pressed to keep up.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SE Missouri State 73, Tennessee-Martin 70
02/16 10:31:20 ET