SIU-Edwardsville (6-14) at Tennessee-Martin (7-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 5 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Skyhawk Arena (4,800) -- Martin, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: SIU-Edwardsville 6-3, UT Martin 5-5. Away Record: SIU- Edwardsville 0-9, UT Martin 2-10. Neutral Record: SIU-Edwardsville 0-2, UT Martin 0-0. Conference Record: SIU-Edwardsville 3-4, UT Martin 2-5. Series Record: UT Martin leads, 5-4.
GAME NOTES: It's been a rough season for both the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars and the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks, as both squads take losing records into their Ohio Valley Conference clash at Skyhawk Arena.
SIU-Edwardsville had a two-game win streak going until the team dropped an 82-78 contest to Southeast Missouri State Thursday night on the road. The loss set the Cougars back to 3-4 in OVC standings, three games back of Murray State for the West Division lead.
Tennessee-Martin got back in the win column Thursday with an 84-77 victory over OVC rival Eastern Illinois. The Skyhawks have won two of their last three games - both in OVC play. Those are the only two wins in the conference for the 2-5 Skyhawks.
Tennessee-Martin has the slight series lead over SIU-Edwardsville, 5-4. The last time these squads met, the Skyhawks took a 77-68 decision at Skyhawk Arena.
SIU-Edwardsville had a comeback attempt fall short against Southeast Missouri State, as the Cougars dropped to 0-9 this season on the road. Rozell Nunn led all Cougars scorers with 15 points, while Maurice Wiltz, Donivine Stewart and Tim Johnson all chipped in 14 points in the loss. Keaton Jackson contributed 10 points as well. Stewart added a team-high five assists for the Cougars, who shot 41.1 percent from the floor.
Stewart is the only SIUE player this season to average scoring numbers in the double digits, netting 11.5 ppg on 42.9 percent shooting from the floor. Stewart also leads the squad with 4 apg and averages 1 spg. Jackson, who is third on the team in scoring with 8.2 ppg, leads the roster with 4.6 rpg. The Cougars are averaging 71 ppg through 20 games played, but give up 76.5 ppg to their opponents.
UT Martin went into the locker room down to Eastern Illinois at the half, 37-34, but came out firing in the second half, hitting 60 percent of its shots and outscoring the Panthers, 50-40, in the frame. Mike Liabo led the Skyhawks with 20 points, going 4-of-4 from the free-throw line, off the bench. Terence Smith had 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor, and Dee Oldham netted 12 points. Khristian Taylor chipped in 11 points and a team-high five assists in the win.
Myles Taylor, who has only played in 19 games for the Skyhawks instead of the full 22 this season, leads the team with 15.2 ppg on 49.8 percent shooting from the floor. Smith has played all 22 games, and nets 14.5 ppg with 71 assists on the year. He's second to Marshun Newell, who has 72 assists this season and an 11.3 ppg average. Taylor tops the team in rebounding with 6.7 rpg and 18 blocked shots.
The loss to SEMO brought the Cougars back down from the two-game high they were experiencing, but a rebound contest against UT Martin, which occupies the bottom spot in the OVC West, should be just what the team needs to get back in the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SIU-Edwardsville 72, Tennessee-Martin 63
01/25 10:30:51 ET