Tennessee Martin (5-10) at Jacksonville State (6-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, December 30, 8:45 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pete Mathews Coliseum (5,500) -- Jacksonville, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: Tenn-Martin 3-4, Jacksonville State 4-1. Away Record: Tenn-Martin 2-6, Jacksonville State 1-7. Neutral Record: Tenn- Martin 0-0, Jacksonville State 1-1. Conference Record: Tenn-Martin 0-0, UNC Greensboro 0-0. Series Record: Jacksonville State leads, 37-21
GAME NOTES: League play opens up in the Ohio Valley Conference Monday as Jacksonville State hosts Tennessee Martin at the Pete Mathews Coliseum.
Neither Jacksonville State nor Tennessee Martin got off to hot starts this season. The Gamecocks dropped their first five games before winning three in a row at the end of November. The Skyhawks lost seven of their first eight games and have lost two straight headed into this matchup.
Jacksonville State is coming off a win against Coppin State in the British Virgin Islands Tournament, 72-61, while Tennessee Martin dropped an 80-76 decision to Southeastern Louisiana.
The Skyhawks made it a contest against the Lions, as the teams traded baskets for the majority of the contest before Southeastern took the eventual lead. Myles Taylor set a new career high in points versus Southeastern, as the team's leading scorer poured in 34 points in the contest. He added 11 rebounds in the game for a double-double, and shot 12-of-14 from the free-throw line. Taylor was 11-of-22 from the floor shooting for 50 percent. Other than Taylor's efforts, the Skyhawks came up flat, as Justin Childs and Terence Smith each scored 12, but points after that were few.
Taylor registers 16.3 ppg on just over 50 percent shooting this season, and also averages 6.1 rpg. Smith is second on the team, averaging 14.1 ppg.
Darion Rackley led the Gamecocks in the win over Coppin State, scoring a game- high 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting and going a perfect 7-for-7 from the free- throw line. Avery Moore was the only other player in double figures, scoring 16 on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. Coppin State led most of the first half and had the lead coming out of the locker rooms in the second half, but an 8-0 run by Jacksonville State gave the Gamecocks the lead for good.
Rackley and Moore are the top two scorers for Jacksonville State on the season. Rackley averages 13.2 ppg and Moore registers 10.8 ppg. Moore however, has only played in six games compared to Rackley's 14 appearances. Brian Williams leads the team with 54 assists on the season, and as a team the Gamecocks average 5.5 steals a game.
The Skyhawks have won five of their eight games at Jacksonville State since the Gamecocks joined the OVC in 2003, but Jacksonville State is 4-1 at home this season. It should be a back-and-forth battle, but Taylor can't keep up the solo act for long and continue to expect his team to earn wins.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Jacksonville State 69, Tenn-Martin 60
12/30 10:33:15 ET