SIU Edwardsville (8-12) at Tennessee-Martin (6-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 9, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Elam Center (4,800) -- Martin, Tennessee. Television:
FSN-MW, FSN-S. Home Record: SIUED 7-3. UTM 5-6. Away Record: SIUED 1-9, UTM
1-11. Neutral Record: SIUED 0-0, UTM 0-0. Conference Record: SIUED 4-6, UTM
3-8. Series Record: Tied, 4-4.
GAMES NOTES: The SIU Edwardsville Cougars will be out for revenge in an Ohio
Valley Conference rematch with the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks at the Elam
Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars have been unable to get into a rhythm of late as they have traded
wins and losses over their last six games. The most recent decision was a
76-67 loss to Southeast Missouri State in the first half of this two-game road
trip. SIUED is now 8-12 overall and at 4-6 in league play, sitting in seventh
place in the OVC standings. The road has been a hostile place for the Cougars
who have one win in their 10 trips away from the Vadalabene Center.
The Skyhawks had their longest winning streak of two games snapped in emphatic
fashion on Thursday as they were routed by Eastern Illinois, 93-65. That was
the second of a four-game homestand for the Skyhawks who are 5-6 at home, just
6-17 overall and 3-8 in league play. In the final contest during this
homestand the Skyhawks will host Southeast Missouri State before playing its
final three OVC contests on the road.
In the first meeting this season Tennessee Martin earned its lone road victory
with a 65-62 triumph against the Cougars. With the win the Skyhawks tied up
the all-time series at four games apiece.
By shooting just 38.5 percent from the field, SIUED was unable to keep up with
Southeast Missouri State. It wasn't just bad shot selection that kept the
Cougars from achieving better success as they had 10 shots blocked in the
contest. Jerome Jones did all he could in the game, hitting 11-of-21 shots, 6-
of-10 came from 3-point range, finishing with a game-high 31 points.
Jones (16.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg) has been a lone bright spot on a team starving for
offense. The 6-foot-5 forward has scored in double figures in nine straight
games and is currently among the top 10 scorers in the conference. The
offensive options for the Cougars are limited beyond Jones, with Kris Davis
(10.6 ppg) and Mark Yelovich (10.9 ppg) the only other players scoring in
double figures and two of just four putting in more than seven points per
game. Even with Jones, the Cougars are the second-worst scoring team in the
OVC at 62.8 points per game.
Despite shooting a solid 45.1 percent from the field, Tennessee-Martin's
efforts on the defensive end kept it down against Eastern Illinois. The
Skyhawks allowed the Panthers to nail 65.2 percent of their shots from the
floor, including 12-of-19 from beyond the arc in the 28-point defeat.
Poor defensive showings have been the norm for Tennessee-Martin on the
campaign. The Skyhawks are being lit up for 75.5 points per game, while teams
net 45.3 percent of their shots from the floor. In four of the last seven
games the Skyhawks have allowed teams to reach at least 80 points. By scoring
just 65.5 points per game on the offensive end the Skyhawks are suffering from
an even -10 point differential. Like Jones on SIUED, Myles Taylor (16.9 ppg,
8.0 rpg) has looked like the only player on the floor for the Skyhawks at
times this season. The 6-foot-7 forward isn't completely alone though, with
Mike Liabo (12.7 ppg) adding limited depth.
The battle between Taylor and Jones is what to watch for in this contest. On
his home floor, Taylor should get the upper hand once again.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee-Martin 70, SIU Edwardsville 66
02/09 10:33:16 ET
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