MEN'S HOOPS STARTS OFF FOUR-GAME ROAD TRIP WITH VISIT TO OVC FOE EASTERN ILLINOIS
January 16, 2018
MARTIN, Tenn. – A four-game Ohio Valley Conference road swing for the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team begins with a visit to the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Thursday, Jan. 18. Tipoff from Lantz Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.
Although the all-time series between these two schools is tied at 22-all, the Skyhawks have managed four wins in the last six matchups against the Panthers. That includes a trio of overtime decisions, including UT Martin’s last win in Charleston (75-73 on Feb. 19, 2015).
The Skyhawks (6-13, 1-5 OVC) have been led lately by Matthew Butler, as the redshirt senior guard has paced UT Martin in scoring in each of the last four contests. He is the first Skyhawk since two-time All-American Lester Hudson (Feb. 28 through March 18, 2009) to dial up four consecutive 20-plus-point performances. He is also one of just two OVC players to lead his team in scoring and assists per game (alongside Jacksonville State’s Malcolm Drumwright).
UT Martin is coming off a 71-67 home setback against Morehead State on Saturday. In a game that featured 11 lead changes and eight tie scores, Butler secured 21 points, five assists and a career-high four steals while Jailen Gill continued his impressive play with his third double-double of the season (14 points, career-best 12 rebounds).
Eastern Illinois (6-11, 2-4 OVC) came up short in a pair of tight home games last week, falling 69-65 to Tennessee State on Thursday and 75-66 to Belmont on Saturday. The Panthers lead the OVC with 5.5 blocks per game in conference play.
Montell Goodwin averaged 21.5 points per game last week, including a career-best 26 points against Belmont. Goodwin compiled 21.0 points in a pair of outings against the Skyhawks in 2016-17 while Ray Crossland also scored 10 points in both games.
The game can be viewed live, free of charge, on the OVC Digital Network at the link above. Chris Brinkley (play-by-play) and Alex Boggis (color) will call the radio broadcast locally on Star 95.1 FM. A link for the online radio broadcast, as well as a link for live stats, can be found at the top of the webpage.