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MARTIN, Tenn. – After nearly seven weeks of nonconference action, the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team opens its 26th season of Ohio Valley Conference play with a home matchup against the Tennessee State Tigers on Thursday, Dec. 28. The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network and will start at 6 p.m., following the Skyhawk women’s basketball game at 3 p.m.
The Skyhawks (5-8) roll into the league play fresh off four victories in their past five games. In that five-game span, UT Martin has shot 50.9 percent as a team, averaged 18.8 assists per contest, outscored its opposition by a 224-110 margin in the paint and has led for more than 142 out of 200 possible minutes of clock time.
Fatodd Lewis has led the charge during the Skyhawks’ resurgence, as he has averaged 22.6 points and 11.4 rebounds over the last five outings. UT Martin is a perfect 5-0 this season when Lewis corrals a double-double.
The Skyhawks are coming off a 74-68 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff last Friday. In that game, the UT Martin frontcourt duo of Lewis (27 points, 12 rebounds) and Dominique Williams (10 points) each scored in double-figures as the Skyhawks outrebounded the visiting Golden Lions by a 37-24 margin.
UT Martin has won three of the last four matchups against Tennessee State, including each of the last two games in the Elam Center (100-81 on Jan. 13, 2014 and 72-56 on Feb. 25, 2016).
Tennessee State (5-6) is in the midst of a season-long six-game road swing and has lost three straight contests. Last week, the Tigers suffered a slim 47-46 setback at Texas before falling by a 97-48 margin at No. 16 Purdue.
Delano Spencer, who scored a game-high 19 points against the Skyhawks last season, paces the Tigers with 15.0 points per game while leading the OVC in free throw percentage (.889, 32-of-36). Christian Mekowulu has snared four double-doubles in his last six games and ranks second in the OVC in rebounding (9.1 per game), fourth in blocks (1.5 per game) and sixth in field goal percentage (.545).
Ben Holden (play-by-play) and Tim Doyle (color) will have be on the call for CBS Sports Network, which can be found on Charter Spectrum (Channel 303), DirecTV (Channel 221) and DISH Network (Channel 158). The radio broadcast will be provided locally on Star 95.1 FM. That link, as well as a link for live stats, can be found at the top of the webpage.