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MARTIN, Tenn. – An abbreviated two-game homestand for the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team begins with an Ohio Valley Conference matchup against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels on Thursday, Jan. 11. Tipoff from the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., following the women’s game as the second part of a conference doubleheader.
The Skyhawks (6-11, 1-3 OVC) have won each of the last three meetings against Eastern Kentucky, winning by an average of 8.7 points per contest. UT Martin has also emerged victorious in three of its last four games against the Colonels in the Elam Center.
The Skyhawks will try to get back in the win column after a two-game road stretch at undefeated OVC squads Austin Peay (lost 75-69) and Murray State (lost 82-68). Matthew Butler topped UT Martin in scoring in both games, accounting for 21.5 points per game. Delfincko Bogan (11.0) and Fatodd Lewis (10.0) also averaged double-figures in scoring last week for the Skyhawks.
UT Martin has established itself as one of the nation’s best free throw shooting teams, ranking 11th out of 352 NCAA Division-I squads with a .779 percentage. That includes a 90.9 percent clip (20-of-22) over the last two games, aided by a perfect 14-for-14 effort at Austin Peay last Thursday.
Eastern Kentucky (6-11, 0-4 OVC) enters this game on a five-game losing skid, as the Colonels fell in a pair of tight home decisions to SIUE (85-82) and Eastern Illinois (54-53) last week. Despite its winless start to OVC play, Eastern Kentucky leads the league in steals (7.8 per game) and turnover margin (+5.25) in conference games only.
Two-time All-OVC recipient Nick Mayo paced the Colonels with 18.5 points per outing last week. The junior forward ranks in the top-five in four different OVC statistical categories: blocks (1.5 per game, third); scoring (17.3 points per game, fourth); minutes played (34.2 per game, fourth) and free throw percentage (.844, fifth).
Fans can watch a live stream of the game, free of charge, on the OVC Digital Network. That link - as well as links for radio broadcasts and live stats - is located at the top of the webpage.