EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Delfincko Bogan dominated the game on both ends of the floor to help propel the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team to an exhilarating 70-69 Ohio Valley Conference victory at SIUE this afternoon.
Bogan scored a game-high 21 points (on 7-of-8 shooting) while also swiping a game-high five steals for the Skyhawks, who improve to 7-14 with a 2-6 OVC mark. The junior out of Charleston, Mo. tossed in 17 points in the first half and applied intense defensive man-to-man pressure on SIUE’s potential game-winning possession.
Dominique Williams played big for UT Martin today, corralling his first career double-double (14 points, game-high 11 rebounds) while playing all 40 minutes. Terrence Parker added 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting while Fatodd Lewis nailed the go-ahead jumper in the paint with 11 seconds remaining for the Skyhawks, who also received a game-high six assists from Matthew Butler. UT Martin shot 59.6 percent (28-of-47) from the floor and scored 40 points in the paint.
SIUE (7-12, 3-5 OVC) received 21 points out of Jalen Henry while David McFarland (18 points) and Daniel Kinchen (10 points) also scored in double-figures. The Cougars hit 10 three-pointers in the first half but were limited to 11.1 percent shooting (1-of-9) from beyond the three-point arc over the final 20 minutes.
“We were resilient – we didn’t give up,” Skyhawk head coach Anthony Stewart said. “We weren’t proud of our effort last Thursday (at Eastern Illinois) and this is how we know we can play. I told the guys at halftime that defense would win this game. I told them to stay true to the gameplan and just keep guarding. I’m proud of this group.”
Bogan owned the game early, forcing a steal on a jumpball on the opening possession of the contest. He then sank a straightaway three-pointer on UT Martin’s first trip down the floor and added two more trifectas in a 61-second span to boost the Skyhawk lead to 9-3 at the 17:40 mark.
Following another bucket by Bogan at the 13:44 mark, SIUE went on an 8-0 run to take its first lead of the contest at 20-15. UT Martin quickly responded with the next six points to reclaim the advantage at 21-20 after a pair of Darius Thompson free throws.
McFarland then hit three 3-pointers in a 2:30 to help the Cougars reclaim the lead. The Skyhawks trailed by eight points with just under five minutes to go in the first half but layups by Mike Fofana and Bogan helped UT Martin shave its deficit in half (37-33) at the under-4-minute media timeout.
The Cougars once again led by eight points at the 2:38 mark but the Skyhawks closed out the first half on a 7-2 run. A Lewis layup, Bogan 10-foot jumper and Butler right wing three-pointer helped UT Martin whittle its deficit to 45-42 at the halftime break.
Bogan dialed up 17 points on a perfect shooting effort (6-of-6 from the floor, 3-for-3 from three-point range, 2-of-2 from the free throw line) to lead all scorers in the first 20 minutes. McFarland’s 15 points led SIUE, who made 10 three-pointers in 18 attempts in the first half.
The frontcourt duo of Williams and Parker powered the Skyhawks to begin the second half. They each scored six points apiece during the opening 5:29 to lift UT Martin to a 54-52 advantage with 14:31 left to play.
The two teams then swapped leads four times and had four tie scores over the next 4:47. A bucket inside by Williams and a pair of Bogan free throws nudged the Skyhawks ahead 66-62 with just under eight minutes remaining.
UT Martin then went cold from the floor, not scoring a field goal for nearly seven minutes. Despite that, the Skyhawk defense picked up the slack – allowing only five points in that time – and UT Martin took a 68-67 lead after a Bogan drive to the hoop at the 2:29 mark.
SIUE took the lead just 16 seconds later on a putback by Henry. The score remained 69-68 until Lewis scored on a sweeping bucket to his left with 11 seconds to go, tilting the Skyhawks ahead by one point.
Following a timeout, the Cougars inbounded the ball to Kinchen, who was immediately greeted by full-court pressure by Bogan. Guarded closely the whole way, Bogan forced Kinchen into an off-balance 15-foot jumper that caromed off the rim and fittingly fell into the hands of Bogan for the rebound, sealing the victory.
UT Martin continues its four-game road trip on Thursday, Jan. 25 when it travels to Jacksonville State. Tipoff time is set for 7:30 p.m.