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Tennessee Tech (13-14) at Tennessee-Martin (8-19)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 8 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Elam Center (5,000) -- Martin, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: TT 9-4, UTM 5-6. Away Record: TT 4-8, UTM 3-13. Neutral Record: TT 0-2, UTM 0-0. Conference Record: TT 6-6, UTM 3-9. Series Record: Tenn Tech leads, 35-10.

GAME NOTES: The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles travel to meet their intrastate rivals the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks, in an Ohio Valley Conference tilt at the Elam Center.

Tennessee Tech lost at home to Morehead State last Saturday, 79-53. That snapped a three-game win streak by the Golden Eagles, and left them in fourth place in the OVC's East Division.

Sitting in last place in the West, the Skyhawks haven't been on the hardwood in over a week, last playing on Wednesday, Feb. 12, when they won at Southeast Missouri State. That victory ended a four-game skid for UTM.

This is the first meeting between these two teams this season. Tennessee Tech has won seven straight over UTM, including last year's 83-68 verdict in Cookeville, and it owns a 35-10 lead in the all-time series.

Jeremiah Samarrippas scored 11 points for the Golden Eagles in the recent loss to Morehead State, while Dennis Ogbe followed with 10 points. The Golden Eagles shot only 36.4 percent in the opening period and trailed, 34-24, at halftime. The second half was not any better for Tennessee Tech, as its shooting percentage dropped to just 33.3 percent. Meanwhile, Morehead State improved to 60 percent and coasted to victory.

Tennessee Tech ranks ninth in the OVC in scoring (71.2 ppg) and eighth in field goal percentage (.442). Ogbe (10.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and Dwan Caldwell (10.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg) are the top scorers on a unit that favors balance over individual performance. Including Ogbe and Caldwell, there are six players putting in over 7 ppg. Samarrippas (9.4 ppg, 4.2 apg) could be scoring at a better rate, but he is only connecting on 37.3 percent of his field goal attempts. He does make up for the poor shooting to an extent, ranking among the top-10 in the OVC in assists.

Myles Taylor and Marshun Newell both poured in 18 points during the Skyhawks' win over SEMO. Taylor added eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks to his stat line for UTM, while Dee Oldham scored 13 points off the bench and Mike Liabo added 12. The Skyhawks took a 33-30 lead into the break after draining five 3-pointers compared to zero for the Redhawks. Trailing by one with just over five minutes remaining, UTM pulled away with a 7-0 run, and it shot 7- of-8 from the free-throw line in the final 52 seconds to seal the deal.

Defense has not been a priority for UTM this season. The Skyhawks are being lit up for 80.9 ppg on 52 percent shooting. Each of those marks is at the bottom of the league and is among the 10 worst in the country. They are also shooting the worst percentage from the field among all OVC teams (.420). Taylor (15.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Terence Smith (14.3 ppg) are the most potent offensive weapons on the roster. Liabo (12.9 ppg) and Newell (11.2 ppg) are also counted on, but neither shoots above 40 percent from the floor.

With the defensive struggles of the Skyhawks, even the low-scoring Golden Eagles should be able to put up some points. With Tech doing a better job of in its own zone, expect the visitors to go home with a victory.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee Tech 75, Tennessee-Martin 65

02/20 10:17:55 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
5:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
7:35pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CIN 7
CHC 2
Final
DET 3
NYY 2
Final
SFG 4
COL 1
Final
BAL 5
TAM 4
Final
NYM 1
ATL 6
Final
CWS 2
CLE 3
Final
KAN 5
MIN 11
Final
HOU 4
TEX 2
Final
ANA 4
OAK 3
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
MIN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
BOS
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
PHI
 
7:35pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
DET
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
TEX
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
CHC
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
COL
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
WAS
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
MIL
 
Final
SCAR 28
TEXAM 52
Final
LAMON 17
WAKE 10
Final
MISS 35
BSU 13
Final
TULSA 38
TULA 31
Final
WASU 38
RUTG 41
Final
ARST 45
WEBER 14
Final
VANDY 7
TEMPL 37
7:00pm Tonight
UCONN
BYU
7:30pm Tonight
WKENT
BGU
7:30pm Tonight
MSU
JVST
9:00pm Tonight
COL
COLST
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
TXSANANTO
10:30pm Tonight
ARZ
UNLV
Final
JAC 14
ATL 24
 
Final
BUF 0
DET 23
 
Final
CIN 35
IND 7
 
Final
GBP 34
KAN 14
 
Final
PHI 37
NYJ 7
 
Final
MIA 14
STL 13
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
Final
NYG 16
NEP 13
 
Final
TAM 10
WAS 24
 
Final
NOS 13
BAL 22
 
Final
CLE 33
CHI 13
 
Final
DAL 3
DEN 27
 
Final
TEN 3
MIN 19
 
Final
HOU 13
SFX 40
 
Final
SDC 12
ARI 9
 
Final
OAK 41
SEA 31
 
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
5:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
7:35pm Tonight
NOR
DUR