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Eastern Illinois (6-12) at Tennessee-Martin (6-15)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 23, 8 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Skyhawk Arena (5,000) -- Martin, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: EIU 4-5, UTM 4-5. Away Record: EIU 2-7, UTM 2-10. Neutral Record: EIU 0-0, UTM 0-0. Conference Record: EIU 3-4, UTM 1-5. Series Record: Eastern Illinois leads, 19-17.

GAME NOTES: The Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks will begin a two-game homestand at Skyhawk Arena on Thursday night, as they play host to the Eastern Illinois Panthers in an Ohio Valley Conference showdown.

EIU has struggled this season, as it sits with just a 6-12 overall record, but it has turned things around of late with wins in two of its last three games to improve to 3-4 in the OVC. The Panthers most recently hosted Austin Peay on Saturday and escaped with a 67-64 victory.

UTM has been even worse off than EIU on the campaign at 6-15, and it has shown very few signs of turning things around with losses in seven of its past eight games. The Skyhawks dropped an 85-75 decision at Morehead State on Saturday afternoon to fall to 1-5 in conference action.

The Panthers swept the two-game series versus the Skyhawks last season by a combined 41 points to take a 19-17 lead all time.

The Panthers endured a back-and-forth contest with Austin Peay their last time out until Luke Piotrowski dunked home the game-winning bucket with 2:49 left. They shot a stellar 53.1 percent from the field in the triumph and were paced by the efforts of Reggie Smith, who shot 6-of-10 from the field for 15 points while also dishing out five assists. Piotrowski netted 12 points, Sherman Blanford put up 11 points and eight rebounds and Dylan Chatman and Chris Olivier scored nine points apiece.

On the season, EIU has underperformed on both ends of the court, shooting just 42 percent from the field for 63.6 ppg while allowing 71.4 ppg on 46 percent shooting. It also lives in the red in terms of rebounding (-1.8) and turnover (-1.4) margins and shoots 3-pointers at less than 30 percent. Smith shoots just 39.3 percent from the floor but still leads the team in scoring (13.3 ppg), assists (49) and steals (24). Blanford (11.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Olivier (9.2 ppg) also bring regular contributions to the table.

The Skyhawks trailed Morehead State by as many as 15 points in the second half of their most recent contest, and while they were able to climb back to make it just a one-possession game late they could never overtake the lead. They were able to keep the tilt close by shooting an outstanding 25-of-27 from the free-throw line, but they were only 38.9 percent from the field and committed 18 turnovers. Mike Liabo shined off the bench with a career-high 32 points, shooting 10-of-18 from the floor (6-of-12 from 3-point range) and 6-of-7 from the line. Myles Taylor and Marshun Newell netted 13 points apiece, while Terence Smith chipped in 10 points.

Scoring points in rarely the issue for UTM, as it pours in 72.5 ppg, but unfortunately its defense is one of the worst in the nation, allowing 80.3 ppg on a lofty 51.1 percent field goal shooting. Taylor paces the squad in both scoring (15.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg) while making field goals at greater than 50 percent efficiency. Smith (14.3 ppg) and Liabo (13.6 ppg) have combined to drain 72 3-pointers, while Newell rounds out the balanced squad with 11.4 ppg.

EIU hasn't performed very well on the road this season (2-7), but facing off against a UTM squad that hasn't done much right of late, it should be able to keep its solid run going.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Eastern Illinois 77, Tennessee-Martin 71

01/23 10:19:22 ET

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CIN 5
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TEX 7
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ARI 7
MIL 5
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CWS 6
HOU 3
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TOR 6
MIN 4
Final
LOS 0
STL 3
Final
DET 0
ANA 2
Final
NYY 2
OAK 6
Final
CLE 1
SEA 2
Final
PIT 2
SDP 6
Final
ATL 2
SFG 4
2:10pm Today
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Today
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Today
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Today
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Today
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Tonight
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Tonight
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
Final
TAM 2
NYR 0
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
ANA
 
Final
AUBURN 6
CHARLESTON 7
 
Final
CALIFORNIA 9
CCAROLINA 3
 
Final
COLUMBIA 6
ECAROLINA 3
 
Final
ORALROBRTS 6
ARKANSAS 8
 
Final
SFLORIDA 5
FAU 3
 
Final
WRIGHTST 7
NOTREDAME 13
 
Final
MICHIGAN 10
BRADLEY 5
 
Final
OREGON 1
IOWA 3
 
Final
TEXAS 4
OREGONST 5
 
Final
INDIANA 7
RADFORD 1
 
Final
ULLAFAYETE 7
RICE 6
 
Final
STONYBROOK 0
NCSTATE 3
 
Final
LEHIGH 3
LSU 10
 
Final
CLEMSON 4
ARIZONAST 7
 
Final
MERCER 4
FLORIDAST 5
 
Final
MOREHEADST 2
LOUISVILLE 7
 
Final
VIRGINIA 6
USC 1
 
7:00pm Friday
CANISIUS 0
SWMISSOURI 0
 
Final
FIU 2
MIAFLA 6
 
Final
FLAAM 0
FLORIDA 19
 
Final
MARYLAND 3
MISS 1
 
Final
STJOHNS 4
OKLAHOMAST 5
 
Final
TSOUTHERN 0
TEXASAM 5
 
Final
VCU 7
DALLASBAPT 2
 
Final
HSTNBAPT 4
HOUSTON 6
 
Final
LIPSCOMB 1
VANDERBILT 9
 
Final
OHIO 3
ILLINOIS 10
 
Final
SACREDHART 0
TCU 10
 
Final
PEPPERDINE 3
FULLERTON 9
 
Final
SANDIEGOST 4
CSANTABAR 3
 
Final
TULANE 1
NWILMINGTN 10
 
Final
CSBAKER 2
UCLA 7
 
12:00pm Today
AUBURN
MERCER
 
12:00pm Today
BRADLEY
MOREHEADST
 
12:00pm Today
TEXAS
DALLASBAPT
 
1:00pm Today
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
1:00pm Today
CCAROLINA
TSOUTHERN
 
1:00pm Today
ECAROLINA
FIU
 
1:00pm Today
FAU
FLAAM
 
1:00pm Today
ORALROBRTS
STJOHNS
 
1:00pm Today
WRIGHTST
OHIO
 
3:30pm Today
RICE
HSTNBAPT
 
3:30pm Today
STONYBROOK
SACREDHART
 
4:00pm Today
MICHIGAN
LOUISVILLE
 
4:00pm Today
RADFORD
LIPSCOMB
 
4:00pm Today
TULANE
LEHIGH
 
5:00pm Tonight
OREGON
TBA
 
6:00pm Tonight
CHARLESTON
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Tonight
USC
CSANTABAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
ARKANSAS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
CALIFORNIA
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLEMSON
PEPPERDINE
 
7:00pm Tonight
COLUMBIA
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MISS
CSBAKER
 
7:00pm Tonight
OREGONST
VCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
SFLORIDA
FLORIDA
 
8:00pm Tonight
INDIANA
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ULLAFAYETE
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Tonight
NCSTATE
TCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOTREDAME
ILLINOIS
 
9:00pm Tonight
IOWA
TBA
 
9:00pm Tonight
NWILMINGTN
LSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
VIRGINIA
SANDIEGOST
 
11:00pm Tonight
ARIZONAST
FULLERTON
 
11:00pm Tonight
MARYLAND
UCLA
 
Final
SYR 1
DUR 3
 
6:35pm Tonight
SYR
DUR