OVC Ball Statbox
|13-12 (5-5 OVC)|
|4-19 (1-10 OVC)|
|31/51 (60.8%)||Field Goals||25/52 (48.1%)|
|8/15 (53.3%)||3-Point FG||7/19 (36.8%)|
|9/12 (75.0%)||Free Throws||5/7 (71.4%)|
|27 (6/21)||Rebounds (O/D)||22 (7/15)|
|9||2nd Chance Pts||6|
|7||Points off TO||12|
|34||Pts in the Paint||28|
Tempo Tracker (Possessions)
UT Martin offense
What happened: SIUE was within a bucket at the half, but the Cougars scored just 24 points in the second half to fall at home to UT Martin.
In a “it’s not a foul unless somebody draws blood” kind of game, the two team’s combined for just free-throw attempts and 15 total turnovers. Twymond Howard led all scorers with 24 points on 9-13 shooting for the Skyhawks, one of four UT Martin players to score i double-figures. Kedar Edwards finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds, and his fourth double-double in his last five games.
Jake Newton scored 15 in the opening half for SIUE, but was held scoreless in the final 20 minutes. SIUE hit just 2-10 from three-point range in the second half as a team.
The win is the third in a row for Martin — the second longest win streak for the Skyhawks this season. UTM won seven straight from December 11th to January 7th, including their conference opener against Eastern Kentucky.
SIUE has now lost five straight games. It’s the third streak of five ore more losses this season. (Which, when you’re 4-19, I guess isn’t really that surprising)
What it means: The West division is a bit of a mess right now, but that’s a good thing for the often inconsistent Skyhawks. Unless UTM gets help, they can only finish, at best, in a tie atop the West. (Although, let’s be honest — they’re probably going to get help, as neither EIU or Murray State are exactly bulletproof right now)
This is where UTM’s win over Tennessee Tech could come into play. If a tie can’t be broken on head-to-head record, the next tiebreaker is the team that has the best record against the one-seed. Then the two-seed, etc. It doesn’t matter whether Belmont or TTU wins out in the East — no one from the West beat Belmont, and only UTM beat Tech.
Short version: if the Skyhawks can win out, with six games left, they are your West Division champs and the two seed.
Player of the night: Howard had a big night, but so did Myles Taylor. The forward scored 17 points on 6-7 shooting from the field — quite efficient.
What’s next: UTM has four home games remaining out of their final six games. The first of those is hosting a better-than-their-record Southeast Missouri on Thursday.
SIUE wasn’t making the conference tournament. Sure, a mathematical path existed, and one still probably does, but it’s far too minute to even consider.
So that means five games left, and another trek through the West Division. Ken Pom projects SIUE will probably win one of those five — with the best odds coming in the season finale at home against Austin Peay.
Player of the night: Newton’s first half, off the bench as well, was spectacular. His second half…wasn’t as much. One statistic worth noting: not a single SIUE player had more than four rebounds. Sure, there weren’t that many to be had, but four is still quite a small number.
What’s next: Murray State comes to town, a team SIUE has had a surprising amount of success against in Edwardsville. And the Racers are down this year, too…