UT MARTIN WOMEN'S HOOPS SET TO OPEN OVC PLAY AGAINST TENNESSEE STATE

December 26, 2017

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The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team will play host to Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee State to open league play on Thursday, Dec. 28. Tipoff from the Elam Center is scheduled for 3 p.m. as the front-end of a doubleheader, with the men’s squad scheduled to play at 6 p.m.

The Skyhawks (4-8, 0-0 OVC) enter their 26th season of OVC play where the program has accomplished vast success over the past several seasons. Dating back to the 2009-10 campaign, UT Martin has recorded a 101-31 in OVC play while tallying four regular season league championships. A big part for the Skyhawks success in league play has been their home court advantage, posting a 59-8 home record against conference opponents during that span.

UT Martin is looking to get back to its winning ways after dropping all three games in the Basketball Travelers Inc. Invitational, falling to Saint Mary’s (69-58), Purdue (60-58) and Eastern Washington (61-58). The Skyhawks would drop all three closely contested games by an average of five points, including the final two contest which came down to the final possession. Despite the setback, UT Martin would see three players score in double figures led by all-tournament team selection Kendall Spray (14.3) along with Emanye Robertson (12.3 ppg) and Janekia Mason (12.0 ppg).

The matchup pits one of the league’s veteran head coaches against a league rookie. UT Martin is under the direction of Kevin McMillan who has posted a 158-107 record in nine season to rank fifth in OVC history. Tennessee State is led by Jessica Kern who is making her OVC debut in her first season for the Lady Tigers while possessing a 63-92 mark in sixth campaign.

Tennessee State (2-7, 0-0 OVC) enter the contest looking to get conference play started on an upswing after recent victories over Fisk and Lipscomb. The Lady Tigers are led by redshirt junior Tia Wooten (19.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and reigning four-time OVC Freshman of the Week Taylor Roberts (16.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg).

Thursday’s matchup marks the 61st meeting between the two programs in series history with UT Martin holding a narrow 32-28 advantage. The Skyhawks have won nine of the last 11 matchups against the Lady Tigers – despite dropping an 85-80 overtime contest at the Gentry Center last season. UT Martin will look to its home court advantage to help out in the league opener, winning 20-of-28 matchups against Tennessee State in the Elam Center.

The game will be broadcast live, free of charge, courtesy of the OVC Digital Network. Fans can also tune into STAR 95.1 FM to hear Chris Brinkley (play-by-play) provide analysis or to WUTM 90.3 FM “The Hawk”, UT Martin’s award winning college radio station. Links for both the OVCDN feed and radio broadcasts, along with live stats can be accessed through their respective links above. For in-game updates, follow the Skyhawks on twitter @UTM_Gameday.



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