UTM HOSTS ARKANSAS STATE IN SHOWDOWN BETWEEN TWO OF NATION'S BEST MID-MAJORS
December 13, 2016
MARTIN, Tenn. - Two of the nation’s top mid-major squads collide when the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team takes on the Arkansas State Red Wolves at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Tipoff time is set for 7 p.m. as the backend of a split doubleheader with the women’s basketball team (who tips off at 11 a.m.).
These two teams are very familiar with each other, as this is the 12th time in the last 13 seasons that the Skyhawks and Red Wolves have met on the hardwood. UT Martin has won each of the last two meetings against Arkansas State while each of the last five matchups in the Elam Center have been decided by single digits.
First-year head coach Anthony Stewart and the Skyhawks (8-3) will be putting an 11-game home winning streak on the line, as UT Martin has not lost in front of its home crowd since Jan. 21, 2016. The streak is the longest since the program won 12 straight home games during the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons.
UT Martin entered the week with the top scoring offense in the Ohio Valley Conference (80.5 points per game) while ranking seventh nationally in assists (189). The Skyhawks are off to their best start to a season since 1987-88 and are back at full strength after senior starters Jacolby Mobley (team-best 15.9 points per game) and Javier Martinez (team-high 6.0 rebounds per contest) have returned from injuries.
Arkansas State (7-2) has bloomed under the direction of first-year head coach Grant McCasland, as the Red Wolves came into the week with an RPI of 28 while ranking fourth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense (.254). Arkansas State posted an impressive 78-72 road win at traditional Big East power Georgetown on Nov. 17.
The Red Wolves are coming off a 10-day layoff, as they had a seven-game winning streak snapped after a 77-54 setback at Big 12 member TCU on Dec. 3. Devin Carter poured in a game-high 22 points for Arkansas State, who was within one point (30-29) at the halftime break.
This game can be viewed live, free of charge, on the OVC Digital Network at the link found at the top of the webpage. Chris Brinkley (play-by-play) and Justin Jefferies (color) will be on the call locally on Star 95.1 FM or online at the link above. Live stats will also be provided at the link found at the top of the webpage.