SKYHAWK MEN BEGIN MUSIC CITY ROAD SWING ON THURSDAY AT OVC EAST RIVAL BELMONT
January 3, 2017
MARTIN, Tenn. - The two defending Ohio Valley Conference division champions collide when the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team travels to Belmont for a Thursday night showdown on Jan. 5. Tipoff from the Curb Event Center is set for 6 p.m.
The Skyhawks, who won their first-ever OVC West division championship last season, own a 20-15 advantage in the all-time series against Belmont. However, the Bruins have won each of the four head-to-head meetings since joining the OVC in 2012.
UT Martin (11-6, 1-1 OVC) boasts the most overall victories in the OVC while ranking third nationally in rebounding and sixth nationally in assists. The Skyhawks also have posted the third-most road wins in the nation (24) since the start of the 2014-15 season, seven of which have occurred against conference foes.
Matthew Butler scored a game-high 31 points and was responsible for the go-ahead bucket with eight seconds remaining in UT Martin’s last game - an 81-77 overtime triumph over Morehead State on Saturday. Jacolby Mobley chipped in 23 points while Javier Martinez added 17 points and nine rebounds for a Skyhawk squad that turned a double-digit deficit into a win for the fourth time this season.
Four-time defending OVC East champion Belmont (7-4, 1-0 OVC) is coming off an 82-77 road win at Austin Peay on Saturday. Taylor Barnette earned OVC Player of the Week accolades after accumulating a career-high 28 points, including four free throws in the final six seconds to ice the victory.
The Bruins lead the OVC in three-point field goals made (9.9 per game), free throw percentage (.733) and defensive rebounding percentage (.748). Preseason OVC Player of the Year Evan Bradds has led the nation in field goal percentage in each of the last two seasons while Austin Luke ranks first in the league with 6.5 assists per outing.
The game can be viewed live, free of charge, on the OVC Digital Network at the link above. Locally, the radio broadcast of the game will be aired live on Star 95.1 FM or online at the link found at the top of the webpage. Live stats for the contest can be viewed by clicking on the link above,