E. Illinois and UTM meet in OVC tourney
No. 7 seed UT Martin (11-18, 6-12) vs. No. 6 seed Eastern Illinois (14-17, 7-11)
Ohio Valley Conference Tourney First Round, Ford Center, Evansville, Indiana; Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: UT Martin and Eastern Illinois are prepared to match up in the first round of the OVC tournament. Eastern Illinois won both of the regular season matchups earlier this season. The teams last played on Jan. 24, when the Panthers shot 43.9 percent from the field while limiting UT Martin to just 33.3 percent en route to a 66-64 victory.
STEPPING UP: Eastern Illinois’ Josiah Wallace has averaged 15.2 points while Mack Smith has put up 12.8 points and 4.2 rebounds. For the Skyhawks, Craig Randall has averaged 16.7 points while Quintin Dove has put up 12.6 points and 5.2 rebounds.
CLUTCH CRAIG: Randall has connected on 36.8 percent of the 76 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 11 of 23 over his last three games. He’s also converted 83.3 percent of his foul shots this season.
WINLESS WHEN: Eastern Illinois is 0-11 this year when it scores 65 points or fewer and 14-6 when it scores at least 66.
UNDEFEATED WHEN: UT Martin is a perfect 5-0 when its defense holds opponents to a field goal percentage of 42.9 percent or less. The Skyhawks are 6-18 when allowing opponents to shoot any better than that.
LIGHTER INTENSITY: UT Martin’s defense has forced 13.8 turnovers per game this year, but is averaging 10.2 turnovers over its last five games.