Skyhawk MBB clashes against first-year OVC member Lindenwood Thursday night

 Skyhawk MBB clashes against first-year OVC member Lindenwood Thursday night

Owners of the best home record of any OVC program, the UT Martin men’s basketball team looks to successfully defend the Elam Center once again when it takes on Lindenwood Thursday night at 6:00.

The Skyhawks are 10-1 this season when playing at home, which is already tied for the fourth-most home victories in a single season in UT Martin’s NCAA Division I Era (since 1992). The Skyhawks are averaging 91.5 points per contest when playing in front of the home crowd in 2022-23.

UT Martin (13-8, 5-3 OVC) is currently in a six-way tie for first place in the OVC standings after gaining a pair of victories last week. In wins over Southeast Missouri and Eastern Illinois, the Skyhawks connected on 56.6 percent (64-of-113) of their shot attempts while holding the opposition to a paltry 18.2 percent shooting effort (8-for-44) from three-point land.

In last Saturday’s triumph over Eastern Illinois, UT Martin placed all five starters in double figures scoring. Chris Nix (7-of-7 shooting, season-best three blocks) and Parker Stewart (season-high eight rebounds) shared the team lead with 19 points while KJ Simon (16 points, career-best six assists), Jordan Sears (15 points, season-high five assists) and Jalen Myers (10 points) also paced the Skyhawks.

This marks UT Martin’s first meeting on the hardwood against the Lions since the 1980-81 season opener (a 107-46 victory inside the Elam Center).

Lindenwood (7-14, 2-6 OVC) enters the game having lost its last five outings but has beaten OVC rivals Tennessee Tech and Little Rock (both of whom have defeated the Skyhawks). The Lions are coming off a 72-63 home setback to Morehead State on Saturday, despite a game-high 20 points out of Kevin Caldwell, Jr. Cam Burrell (11 points) and Keenon Cole (11 points) also guided Lindenwood, who tops the OVC in free throw percentage (.778) and blocks (3.9 per game) in league play.

Chris Brinkley and Eddie Suiter will broadcast the game beginning at 5:30 on WCMT.