Stifling defense guides Skyhawks MBB to 66-59 win over Lindenwood

 Stifling defense guides Skyhawks MBB to 66-59 win over Lindenwood

A stingy performance on the defensive end propelled the UT Martin men’s basketball team to victory Thursday night as the Skyhawks ground out a 66-59 win over Lindenwood at the Elam Center.

Lindenwood’s 59 points were the second-lowest scoring output by a UT Martin NCAA Division I opponent in 2022-23.

KJ Simon had his first double-double of the season and third of his two-year Skyhawk career, piling up team-highs of 16 points, 10 rebounds, a career-best five blocks, and two steals. Jordan Sears tied Simon for the team lead with 16 points while Jalen Myers provided 11 points in 16 minutes off the bench. KK Curry narrowly missed a double-double with eight points, a game-high 10 rebounds, and team-best three steals for UT Martin, who improves to 14-8 overall with a 6-3 mark in OVC play.

“It’s hard to win OVC games,” Skyhawk head coach Ryan Ridder said. “Winning is going to look different every time and that was the case tonight. We strapped it up defensively – that’s three games in a row where we’ve held the opponent under 40 percent shooting. Lindenwood is a very good defensive team – they make you take tough shots. Give our guys credit – we have continued to find a way to get better.”

UT Martin puts the finishing touches on a three-game homestand Saturday when it hosts Southern Indiana.

The game – which serves as the backend of a doubleheader with the women’s team – will tip off at 3:30. Airtime is at 12:30 on WCMT.