MARTIN, Tenn. — The UT Martin men’s basketball team tallied a 6-0 run late in the second half and made 4-of-6 from the field in overtime to post a 75-72 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Morehead State on Saturday evening at the Elam Center.
Both teams split their OVC weekends. The Skyhawks improve to 9-6 overall, 1-1 in league play and 4-2 at home. The Eagles slip to 6-12 overall, 1-2 in conference action and 3-7 on the road. UTM also snaps a nine-game skid in the series against MSU.
“We played hard, but didn’t play smart down the stretch,” Head Coach Sean Woods said. “UT Martin is a pretty good team. They are certainly better than last year. They made some big shots down the stretch, and we didn’t do enough to win the game.”
The contest featured 13 ties and 17 lead changes. Morehead State opened up a four-point lead with 4:16 to play in the second half, but UT Martin held the Eagles scoreless for more than three minutes while registering the game’s next six markers.
Senior Deville Smith knocked down a three-pointer with 3:16 left in overtime to give UT Martin a lead it never relinquished. Morehead State made all six of its free-throw attempts in extra time and cut the deficit to one, but couldn’t get over the hump.
The Skyhawks converted on 86 percent (12-of-14) from the free-throw line, including 11-of-12 in the second half and overtime. UT Martin connected on 47 percent (28-of-60) from the floor, including 44 percent (7-of-16) from three-point range.
UTM senior Marshun Newell recorded a team-high 20 points, while Smith and junior Arkeem Joseph added 18 apiece. Newell drilled all six charity tosses, while Joseph made 9-of-11 from the field and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
MSU senior Kareem Storey scored a career-high 22 points on 9-of-13 from the field, while senior Angelo Warner and junior Brent Arrington added 15 each. Sophomore Corban Collins snagged a team-best eight rebounds for the Eagles.
“We knew we could get the ball inside and score, but UT Martin started packing it in and doubling our post players,” Woods said. “We didn’t make enough adjustments at that point. We took some ill-advised threes, which contributed to their runs.”
Morehead State drilled 44 percent (27-of-62) from the field, 33 percent (7-of-21) from long range and 92 percent (11-of-12) from the free-throw stripe. The Eagles limited themselves to eight turnovers and managed a 16-7 edge in points off miscues.
MSU’s biggest lead of 12 points came with 5:08 left in the first stanza. UTM’s largest advantage of five points came with 19:05on the second-half clock. Morehead State led for nearly 23 minutes, while the tilt was knotted for more than seven.
“We need to play tougher, both mentally and physically,” Woods said. “We got a good win on Thursday at Southeast Missouri, but didn’t play our best tonight. We need to be more consistent if we want to be one of the top teams in the OVC.”
Morehead State hosts league foe SIU Edwardsville on Thursday. The MSU and SIUE women will open the doubleheader at 5:15 p.m., with the men to follow. Both games will be available on the OVC Digital Network (video streaming) and Eagle Sports Network (radio).