Updated: Jan 30
Fans of the Ohio Valley Conference saw an instant classic between the UT Martin Skyhawks and Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles. A crowd of approximately 2,000 was treated to a 30+ point performance, two double-doubles, a twenty rebound game, and an 86-83 overtime win for UT Martin.
The Skyhawks (15-8, 7-3 OVC) placed three players in double figures in the overtime thriller with KJ Simon (21 points), KK Curry (13 points), and Jordan Sears (32 points) leading UT Martin to victory. Sears set a new career high in points, and Simon recorded back-to-back double-doubles and a second consecutive five-block game. UT Martin shot 46% from the field and 30% from three.
While Southern Indiana (13-10, 6-4 OVC) was able to outrebound UT Martin (50-41), the Screaming Eagles couldn't slow down the fast-break offense that scored 22 points for the orange and blue. Points in the paint also favored UT Martin, who outscored USI 36-24.
Southern Indiana made 13 threes, and OVC Player of the Year hopeful Jacob Polakovich snagged 20 rebounds while scoring 12 points, and the Eagles were led in scoring by Jelani Simmons, who posted a game-high 26 points. USI shot 6% below their average in conference play from the field and beyond the arch.
With the win, UT Martin remains tied for first place in the OVC. After the conclusion of Saturday's games, a five-way tie for first shrunk to a three-way tie with UT Martin, SEMO, and Morehead State sitting atop the conference standings.
UT Martin will take their four-game winning streak on the road for a three-game road stretch starting next Thursday against SIUE (14-9, 5-5 OVC). USI heads back to Evansville for a two-game homestand that begins on Thursday when they host Tennessee State.