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December 31, 2011

Tech attempts to even OVC record at UT Martin Saturday

Golden Eagles have won last five over Skyhawks

Click here to view game notes (PDF)

MARTIN, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech will attempt to salvage a split in its league-opening road trip on Saturday at UT Martin.

The Golden Eagles got off on the wrong foot in OVC play Thursday, suffering a season-opening upset at SIU Edwardsville. Saturday's game is the final contest of a six-game road swing that began on Dec. 17. Tech has won five of its last seven games and is 3-2 since last playing at home.

At SIU-E, the Cougars shot 51 percent from the field to beat Tennessee Tech in SIU Edwardsville's first conference game. Tech managed to trim an 11-point first-half deficit to six with just 5:25 remaining in regulation behind some solid shooting from the line, but the Golden Eagles couldn't finish the job. Jud Dillard notched a game-high 24 points and finished one board shy of his fourth double-double of the season.

Saturday's matchup marks the 43rd meeting between Tech and UT Martin, with the Golden Eagles holding a 32-11 advantage in the series. Tech has won five consecutive games over the Skyhawks, most recently routing UT Martin 83-59 in the OVC quarterfinals a season ago. Prior to the Golden Eagles' current five-game winning streak, Tech had lost four straight to UT Martin.

A Tennessee Tech player leads the OVC in four individual statistical categories – Kevin Murphy in scoring (18.9), Jud Dillard in rebounding (8.6) and Zac Swansey in assists (5.7) and steals (2.6).

 Sophomore guard/forward Mike Liabo leads the Skyhawks in scoring, averaging 14.2 points per game. Liabo is also the team's assist leader with 2.9 helpers per contest. Freshman forward Myles Taylor also averages in double-figures, scoring 12.2 points per game and leading the team in rebounding with 4.9 boards per contest.

UT Martin is coming off back-to-back OVC losses to Murray State and Tennessee State and has lost seven of its last eight games. The Skyhawks are 3-12 overall with their signature victory coming in a 59-54 win over UAB on Nov. 27.

Saturday's game will be broadcast live on WHUB, AM 1400 and on the Internet at www.1400TheHub.com. Fans can also listen via Teamline by calling (216) 502-3200 and entering team code 0654. Cost is $5 per call. The game will be streamed live on OVCSports.tv.

After facing UTM, the Golden Eagles return home to host Tennessee State on Thursday and Morehead State on Saturday.