The University of Tennessee at Martin shot 57 percent from the field and managed to out-rebound Southeast Missouri 32-24.
The combination, along with four players scoring double digits resulted in a 77-61 Tennessee-Martin victory Thursday night in Skyhawk Arena.
While the 57 percent wasn’t the best percentage the Skyhawks have posted this season, it certainly was enough to hold off SEMO’s Indians.
The Skyhawks are now 6-0 when they out rebound opponents and 6-0 when they play on Thursday nights.
Senior Joey Walker and sophomore Jeremy Kelly led the Skyhawks in scoring with 17 points each. Earl Bullock netted 15 points, including five three-pointers. Junior Kenan Asceric tossed in 10 points. Senior Okechi Egbe and junior J.C. Howe scored nine points each.
Egbe became the ninth player in Skyhawk history to score 1,000 points or more when he netted his first bucket of the game. He is No. 9 on the Skyhawks career scoring list with 1,007 points.
SEMO had five players in double figures. Tim Scheer, Derek Winans and Damarcus Hence scored 12 points each.
The Skyhawks built a 10-point lead in the first half and never looked back. At the intermission, the Skyhawks led 41-31. In the second half the Skyhawks led by as many as 18 points.
With the victory the Skyhawks improve to 6-6 in the Ohio Valley Conference and 13-10 overall. SEMO falls to 4-8 in the league and 9-15 overall.
The win created a tie for fifth place in the OVC between the Skyhawks and their opponent Saturday, Eastern Illinois.
Murray State claimed a victory over Eastern Illinois Thursday night and is currently in fourth place with a 6-5 record. The top four teams in the OVC host first round tournament games against the bottom four teams.
The winners advance to Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center for the OVC semifinals and championship. The tournament winner clinches an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.
Tipoff for Saturday’s game is 6 p.m. against Eastern Illinois in Skyhawk Arena.