A pair of OVC foes (EKU, UT Martin) will meet in the CIT postseason tournament quarterfinals

RICHMOND, Ky. – To make it to the final four, the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team will have to get by Ohio Valley Conference foe University of Tennessee at Martin in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) at McBrayer Arena in Richmond on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

UT Martin is 20-12 this season and reached the quarterfinals of the CIT by winning two road games – a 104-79 victory at Northwestern State and a 60-49 win at South Carolina-Upstate.

EKU students will receive free “E’s Up, 3’s Up” spring break tanks and sunglasses, while supplies last.

All kids 12-and-under and all Eastern Kentucky University students will receive FREE admission to the game.  General admission seats are $8.  Tickets for lower level chair-back seats will be $15 and upper chair-back seats are $10.

EKU season ticket holders and Colonel Club members can purchase lower chair back tickets for $10 and upper chair-back tickets for $7.50 if ordered in advance.  EKU faculty and staff can receive half price general admission seats if ordered in advance.  To order tickets, or for more information, call the ticket office at 859-622-2122.

There is no formal bracket for the tournament.  The match-ups for each round are determined after the preceding round is completed.  The quarterfinal round is scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday.  Semifinal games are March 31 and the championship game will be played on April 2.  The semifinals and the championship game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

The live radio broadcast of Wednesday’s game is available in the Richmond area on WCYO 100.7 FM, and can be heard worldwide on EKUSports.com.  A live free video broadcast is available on CollegeInsider.com.

Corey Walden’s running layup with 12 seconds left against High Point on Friday sent the Colonels (21-11) to the CIT quarterfinals with a 66-65 victory.  HPU (89) had the highest RPI of any of the 32 teams in the field.

Walden led EKU with 19 points to go along with seven rebounds, five assists and four steals.  Eric Stutz – who broke EKU career record for games played – had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.  Isaac McGlone tied his career high with 14 points.

The Colonels are 6-2 in March the last two years.  EKU continues to lead the nation in turnover margin (+7.1) and is second in steals (9.7).  Eastern had 10 steals against High Point and now has 28 thefts in its last three games.

With four steals against High Point, Walden moved into fifth place on the OVC career steals list.  He is 13 away from reaching fourth.  Walden’s 97 steals this season are now the second most-ever in OVC history.  He is 16 away from the conference record.  He is leading the nation this season with 3.13 steals per game.

The Skyhawks finished second in the OVC West, and fourth overall, with a 10-6 league record.  UTM is playing under first-year head coach Heath Schroyer.

Deville Smith, a senior transfer from UNLV, leads the team in scoring (14.0 ppg), assists (4.6 apg) and steals (1.8 spg).  Marshun Newell, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, is second on the team in scoring (13.3 ppg) and first in rebounding (7.0 rpg).  Twymond Howard, a 6-foot-6 junior forward, contributes 13.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

As a team, UT Martin averages 70.4 points and allows 64.9 per game this season, third best in the OVC.  The Skyhawks are shooting 47 percent from the field and led the OVC in three-point shooting (39 percent).

Howard had 15 points and seven rebounds while Smith finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and four steals in a 60-49 win at South Carolina-Upstate on Saturday.  UTM shot just 28 percent, but held USC Upstate to 18 second half points, 30 percent shooting from the field and 12 percent from long range for the game.

 

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