Evansville owned the beginning of the game and the end, but the middle was all Tennessee-Martin. The Skyhawks used a 32-6 run to defeat the Purple Aces Saturday in a non-conference men's basketball game 69-62.
UTM has won six of its last seven to improve to 13-13. Evansville is 7-18 going into Tuesday's final home game of the season, against Southern Illinois at 8:00 CST.
The Aces were cruising along with a 32-23 lead late in the first half when the Skyhawks suddenly erupted for 16 of the last 18 points of the first half to go ahead 39-34 at the break. They didn't let up in the second half, extending the lead to 17 at 55-38 with 10 minutes remaining primarily behind the shooting of Jeremy Kelly, who finished with 27 points, and Jared Newson, who scored 22.
Evansville still trailed by 13 with a little more than two minutes remaining before freshmen Jason Holsinger and Shy Ely led a rally that brought the Aces to within six at 64-58 with 1:04 remaining. Holsinger eventually cut the margin to five with 47 seconds to go at 64-59, but the Skyhawks broke Evansville's full court press twice in a row and got one free throw and one dunk out of it to preserve their first victory in nine tries against the Aces.
Junior Matt Webster produced his third double-double of the season for Evansville with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Bradley Strickland added 12 points and six boards.