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Tennessee-Martin 81, Illinois-Chicago 78

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Guard Deville Smith scored a game-high 26 points — including the first three points in overtime — as Tennessee-Martin claimed a 81-78 extra session nonconference victory over Illinois-Chicago on Monday at the Pavilion.

Smith led a balanced attack with four players in double figures for the Skyhawks (6-2) while the Flames dropped to 3-8 after the first-ever meeting between the teams.

Guard Alex Anderson scored 16 points, forward Twymond Howard had 14 points and 10 rebounds and guard Marshun Newell added 12 for the winners.

Guard Paris Burns scored a team-high 24 points for Illinois-Chicago, guard Marc Brown had 23 and guard Jay Harris added 15.

The Skyhawks jumped to an early lead and opened a 10-point advantage late before Burns’ late jumper cut the Tennessee-Martin halftime lead to 33-25.

The Skyhawks continued to maintain a double-digit leads in the second half and forward Javier Martinez’s free throw at the 12:42 mark gave them a 50-37 lead, Martin’s largest to that point.

But the Skyhawks went cold a few minutes later and the Flames rallied to within a point at 59-58 with 3:20 to play and eventually forced overtime as Harris hit two free throws with 29 seconds left to force a 65-65 deadlock.

Harris, a fifth-year graduate student, was named Horizon League player of the week on Monday after scoring a career-high 32 points in Illinois-Chicago’s 71-60 win last Thursday over Central Florida.

Both teams resume play on Wednesday with the Flames at SMU while the Skyhawks visit Illinois State.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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