MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM GIVES VALIANT EFFORT BUT FALLS TO MURRAY STATE 73-62
January 3, 2013
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MARTIN, Tenn. – Three University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball players cracked double-figures in the scoring column tonight against Murray State, but the Skyhawks fell 73-62 in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.
Mike Liabo registered 12 points to lead UT Martin tonight, while Myles Taylor and Terence Smith added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Taylor added a team-high seven rebounds for the Skyhawks (3-12, 0-3 Ohio Valley Conference), who outscored the Racers 43-40 in the second half and forced Murray State into 19 turnovers.
Murray State (10-3, 1-0 OVC) was led by Isaiah Canaan’s 18 points, while Stacy Wilson (16) and Jeffery Moss (14) also reached double-digits. Ed Daniel pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds for the Racers, who won an OVC-record 31 games against only two losses last year.
“I thought overall our effort was good,” UT Martin head coach Jason James said. “This effort tonight would have won a couple of our previous games. This is the kind of effort we need to duplicate, we just need to get better at executing.”
The game’s earlygoing was an offensive struggle, as both teams combined for just four points in the first four minutes. A layup by Jeremy Washington evened the score at 2-2 at the 16:18 mark.
The Racers would soon take a 15-4 advantage thanks to a 13-2 run in a span of 3:14. Five unanswered points by UT Martin sliced its deficit to six at 15-9 midway through the first half.
Four straight points by Smith kept the Skyhawks within six points, but Murray State answered with 12 unanswered to go on top by a 31-13 margin at the 4:18 mark. A 6-0 Skyhawk spurt made the score 31-19 with 2:12 remaining in the half and a pair of Daniel free throws with seven seconds left provided a 14 point halftime lead (33-19) for Murray State.
Liabo’s five points led a balanced UT Martin attack at the break, while Wilson’s 14 points led the Racers.
Layups by UT Martin’s Taylor and Washington in the opening minute of the second half sliced the Skyhawk deficit to 33-23, but Murray State scored nine of the next 11 points to go ahead 42-25. Liabo then accounted for five straight points for UT Martin, but the Racers soon went ahead 56-32 with 11:45 left to play.
A pair of old-fashioned three-point plays by Washington and Taylor ignited a Skyhawk comeback. UT Martin concluded the game on a 12-5 run, with Bobby Jones scoring half of those points.
The Skyhawks conclude their three-game homestand on Saturday, Jan. 5 against OVC in-state rival Austin Peay. Tip-off against the Governors is set for 6 p.m.