BUIES CREEK, NC – The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team made a valiant comeback attempt tonight but ultimately it wasn’t enough as the Skyhawks’ season closed with a 73-56 loss at Campbell in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
The Skyhawks conclude the 2016-17 campaign at 22-13, tying the school record for most single-season victories. In a year that saw UT Martin win the Ohio Valley Conference West division outright for the first time ever and win a postseason game for the third consecutive year, the Skyhawks also established new single-season records in points (2,693), field goals made (966), rebounding (1,312) and assists (555).
UT Martin trailed by as many as 24 points early in the second half but went on an extended run to close within eight points with 6:27 to go. However, Campbell (19-17) held the Skyhawks to just one field goal down the stretch on its way to the win.
Senior Jacolby Mobley rounded out his collegiate career with a game-high 27 points this evening. Fellow senior Chandler Rowe (eight points, nine rebounds) narrowly missed a double-double while Kahari Beaufort (eight points), Malik Pugh (eight points) and Fatodd Lewis (nine rebounds) also performed well for UT Martin.
Campbell was led by Chris Clemons’ 26 points while Marcus Burk (15 points) and Cory Gensler (10 points) also scored in double-figures.
UT Martin got off to a quick start, as Rowe stuffed home a dunk less than 10 seconds into the game. Three-pointers by Mobley and Beaufort helped the Skyhawks claim a 9-8 advantage at the first media timeout.
Matthew Butler canned a pull-up jumper with a little under 13 minutes to go to keep UT Martin on top but Campbell answered with a 15-0 run in a span of 3:52. A left-handed runner by Mobley at the 8:13 mark stopped the Skyhawk drought and moments later, a Mobley take to the hoop trimmed UT Martin’s deficit to 11 points at 30-19.
However, the Camels wrapped up the opening half with seven unanswered points to take a 37-19 lead into the locker room.
Mobley had eight points at the half for the Skyhawks, who shot just 28 percent (7-of-25) from the field in the first 20 minutes. Clemons compiled a game-high 12 points for Campbell, who connected on 50 percent (8-of-16) of its three-point tries in the first half.
Beaufort swished a 15-foot jumper to open the scoring in the second half but the Camels once again had an answer, piecing together the next eight points of the contest to go ahead 45-21.
Mobley then heated up for UT Martin, as the senior out of Starkville, Miss. scored 11 consecutive points and 19 of the Skyhawks’ 23 points over a stretch of eight minutes. That spurt helped UT Martin trim its deficit to single-digits (59-51) with 6:27 left to play.
Just as they had done all evening, the Camels had a response – closing out the game on a 14-5 run in the final six minutes. The Skyhawks would not score another field goal until Pugh knocked down a three-pointer with 14 seconds left as Campbell spoiled UT Martin’s comeback attempt.
Photo courtesy of Bennett Scarborough/Campbell Athletics