Skyhawks’ early lead not enough at SEMO
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 12:00 pm
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — The UT Martin men’s basketball team led for over 26 minutes only to fall 65-60 to Southeast Missouri in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both teams.
UTM (3-10, 0-1 OVC) began the game on a shooting tear, leading by as many as 15 points in the first half. Southeast Missouri (9-6, 1-0 OVC) did not take its first lead until nearly six minutes into the second half before escaping with the win.
Senior Jeremy Washing-ton accumulated his first career double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds in 23 minutes to lead the Skyhawks.
Myles Taylor also added 14 points, while Tobias Dowdell amassed nine points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench.
The frontcourt trio helped UT Martin outrebound Southeast Missouri by a 46-40 margin.
A historic occasion took place midway through the first half as Mike Liabo became the 16th UTM player to record 1,000 career points.
The junior out of Naples, Fla. ended his evening with eight points.
The game also marked the return of redshirt sophomore Terence Smith, who tallied six points, three rebounds and an assist in 27 minutes off the bench for the Skyhawks.
Smith had been sidelined since the Nov. 11 game at Cincinnati because of an ankle injury.
Tyler Stone scored 23 points to lead Southeast Missouri, who also received 15 points and 14 rebounds from Nino Johnson.
“We came out engaged and focused, and that’s important for us,” UT Martin head coach Jason James said. “We were able to get out to a fast start then sputtered a little bit, but I thought we were ready to play from the opening tip. I didn’t think we were bad defensively, we just didn’t get enough stops in the second half. Good basketball is in us. Now we just need to be more consistent.”
The Skyhawks started the contest on a roll, jumping out to a 9-0 lead through the first 2:30.
UT Martin was able to take the early advantage thanks to a tenacious defensive effort that held SEMO without a field goal through the first 4:59.
A Dowdell layup off an inbounds play extended the Skyhawk lead out to 10 at the 12:55 mark.
UTM would push its advantage out to 21-6 when Liabo canned a step-back three-pointer to reach his milestone with 9:32 remaining in the opening half.
Southeast Missouri would chip away until the game was tied at 27-all with 44 seconds left in the half.
On UTM’s last possession of the first half, Dowdell converted an old-fashioned three-point play.
Published in The WCP 1.1.13