By RANDY CAVIN
Special to The Messenger
UT Martin men did something Saturday night they have not done since Feb. 24, 2011 — win an Ohio Valley Conference game.
The Skyhawks ended a 20-game skid in the OVC when Myles Taylor hit a pair of free throws with one-10th of a second left on the clock in overtime to defeat Austin Peay 76-74.
Meanwhile, visiting Murray State made the most of what UT Martin women’s team gave them on defense to hand the Skyhawks a rare Ohio Valley Conference loss at home in thhe early game Saturday.
The 72-62 defeat was UTM’s first conference home loss in nearly three years.
The last time UTM (6-10, 1-1) lost a home conference game at home was on Jan. 16, 2010, when Jacksonville State beat the Skyhawks 63-55 — a streak of 24 home wins without a loss.
UTM’s women host Austin Peay tonight at 5:30, while the men visit Tennessee State on Thursday.
UTM 76, APSU 74 (M)
Taylor went up for a defensive rebound and was fouled by Austin Peay’s Chris Horton with 0:00.1 showing on the clock and the score tied 74-74. Taylor hit the first the free throw shot and waved his arms high in the air to get the Skyhawks fans involved.
The crowd responded by cheering for Taylor and the rest of the Skyhawks.
Mike Liabo kept the Skyhawks (4-12, 1-3) in the game during the overtime period with a 3-pointer that gave the Skyhawks a 72-71 lead with 1:01 to play.
He attempted another 3-point shot with UTM down 74-72 with 15 seconds to play and was fouled on his attempt. Liabo made 2-of-3 shots to tie the game at 74-74.
“I just had to stay tough, and my team needed me,” Liabo said. “I just wanted to execute down the stretch. We were down the whole game and just kept fighting. We did not give up. We knew if we kept battling for the offensive rebounds that we would be there.”
Liabo led the Skyhawks with 21 points and went 5-of-11 from 3-point range. Before the game, he was awarded a basketball with his name on it for joining the 1,000-point club, having reached that mark against Southeast Missouri on Dec. 29.
UTM outrebounded the Governors 44-32 overall and 22-6 on the offensive end. Taylor had a career-high 13 rebounds to go with his 19 points.
Tobias Dowdell had nine rebounds with some big putbacks to help keep UTM in the game.
MSU 63, UTM 55 (W)
The Racers (8-4, 1-1) had five players to score in double-figures with senior guard Mariah Robinson scoring a game-high 26 points.
The Murray State guard was not intimidated by UTM’s pressure defense in the second half as she scored 19 of her 26 points in the second half.
None of the MSU players were too intimidated by UTM’s press as they got the ball down court and set up for some easy baskets, including six 3-pointers in the second half.
Freshman guard Erika Sisk scored 16 points for the Racers. Keiona Kirby scored 12 points off the bench, and Bianca Babic scored 10 points coming off the bench.
Murray State’s bench outscored UTM 22-12.
Jasmine Newsome led UTM in scoring with 25 points and also led in rebounds with eight. Heather Butler scored 19, and Rickiesha Bryant added 10 points and six rebounds.
Katie Schubert, Shelby Crawford and Sydney Vanlandingham all fouled out of the game as foul trouble haunted the Skyhawks all night.
Murray State made 25-of-39 attempts at the line, while the Skyhawks made 11-of-16.
Published in The Messenger 1.7.13