|UTM men’s basketball takes No. 15 Vandy to the wire |
NASHVILLE — Lester Hudson and Gerald Robinson combined for 61 of UT Martin’s 85 points Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gym as the visiting Skyhawks gave No. 15 Vanderbilt a battle down to the final horn.
Impact performance — Skyhawk Gerald Robinson pitched in 25 points and was a rebound short of recording a double-double in UT Martin’s 92-85 road loss to the No. 15 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday. File photo
Vanderbilt made 6-of-8 free throws in the final 1:27 of the game and claimed a 92-85 victory over UT Martin.
“I thought we had an opportunity to win,” said Bret Campbell, UT Martin’s head coach.
“We had our chances at the end. But I was proud of the way our guys competed, and I was especially happy with the way we came out in the second half,” Campbell said.
“Maybe (Vanderbilt) eased off a bit because of the (halftime) lead, but we really came out with energy and played hard. I’m obviously disappointed (in the loss).”
UT Martin, which trailed at the half 51-39, opened the second half with a 10-0 run fueled by Robinson and Hudson. Robinson scored the first seven points of the half and Hudson added a 3-pointer with 18:18 to play in the game. Hudson’s 3-pointer cut Vanderbilt’s lead to two points, 51-49.
Hudson managed to tie the game, 54-54, when he made a layup with 12:21 to play. The game was also tied at 72, 74, 76 and 83. Vanderbilt took an 86-83 lead when Shan Foster knocked down a 3-pointer with 3:10 to play.
Robinson cut the Vanderbilt lead to one point, 86-85, with a dunk with 2:43 remaining. The Skyhawks were forced to foul down the stretch and Vanderbilt made 6-of-8 free throws in the final 1:27 to remain undefeated (12-0).
With the loss, UT Martin falls to 5-8 on the year. The Skyhawks return to action tonight (Thursday) when they host Ohio Valley Conference rival Austin Peay in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Robinson finished the game with 25 points and nine rebounds, while Hudson tied his career-high with 36 points and nine rebounds.
“I thought Gerald (Robinson) was a big difference today,” Campbell said. “It was the first time we’ve had a full compliment of players. It was Gerald’s first time back after missing four games. He gave us a big lift, hit some big shots for us and just played a solid game.”
Vanderbilt was led by freshman A.J. Ogilvy with 21 points and nine rebounds. Foster added 16 points, while Alex Gordon tossed in 15 points.
“I’m not too pleased with how we played today, especially on defense,” said Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt’s head coach.
“UT Martin made some tough shots. On some of their shots, we were badly out of position, but they made some shots with hands in their faces and we knew they were capable of it,” Stallings said.
“Our defensive intensity was fine, but our execution just wasn’t what we wanted. There’s not a lot for us to be pleased with right now.”
Vanderbilt forced UT Martin to turn the ball over 21 times and out-scored the Skyhawks 40-16 on points off turnovers.
Vanderbilt also cashed in at the free-throw line where it made 24-of-30 attempts. UT Martin made 14-of-18 free throws. Freshman Marquis Weddle led the way for UT Martin by making all seven of his free throw attempts. Ogilvy led the way for Vanderbilt. He made all nine of his attempts from the line.
Vanderbilt shot 39 percent from the field in the game, while UT Martin shot 49 percent from the field.
The game was tied eight times and the lead changed 11 times. UT Martin enjoyed its last lead of the game with 3:53 to play, 81-80, when Hudson hit a 3-pointer.