Skyhawk Irarrazabal spells double trouble for SEMO

Skyhawk Irarrazabal spells double trouble for SEMO
Andres Irarrazabal led seven UT Martin double-figure scorers on Thursday as the senior forward notched his first career double-double with career-highs of 15 points and 11 rebounds to boost the Skyhawks to a 79-69 victory over the Southeast Missouri.
Irarrazabal, who ironically set his previous career-high in points against Southeast Missouri in the Elam Center on Feb. 9 of last season, was nearly perfect from the floor, making six of his seven attempts. He added three free throws, an assist and a block in 26 minutes.
All seven UT Martin players who attempted a shot scored, as Troy King, Terence Smith, Benzor Simmons and Mike Liabo each netted 11 points.
Reuben Clayton and Dane Smith pitched in 10 points apiece in a remarkable sign of steadiness for the Skyhawks (6-14, 2-7 OVC), who have now won back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference games.
Marland Smith tallied a game-high 29 points to lead Southeast Missouri (5-14, 4-5 OVC), while Lucas Nutt (12 points) and Anthony Allison also reached double-figures. Leon Powell, who scored 36 points in UT Martin’s early season loss in Cape Girardeau, scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds while blocking seven shots.
Aside from the balance on display from the upstart Skyhawks, UT Martin head coach Jason James thought his team’s discipline on the offensive end was a big factor tonight.
“I thought we did a great job of sharing the basketball,” James said. “The thing that sticks out to me is that we had 17 assists to 10 turnovers — that is by far the best we have taken care of the ball this year. We played nine guys and seven of them scored double-figures. We didn’t shoot a great percentage but we were taking good shots, we were able to get some layups and we made our free throws.
“It was just a great team effort tonight.”
Irarrazabal helped the Skyhawks jump out to an early lead, as he scored the game’s first two field goals while UT Martin’s defense held the Redhawks to three missed shots and a turnover in the game’s first 2:30.
Back-to-back layups by Dane Smith and another layup by Irarrazabal at the 13:16 mark gave the Skyhawks their first 10 points of the game off layups.
Marland Smith scored on consecutive trips down the floor to give Southeast Missouri a 13-12 advantage with 12:42 to play in the first half, but King sank a jumper in the paint on the Skyhawks’ next possession to wrestle the lead back in UT Martin’s favor. Marland Smith drained a three-pointer to put the Redhawks up by three near the midway point of the first half, but the Skyhawks used a 9-2 run capped off by a Liabo trey to go back ahead 26-22.
The Skyhawks welcome Eastern Illinois to the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center on Saturday.
Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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