Murray again a nightmare for UTM men

Murray again a nightmare for UTM men
Murray again a nightmare for UTM men

Aubrey Reedy passes during Saturday’s UT Martin women’s victory.
MURRAY — There’s “something about Mary.”
Make that Murray.
Be it Community Financial Services Bank Center or old Racer Arena, the UT Martin men’s program continues to find the home of Murray State to be a House of Horrors with nary a win in now-21 games on the court of its closest regional rival.
The latest loss — a 92-75 setback Saturday night — came when MSU shot a blistering 11-for-12 from 3-point range in the first half on its way to a commanding 53-31 halftime edge.
Isaiah Canaan made four of those long-range shots, while both Isacc Miles and B.J. Jenkins each dropped three bombs on the Skyhawks, who saw their four-game winning streak snapped.
Murray State established a new season-high for made treys in the first half and ended up shooting 72.2 percent (13-of-18) from outside the circle for the game.
The UT Martin women, meanwhile, were on the right side of history with freshman Jaclissa Haislip establishing new school marks for made 3-pointers (8) and attempts (19) as the Skyhawks pulled away for an 86-64 triumph in Game 1.
UTM (13-8) won for the eighth time in 10 Ohio Valley Conference games to remain in a tie for second place, a game behind league-leading Tennessee Tech in notching its second victory of the year against the Lady Racers (6-15, 2-8).
The Skyhawk teams play a pair of OVC road games this week — at Austin Peay Thursday and at Tennessee State on Saturday.
MSU 92, UTM 75 (M)
“We lost this game on Thursday when our focus in practice was horrible,” UT Martin head coach Jason James said while also bemoaning the Skyhawks’ many lopsided losses in Murray in his nine-year tenure on the UTM staff.
“We started buying into the hype of winning four in a row, and that’s how we practiced. Hype doesn’t win games. We weren’t much better on Friday or during our shootaround this morning. A lot of that I attribute to having so many freshmen.
“We didn’t play well at all in the first half, and you couple that with the fact that Murray shot lights-out, and we were out of it by the half.”
Canaan was 6-for-6 from outside the 3-point line and finished with a game-high 24 points to become the first Murray State player to eclipse the 20-point mark in a game all season. The Racers were the last Division I team in the country to have a 20-point scorer.
Miles totaled 19 and both Jenkins and Donte Poole added 11 points each for MSU (15-6, 7-3), the league’s preseason favorite that is now in second place behind Austin Peay.
The Racers were just 8-of-17 from 2-point range in the first half, far below the 91.7 percent they shot from beyond the arc.
Murray had runs of 14-1 and 9-1 in the opening 20 minutes when it led by as many as 24 points.
UTM (8-15, 3-8) did not fold its tent, however, and got as close as 13 (88-75) in the waning moments on Troy King’s only bucket — a 3-pointer.
Terence Smith and Benzor Simmons had 17 points each to pace the Skyhawks, with Reuben Clayton accounting for 16.
UT Martin was no slouch itself from 3-point land, hitting half of its 18 attempt with Smith and Clayton connecting three times apiece.
UTM 86, MSU 64 (W)
With the usual high-scoring backcourt tandem of Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome struggling offensively (9-of-28, 28 combined points), the freshman trio of Haislip, Aubrey Reedy and Perica Glenn all turned in career-best performances — and in some cases school-record efforts — to help the Skyhawks to their fourth straight win.
The made-14 3-pointers marked the third time this season that UT Martin had made that many shots from the perimeter, equaling a school mark.
Haislip finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds — both totals her best on the collegiate level.
Reedy, an ex-Obion County and Gibson County prep standout, scored 15 points, also a career high in her first start since early in the season.
Glenn provided UTM with a solid post presence — especially in the second half — scoring 11 points and hauling down seven rebounds in 19 minutes.
Ahead just 48-47 at the midway point of the second half, the Skyhawks put together their best offensive stretch of an otherwise subpar outing with a 38-17 flurry.
Haislip and Reedy canned three 3-pointers apiece during that stretch with Reedy also sinking 4-of-4 foul shots.
Both teams struggled miserably from the field in the first half, shooting 31 percent.
Neither led by more than five points and there were eight lead changes in the first 20 minutes, the last via Moriah Robinson’s 23-footer with five seconds left before the intermission that gave the Lady Racers a slim 35-33 advantage.
Robinson finished with a game-high 25 points for MSU.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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