UT men start strong while Lady Vols bounce back; bad start for UTM
Posted: Monday, November 12, 2012 7:00 pm
From AP, staff reports
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Jordan McRae and Skylar McBee led a balanced Tennessee attack with 14 points each as the Volunteers defeated Kennesaw State 76-67 Friday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Tennessee led by as many as 27 points midway through the second half, but the Owls battled back down the stretch. But the Volunteers went 13 of 19 from the free-throw line in the second half to put the game away.
The Owls could not slow down the Volunteers, who seemed to hit nearly every shot they took.
Tennessee shot 60.5 percent from the field, including 70.8 percent in the first half, while holding Kennesaw State 46.2 percent for the contest.
McRae came off the bench to shoot 5 of 7 from the field, including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said he considers McRae a starter because of the junior guard’s ability to provide an immediate impact on the offensive end of the court.
“If that’s going to be my role then I’m going to embrace it,” McRae said. “Coming off the bench, I’m just trying to be a spark for our team. If our team comes out flat, I’m going to try and be a spark.”
Kenny Hall scored 13 and Jarnell Stokes added 10 for the Vols. It was Tennessee’s 14th consecutive season-opening victory.
Delbert Love and Aaron Anderson led Kennesaw State with 16 points each.
Tennessee ended the first half on an 8-2 run to take a 42-30 lead, its largest of the half.
The run seemed to knock the wind out of the Owls.
Kennesaw State stumbled out of the gate to start the second half. The Owls did not make a basket the first six minutes until a Love jumper ended the drought. But Tennessee had extended its lead to 54-33 with 13:45 remaining in the game.
Kennesaw’s Markeith Cummings who entered the game 81 points shy of becoming the Owls’ all-time leading scorer, finished with six points on 2-of-8 shooting. He was held scoreless until a lay-in at the 10:59 mark of the second half.
“When a team’s down like that, they’ve really got nothing to lose so sometimes it’s hard to defend that,” said McBee. “In the second half, we’ve just got to do a better job of cutting down on mental mistakes, boxing out and making shots from the free-throw line.”
But the Owls didn’t quit.
An Anderson layup with 7:54 left in the game culminated a 13-2 Owls run that cut the Vols lead to 63-47.
Then Tennessee went on a drought of its own and didn’t have a field goal the final 3:09 of the game — and had just two baskets over the game’s final 11 minutes.
Still, the Vols managed hold onto a double-figure lead the entire second half until a Nigel Brown lay-in with nine seconds left ended the scoring.
Cincinnati 80, UTM 57
CINCINNATI (AP) — Jeremy Washington, who scored 10 points in Tennessee-Martin’s season-opening 84-69 loss at Arkansas-Little Rock on Friday, led the Skyhawks (0-2) with 15 points. Myles Taylor and Mike Liabo each had 12 points while Justin Childs chipped in with 10.
Cashmere Wright scored 16 points and Sean Kilpatrick added 14 for Cincinnati.
Eleven different players scored for Cincinnati. The Bearcats dominated inside, leading 54-31 in rebounds, paced by Justin Jackson’s game-high 11.
The Bearcats also blocked 10 shots and limited the Skyhawks to 28 percent shooting overall.
UALR 84, UTM 68
Little Rock natives Myles Taylor and Jeremy Washington combined for exactly half of UT Martin’s points, but the Skyhawks dropped an 84-68 decision to Arkansas-Little Rock in the 2012-13 season opener Friday.
Taylor finished with a game-high 24 points for UTM, while Washington tallied 10 points in 16 minutes off the bench. The duo, playing in front of about 50 members of family and friends, helped the Skyhawks lead by five points late in the first half and get within five points with under 4:30 remaining in the game before the Trojans closed out the game on a 16-5 run.
Terence Smith also cracked double-figures with 10 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds for the Skyhawks, who hit 84.6 percent of their free throw attempts (21-for-24).
Tennessee 71 Ga. Tech 54
ATLANTA (AP) — Tennessee’s second game without head coach Pat Summitt went a whole lot better than the first when the No. 20 Lady Volunteers muscled up and beat No. 22 Georgia Tech 71-54 Sunday to spoil the Yellow Jackets’ debut in their sparkling new arena.
The visitors showed up angry after falling flat 80-71 Friday night at Chattanooga in the first game since Summitt stepped down after announcing that she has early-onset dementia. Freshman Bashaara Graves scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Lady Vols (1-1), and fellow forward Cierra Burdick added 16 points to give coach Holly Warlick her first win.
Summitt sat near the Tennessee bench in Chattanooga, but was not at Georgia Tech for the first women’s game in McCamish Pavilion.
Her former team returned to form Sunday. The Lady Vols charged to a 45-30 lead by halftime, weathered Georgia Tech’s 13-0 start in the second half and then ripped off an 18-0 streak to put the game away.
Chatt. 80, Tennessee 71
CHATTANOOGA (AP) — The Lady Vols began the post-Summitt era Friday with a stunning 80-71 loss at Chattanooga
“That’s just the nature of this game and the nature of our schedule,” said Tennessee coach Holly Warlick, who stumbled out of the gate in her head coaching debut after spending the last 27 seasons as an assistant on Summitt’s staff. “It’s extremely hard. With five new players, it is what it is. There’s nothing we can do about it. We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.”
Northwestern 79, UTM 69
Junior guards Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome combined for 50 points but it wasn’t enough for UT Martin women’s basketball team to knock off host Northwestern Friday night. The Wildcats claimed a 79-69 victory.
Butler netted 26 points, while Newsome scored two dozen points. Butler made 5 3-pointers.
Northwestern, from the Big Ten, jumped out to a 37-28 lead at halftime, but the Skyhawks battled back in the second half.
With 13:08 to play in the game, UT Martin built a 3-point lead, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Northwestern.
Northwestern was led by Maggie Lyon with 21 points and Kendall Hackney with 20 points. Dannielle Diamant tossed in 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
The Skyhawks will return to action tonight, when they host Arkansas State.
Tipoff is 7 p.m.
Published in The Messenger 11.12.12