UTM men save best for last in comeback
Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 12:00 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
The UT Martin men’s basketball team saw a close game turn into a 10-point margin in the second half and then a close game again as the Skyhawks rallied for a 65-63 win over Kennesaw State (1-7).
It looked like it was going to be another one of those games for the Skyhawks (3-5) with eight minutes left to play and a 10-point deficit.
With five minutes to play, the Skyhawks were still down by nine points.
Then, the Skyhawks took over and went on a 15-4 run with Justin Childs scoring the winning basket on a layup with two seconds remaining.
The Owls were getting the best of UTM with points in the paint until Miles Taylor hit a layup with a 1:14 to play.
UT Martin scored six points in the paint during the closing moments of the game culminating with Childs’ game-winning layup.
“I think we got back to who we are by attacking,” Skyhawks head coach Jason James said. “There are some guys who think they are really good shooters so we stand outside and settle for jump shots. That is not who we are. Our game is attacking the ball in the paint.”
Taylor had the game-high in points with 20 on 8-of-12 shooting and 4-of-5 from the line. Mike Liabo scored 14 points, his 3-pointer with 1:59 to play making it a 61-58 game. Childs scored 12 points and hit 2-of-5 3-pointers.
James gave credit to his team for not caving in, but he was especially impressed with the play of Kristen Taylor for creating scoring opportunities for the Skyhawks.
“I think what put the spark in us was Kristen Taylor creating those shots,” James said. “Kristen has not played a lot at this point. He was able to get to the paint and make plays. When he did that, the guys kind of got amped up a little bit.”
Taylor led all players with 10 assists.
The game was tied 13 times with seven lead changes. The Skyhawks biggest lead was six with 15:49 to play in the game. The Owls went on a 10-point run when the game was tied at 47 with 11:40 to play.
UTM’s defense decided to step up once the Owls built up that 10-point lead and got the Owls out of their rhythm. That allowed the Skyhawks to creep back in and set up the game-winning shot by Childs.
“We go through lulls in a basketball game where we do not do anything,” James said. “Then we got back to who we are and started guarding, rebounding and then we got back in the game.”
Markeith Cummings led the Owls with 19 points followed by Aaron Anderson with 15.
UTM hits the road on Wednesday to take on Central Arkansas (2-3). Published in The WCP 12.4.12