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Skyhawks finally win at Murray

Skyhawks finally win at Murray

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 12:00 pm

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — According to Steve Prohm, there was only one word to describe Murray State’s performance against UT Martin on Thursday night.
Unacceptable. 
“It’s unacceptable,” the Murray State coach said. “Unacceptable for me, unacceptable for them, my staff, it’s just unacceptable.”
Mike Liabo scored 20 points and Myles Taylor added 15 to lead UTM to a 69-68 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Murray State on Thursday night. It marked just the fourth win in 46 meetings for the Skyhawks and was the first in 23 games at Murray.
After the Skyhawks (9-19, 5-10) led 33-19 with 4:35 left until halftime, the Racers (20-8, 10-5) battled back for a 40-40 tie with 14:46 remaining but were unable to gain the lead.
Murray State got within a point five times in the final 61⁄2 minutes, but UT Martin held on and kept alive its hopes for a berth in the conference tournament.
“We’re very capable, and that’s probably the most frustrating thing as a coach,” Prohm said. “I told them in (the locker room), I hate this feeling because I love those guys. That’s what I’m most sick about because I want them to experience something special. But you’ve got to get it done to do that.”
The Skyhawks shot 42 percent (21-of-50) from the floor, including 50 percent (7-of-14) from 3-point range while holding Murray State to 38.5 percent (20-of-52) shooting, including 25 percent (5-of-20) from the perimeter.
“I’m just proud of our guys,” UTM coach Jason James said. “We had a game plan going in and I thought we executed.
“We wanted them to take tough shots, we know they’re a good team and we know it would be hard to stop them, but I thought our guys did a good job staying consistent and continuing to stick with the game plan and stay together. That’s kind of been a problem this year, our inconsistency. We continued to fight.”
With 21 points coming from the bench, the Skyhawks proved unstoppable. 
“Everybody answered the bell,” James said. “When their number was called, they came into the game and they competed. They did what they were supposed to do. We didn’t ask for anything great off the bench, we just wanted them to fight, compete, continue to rebound and, again, continue to execute our game plan, continue to do what we’ve been practicing.”
Isaiah Canaan had 31 points for the Racers.
“That (game outcome) was very unexpected,” Canaan said. “We dug ourselves a hole too much and, shoot, the way this year’s been going we can’t do that. We knew they were going to be trying to fight because they’re trying to work their way into the tournament, but we dug ourselves a hole tonight.”
After the Racers got on the board first, UT Martin took over. With 7:24 left in the half, the Skyhawks led 21-17, and they increased their margin to 30-19 on Dee Oldham’s 3-pointer with just over 5 minutes remaining.
Liabo’s second trey gave UT Martin a 14-point lead, its biggest against Murray State in more than 11 years, and the Skyhawks led 36-27 at halftime. The Racers were 0-for-9 on 3-pointers in the first half, while UTM made 6-of-10.
Coming out of the break Canaan made his first 3 of the game to bring the Racers within seven points less than a minute into the second half.
A 7-0 run that included two baskets by Canaan, a Brandon Garrett layup and another trey by Canaan tied the game at 40 with 14:41 on the clock.
UTM once again found the range. A Terrence Smith triple, followed by a Justin Childs floater, took the Skyhawks to a 53-45 lead with 10:38 remaining.
Murray State got back into it and called a timeout with three minutes on the clock, but coming out of the huddle, Canaan missed a 3-point attempt that would have tied the game.
Ed Daniel’s layup and free throw with 2:13 left made it a two-point game, 64-62, and took UT Martin’s Taylor out of the game with his fifth foul.
But Daniel, who ended the game with 19 points and 12 rebounds, was unable to connect on either of two free throws 33 seconds later that could have tied the game.
Published in The WCP 3.5.13

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