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Need To Know

UT Martin wins their first ever game against the Racers in Murray, after 22 straight losses. It’s only UTM’s third ever win over Murray State. With a win Saturday, the Skyhawks will be in next week’s OVC Tournament. Murray State has already locked the 2-seed as the West Division leader.

 

The Stats

 UT MartinMurray State
FG (%)21-50 (42.0%)20-52 (38.5%)
3FG (%)7-14 (50.0%)5-20 (25.0%)
FT (%)20-24 (83.3%)23-29 (79.3%)
REB (O/D)29 (6/23)36 (11/25)
AST/TURNOVER8/138/15

 

Top Performers:

Points: Isaiah Canaan – 31
Rebounds: Ed Daniel – 12
Assists: Five tied with 2

 

The Recap

The Tennessee Martin Skyhawks notched their first in 23 chances in Murray, as the Skyhawks led most of the way in the 69-68 win over the Murray State Racers. It was a team effort for the Skyhawks who were led by Mike Liabo who scored 20 points and was top of the 8 players that scored.

First half defense and accuracy from the field allowed the Skyhawks to grab a first half lead over the Racers. The half began with the Racers grabbing the 6-2 lead in the opening two minutes of play, but the Skyhawks would go on a 9-0 to grab a 11-6 lead capped off by a Liabo three.

After a small run that gave the Racers the 12-11 lead, their last of the game, the Skyhawks would erupt for a 22-7 run an eight plus minute stretch that saw the defense cause multiple turnovers. The Skyhawks were able to spread out the floor and use hot shooting from the behind the arc hitting 60% and 46% from the field. The Skyhawks were able to convert 9 Racer turnovers into 9 points as they took the 36-27 lead into the locker room on 46% shooting.

For the Racers the point was their only way of scoring in the first half as 16 of their 27 points were in the painted area with the deep shot going 0-9. The Racers size and length which should was a point of emphasis for the Racers showed as they kept working the ball inside but sloppy ball control during another bad first half doomed them.

The Racers typical second half comeback started with a 13-4 run to erase the Skyhawk advantage as the senior duo of Ed Daniel and Isaiah Canaan provided the points for the entire run. After the Racers tied it up at 40 the Skyhawks would rebound with a 13-5 and never relinquish the lead again.

With the Skyhawk lead at 55-47 Canaan would drain a pull up three that would spark a 9-2 run that seemed to swing the momentum in the Racers favor and close the deficit to just one. However the Skyhawks would battle back and get the lead to four before another Canaan three cut the lead to one once again at 60-59.

At 64-59 Myles Taylor would foul out but that would not be the doomsday scenario however as Liabo would get fouled on a three point shot after Daniel missed an opportunity to tie the game. Moments later it was Daniel on the line again with a chance to tie the game and the Racer center would once again miss the chance to tie it and leave the Racers chances at the line. B.J. McLaughlin would step to the line to ice the game, but missed them both however a long 30 foot jumper by Canaan would hit the back of the iron.

The Skyhawks remain alive and seem to look poised to make it the Nashville as the final seed. While it was a total team effort, it was the bench that provided the lift for the team as they scored 21. “Everyone answered the bell tonight. We just wanted them to fight and compete and continue to execute the gameplan,” head coach Jason James said.

For the Racers it was once again a tail of two halves but only player, Canaan, could find a basket from long range. The Racers shot 5-20 from deep with the point guard going 5-12 in the loss. While the senior duo of Daniel and Canaan combined for 50 points no other scorer was in double digits. The Racers won the rebounding battle and the paint battle but turnovers and the inability to hit shots early was troublesome. “We need to stop digging ourselves into these holes,” Canaan would say after the game. “When teams play their and we are average, we lose so we need to maintain our consistency.”

What’s Being Said

What, no thanks for Murray? They contributed too…in their own way

 

Perplexing is as good a word as any:

 

Okay, true. But the goal was to keep them at zero:

 


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OVC Ball
Compiling all OVC non-conference games

2016 Football Standings

OVC Overall
Jacksonville State 7-0 10-2
UT Martin 6-2 7-5
Tennessee Tech 5-3 5-6
Tennessee State 4-3 7-4
Eastern Illinois 4-4 6-5
Murray State 4-4 4-7
SEMO 3-5 3-8
Eastern Kentucky 2-6 3-8
Austin Peay 0-8 0-11


2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVC Overall

EAST

Belmont 15-1 23-7
Morehead State 10-6 14-16
Jacksonville State 9-7 20-15
Tennessee State 8-8 17-13
Tennessee Tech 8-8 12-20
Eastern Kentucky 5-11 12-19

WEST

UT Martin 10-6 22-13
SEMO 9-7 15-18
Murray State 8-8 16-17
Austin Peay 7-9 11-19
Eastern Illinois 6-10 14-15
SIUE 1-15 6-24


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