November 26, 2017

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MARTIN, Tenn. – UMKC hit nine of its 14 three-pointers in the opening 20 minutes as the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team could not recover in a 65-55 loss at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.

The Skyhawks (1-5) were led in scoring by senior guard Kahari Beaufort, who tied a career-high with 15 points in 30 minutes off the bench. He was the only UT Martin player to reach double-figures in the scoring column although Darius Thompson (nine points, four rebounds, four assists), Fatodd Lewis (eight points, career-high 13 rebounds), Lorenzen Wright, Jr. (eight points) and Matthew Butler (seven points) provided the Skyhawks with a balanced scoring attack.

Isaiah Ross accounted for seven of the Kangaroos’ treys on his way to a game-high 27 points for UMKC (3-5), who came into the contest ranked eighth nationally in three-point field goals made. Xavier Bishop added nine points, six assists, five rebounds, two steals and a block for the Kangaroos, who connected on an even 50 percent (14-of-28) of their attempts from three-point range.

“I was really disappointed in our effort for the whole game,” UT Martin head coach Anthony Stewart said. “I thought toward the end of the second half, we had some guys come in and play hard but at the end of the day, that’s unacceptable to play like that in front of our home fans. We don’t make any excuses. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror right now – we have some things we need to fix and we have to get it together soon.”

A three-ball from Butler got the Skyhawks on the scoreboard on the team’s first possession of the game. After a pair of Parrish Hewitt free throws pulled UT Martin within a single point at 6-5, UMKC went on a 10-0 run to take its first double-digit advantage of the contest.

Thompson scored the first five points of an 8-0 Skyhawk run that closed UT Martin’s gap down to just four points (19-15) at the 10:46 mark of the first half.

A little over five minutes later, the Kangaroos were able to go back ahead by double-figures. UMKC led by as many 18 points in the first half before Thompson laid in a reverse layup to beat the halftime buzzer and make the score 43-27.

Beaufort’s eight points guided the Skyhawks as UT Martin grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Ross tallied 16 points for a Kangaroo squad who shot 64.3 percent (9-for-14) from beyond the three-point arc.

Ross opened the second half with a three-pointer but the Skyhawks answered with a 7-0 surge as Butler (layup), Lewis (three-pointer) and Beaufort (layup) helped UT Martin whittle its deficit to 12 points with 16:31 to go.

UMKC answered with a 10-2 run to go on top by a 56-36 margin with 11 minutes to play. The Skyhawks concluded the game on a 15-3 run over the final 4:38 but it wasn’t enough to make a comeback.

UT Martin goes back on the road for its next three games, starting with a Wednesday, Nov. 29 matchup at LSU. Tipoff from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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