November 29, 2017

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BATON ROUGE, La. – The backcourt duo of Matthew Butler and Darius Thompson combined to score over half of the University of Tennessee at Martin’s points this evening but the Skyhawk men’s basketball team fell by an 84-60 margin at LSU.

Butler tossed in 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting while also handing out five assists for UT Martin (1-6). Thompson accumulated a career-high 16 points – half of which came via an 8-for-10 effort from the charity stripe – to go along with three assists and two steals to round out the double-figure scorers for the Skyhawks.

Fatodd Lewis led UT Martin in rebounding for the sixth straight game with nine boards while Jailen Gill (eight points, eight rebounds, two blocks, two steals) nearly came away with a double-double. Delfincko Bogan chipped in with eight points off the bench for a UT Martin squad that committed 18 turnovers in the contest.

LSU (4-2) received a game-high 18 points out of Skylar Mays while Duop Reath and Daryl Edwards each scored 15 points apiece. Tremont Waters added eight points, 10 assists and four steals for the Tigers, who connected on 50 percent (31-for-62) of their field goal tries.

“We played spotty,” Skyhawk head coach Anthony Stewart said. “We had a lead and a lot of enthusiasm early but then a couple of our guys picked up some quick fouls and we just went downhill with our energy and our focus. We still have to find ourselves offensively and we can’t give up 29 points off turnovers to any team – much less a good LSU team that we faced tonight.”

A Lewis jumper a little under two minutes into the game provided UT Martin with its first lead of the game. Layups by Kahari Beaufort and Gill preceded a Butler jumper at the 15:56 mark that made the score 9-4 in favor of the Skyhawks.

The Tigers followed with the next six points of the contest to go back on top by a 10-9 margin. The score stayed within one possession until LSU went on a 10-0 run to go ahead 23-12 at the 6:26 mark.

Just 10 seconds later, Butler knocked down a jumper to end UT Martin’s scoring drought but the Tigers responded with 13 of the next 17 points. Thompson secured seven of the Skyhawks’ final eight points of the first half but LSU claimed a 41-24 lead at the halftime intermission.

Thompson’s eight points led the way for UT Martin in the first half while LSU’s Mays had a game-high 16 points at the break.

Thompson nailed a free throw at the 19:46 mark to open the scoring in the second half but the Tiger lead soon expanded to 45-25.

A three-point barrage quickly got the Skyhawks right back in the game, as Butler, Bogan and Thompson swished trifectas on three straight possessions to cut UT Martin’s deficit to 52-40 with a little under 13 minutes to play.

However, LSU followed with a 7-0 run and the Skyhawks would not get any closer than 17 points the rest of the way.

UT Martin continues its three-game road trip with a rare visit to in-state rival Chattanooga on Saturday, Dec. 2. The two squads will tangle for the first time since 1983 at McKenzie Arena at 4 p.m. CST.

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