MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team boasted four players in double-figures in the scoring column tonight but it wasn’t enough as the Skyhawks dropped a 79-67 decision to Kansas City out of the Western Athletic Conference.
UT Martin led by as many as six points well into the first half but the Kangaroos would take a 16-point lead with less than three minutes to go before the half. The Skyhawks sliced their deficit to one point midway through the second half and only trailed by two points with 3:59 remaining until Kansas City ended the contest on a 10-0 run.
Terence Smith led UT Martin (1-5) with 14 points tonight while Myles Taylor added 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Dee Oldham (11 points, five rebounds) and Marshun Newell (11 points, six assists, five rebounds) also paced the Skyhawks this evening.
Kansas City (1-3) was led by Fred Chatmon (game-high 12 rebounds) and Martez Harrison, who each compiled 20 points. Frank Williams, Jr. and Nelson Kirksey scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, to round out the double-digit scorers for the Kangaroos, who shot 58 percent for the game (29-for-50).
“The bottom line is that we missed too many layups and couldn’t generate enough stops to win the game,” Skyhawk head coach Jason James said. “We had it down to one point and had a missed layup. We were down by three points and threw the ball out-of-bounds. We just didn’t do the things necessary to win a basketball game today.”
The Skyhawks held a lead for the first 9:39 of the game, pushing its lead out to six when Oldham canned a three-pointer at the 12:42 mark and again when Justin Childs made a layup with 11:53 remaining in the first half.
After a 7-0 Kansas City run gave the Kangaroos their first lead of the game, a layup by Smith tilted the advantage back in UT Martin’s favor (19-18) with 10:01 to go before the halftime break.
The Kangaroos would soon reclaim the lead and eventually use a 10-0 run to lead 34-23 at the 4:20 mark. A Taylor free throw ended the drought for the Skyhawks but Kansas City would take its biggest lead of the game (40-24) with 2:37 left to play in the first half.
Taylor scored four points during a 6-2 UT Martin run to close out the first half with the score 42-30.
Harrison (10 points) and Oldham (eight points) led their respective teams at the break.
The Skyhawks came out of the locker room on a mission in the second half, reeling off a 17-1 run in the first 4:32 of the second half. Kansas City led by seven points until UT Martin posted a 7-1 run to pull within a single point at 55-54 with 10:49 to go.
The Kangaroos would soon go on an 8-2 run to lead 67-58 at the 6:12 mark. The Skyhawks answered right back with seven unanswered points over a span of 57 seconds to once again pull within one possession at 69-67 with 3:59 remaining.
However, Kansas City’s game-ending run ended the Skyhawk comeback attempt.
UT Martin continues its four-game homestand with a matchup against Jackson State out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference on Friday, Nov. 22. Tipoff time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.