Redhawks soar past Skyhawks
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 14:02
With an impressive offensive showing, the Southeastern Missouri Redhawks downed the UTM Skyhawks 96-74.
The Skyhawks came into the game still trying to throw their name into the hat for the upcoming Ohio Valley Conference tournament. However, with SEMO putting themselves in position to compete for second in west division and the Skyhawks falling down to fifth in the west, the team has put themselves in position for an uphill battle.
The Redhawks struck first to give themselves an early 3-0 lead and within five minutes they would be up 16-6 but UTM quickly pulled within reach. With under 10 minutes to play in the first half a layup from sophomore forward Myles Taylor would leave the Skyhawks only down by a score of 22-19. The Redhawks would respond with a 15-0 run and coast to the half with a lead of 50-30.
The two teams would go back-and-forth scoring at the start of the second half but once again the Redhawks stayed on top by reaching a game high 27 point lead with 17:38 left in the game. With the RedHawks building a seemingly insurmountable lead junior guard Mike Liabo hit back-to-back 3-point shots to give the Skyhawks their first taste of momentum since the first half. They would pull within 11 points but SEMO continued to pile on points by closing out the game with a brief 5-0 run with less than a minute left.
Sophomore guard Terence Smith led the team with a career-high 26 points, five rebounds, and one assist.
"I thought Terence was very aggressive, which is a good thing," said coach James. "I thought he was trying to attack the rim, trying to make stuff happen, and he was looking to shoot a little more than in past games, and we needed him to."
Liabo tallied 15 points, one assist and two rebounds. Taylor, who is trying to become the first sophomore since 2000 to end the season in the top-five in both scoring and rebounding, finished with 11 points, a team-high nine rebounds and one assist. Freshman forward BJ McLaughlin had came off the bench to have a career high 10 points and two rebounds.
"[McLaughlin] made some shots. He's got to rebound better, two rebounds is no going to get it. I thought he played well. When we needed a couple baskets in the first half he was able to make them to try and keep us close until it got away from us at the end of the first half," said James.
This was UTM's last conference game at home this season. They have three left in their last four games of the season.
"We've dug ourselves a hole," James said. "I don't know if we can get in or not. We've got to definitely play better than we did tonight, and we'll see what happens."
The Skyhawks will travel to Tennessee Tech to take on the Golden Eagles on Thursday, Feb. 21. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. To follow the game, follow The Pacer on Facebook and Twitter, @thepacer.