Skyhawks fall to Eagles in OVC tournament
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 02:03
The Skyhawks date in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament didn't go quite as planned as they fell to Morehead State 73-66.
In what was a very close game late into the second half, the Eagles of Morehead State not only out-scored, but out-rebounded their way to a win. Rebounding has been an issue for UTM all season and that issue was on full display in their OVC tournament opener as they were out-rebounded by the Eagles 46-23.
"I think that was the difference in the game," said Coach James following the loss. "We were a little under-manned in the post. Our guys fought as best they could, but those guys are relentless on the glass. When you get 21 offensive rebounds those are extra opportunities for them."
Those extra opportunities were tough for the Skyhawks to come as they only managed six offensive rebounds.
Despite losing sophomore forward Myles Taylor to injury the game before, the Skyhawks made it a competitive game that featured nine lead changes, but all of those were in the first half.
"I thought we were hungry," said James. "I thought we wanted to win. I thought we were excited to be here and excited to play. I think there's a big difference between happy to be here and wanting to play and I thought our guys wanted to play."
UTM proved their hunger by starting off with a quick 3-point shot from junior guard Mike Liabo, but they weren't able to sustain that momentum.
The Eagles would take a 36-30 lead to halftime and continue to hold off UTM keeping their lead throughout the entire second half.
The Skyhawks stalled in the second half by going more than seven minutes without a field goal. At the end of that stretch the Eagles were on top 62-47, and while the Skyhawks would slowly find their rhythm again, it would be too little too late.
Liabo led the team with 24 points, which included a career-high 10 free throws, two rebounds and two steals. Senior forward Jeremy Washington had 12 points, a time-high five rebounds and a career-high three blocks. Junior guard Justin Childs finished the game with eight points, three rebounds, two assist and three steals.
While the men's season is now over the girls basketball team will take on Eastern Kentucky Thursday, March 7, at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium as they begin their play in the OVC tournament. Tipoff is set for noon. To keep up with the game, follow The Pacer on Facebook and Twitter, @ThePacer.