Skyhawks defeat UNC Asheville to advance in CIT

The UTM men’s basketball team hosted their first ever College Insiders Tournament home game on March 16.

The Skyhawks hosted the Bulldogs of the University of North Carolina-Asheville at the Elam Center.

The Bulldogs arrived with a 23-10 overall record. The Bulldogs are led by head coach Nick McDevitt and are a member of the Big South Conference. They accumulated one more win and two fewer losses during the regular season than the Skyhawks, whose overall record was 22-12.

The Skyhawks erupted out of the gate with impeccable shot selection as they managed to shoot 66.7% from the field. A combination of fast break layups and dunks gave them an early lead. They also knocked down nine three-point field goals during the first half of the game.

Senior guards Jacolby Mobley and Matthew Butler both continued to showcase their talents as they both converted on two three-point field goals before the half. This hot streak shooting resulted in the Skyhawks 12-0 run and the building of a 19-point lead as they ventured into the second half.

UNC-Asheville did not go down without a fight, as the Bulldogs stormed out after halftime, cutting the Skyhawks’ lead by half. The Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run, including one three point field goal, during the 9 minute mark, forcing Coach Stewart to call a timeout.

Out of the timeout, the Skyhawks defense picked up in intensity, hounding UNC Asheville’s guards and forcing bad shots. The Bulldogs recorded a 27.3 shooting percentage behind the arc in the second half.

Mobley shut the run down by continuing his outstanding play this season. He tallied up 29 points and also converted on a pair of free throws late in the game, leading the Skyhawks to a 89-75 win over the Bulldogs.

The Skyhawks will advance to the next round of the CIT, where they face another opponent from North Carolina. They will travel to compete against Campbell University, located in Buies Creek, North Carolina, on Monday, March 20. The winner will advance to the CIT semifinals.

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