Despite rallying from 17 down early in the game, the UTM men’s basketball team could not close out the game on Monday as they fell in their home opener to Bethune-Cookman 86-79.
The Skyhawks fall to 0-2 on the year after losing their regular season opener to Oklahoma State at Stillwater, Oklahoma 72-39. The Wildcats, coming into this game after defeating Trinity College 108-54, improve to 2-0 as they prepare to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada for the Las Vegas Invitational.
Bethune-Cookman started the game on a 19-4 run in the opening minutes of the game. The Wildcats were able to carry that momentum through the first half of the first period, taking a 25-9 lead.
However, the Skyhawks were able to cut into the Wildcats’ huge lead with the help of three straight 3-pointers by Jacolby Mobley, Kedar Edwards and Alex Anderson. The Skyhawks eventually went on a 9-0 run to tie the game and finished the first half on a 11-1 run and took a 34-33 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the second period, the Skyhawks could not pull away from the Wildcats. The Skyhawks managed to push their lead to eight points, but a 6-0 Bethune-Cookman run quickly erased that UTM lead. UTM was able to stretch their lead again to seven points midway through the second period, but the Wildcats quickly responded once again with an 11-0 run to retake the lead 63-59.
The Wildcats managed to hold onto the lead for the remainder of the ballgame. UTM was not able to mount enough of a rally and eventually fell to the Wildcats, 86-79
“[Bethune-Cookman] were tougher than we are,” said UTM head coach Heath Schroyer after the game. “We’re a really soft basketball team and I’m more than disappointed in our grit and our toughness. We didn’t close out the game.”
“We’re going to get to work tomorrow but we got a really long way to go. We’re just a really bad basketball team right now.”
The Skyhawks finished the game shooting 44 percent from the field (26-59) and 43 percent from 3-point range (13-30). The Skyhawks did not shoot well from the free-throw line, shooting 56 percent (14-25).
Senior forward Twymond Howard led the Skyhawks in scoring with 18 points and also tallied eight rebounds and four assists. Newcomer Jacolby Mobley, coming off his 19 point game against Oklahoma State on Friday, finished with 17 points and four rebounds.
Redshirt junior guard Jordan Potts played all 40 minutes for the Wildcats and finished with a team high 25 points, including a couple of clutch 3-pointers that helped the Wildcats retake the lead midway through the second half.
UTM’s next game is on Friday, Nov. 20 against Oral Roberts in game one of the Men Against Breast Cancer Classic held in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Tipoff is scheduled for noon.