The Skyhawks Men’s basketball team earned a well-deserved 76-74 victory against the Austin Peay Governors after going into overtime.
UTM has had a hard time in conference games. The loss against Murray State steeled their resolve to be a better team.
“Our guys continue to fight and continue to scrap. They do anything they can do to win. We did it tonght. Everybody kind of answered the role and fulfilled job when their number was called,” said head coach Jason James.
The Skyhawks started the game looking they had Thursday night. They looked as if they had never played together before and were very choppy. By the first timeout they were down by eight. Somewhere in the first half, something clicked and the men began to chip away at the lead the Governors held. By halftime, they were down by five with the Governors leading 35-31.
The second half saw a whole new team. The team that faced Murray State was gone. In its place was a team who had heart and the desire to win. It seemed at one point the game would be a repeat of Thursday night’s game when the Governors held a 10-point lead, but there was no lack of determination on the Skyhawk bench. With the fans at their back and the score 55-52, the Skyhawks brought the game to a one possession game with 6:55 left on the clock.
Things became more thrilling when the Skyhawks were down by one. After turnovers and fouls, the Governors were up by five. Mike Liabo hit a 3-pointer, bringing the score within one possession. It all came down to could the Skyhawks make their shots and hold on to the ball.
After a timeout and with 24 seconds left on the clock, Dee Oldham rebounded a missed layup by Jeremy Washington and scored a field goal, tying the game at 66-all. The Skyhawks held the Governors and the game went into overtime.
Overtime saw a team who wanted to win. The Skyhawks played gritty ball, only allowing eight points to be scored. As usual, it all came down to the final minute of playing time. With a tenth of a second left of the clock and the score tied, the Governors fouled, sending Myles Taylor to the line for two free throws. Taylor made both shots and the Skyhawks won the game.
The leading scorer for the game was Myles Taylor with a double-double of 19 points, 13 steals and three blocks. This game marks Taylor’s eighth double-double of his career. Mike Liabo was the
runner-up with 21-points and one rebound.
The next two Skyhawk Men’s games are away against Tennessee Tech and Belmont. To follow the score, follow UTM Athletics on Twitter, @UTMSports. The next home game will be against Morehead State on Saturday Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. To follow the game, follow The Pacer on Facebook and Twitter, @thepacer.