The UTM Skyhawks picked up a huge boost from Twymond Howard in the second half to rally from a 19-point deficit and defeat the Arkansas State Red Wolves 75-73.
The win gives the Skyhawks a 1-1 record after dropping their season opener to Marquette 79-63. The win is also Heath Schroyer’s first as head coach of the Skyhawks.
“Our guys just never stopped believing,” Schroyer said. “We made some adjustments at halftime and our guys executed.”
“My hat’s off to the coaching staff. I couldn’t be happier for the guys on the team, the program and the university.”
The Skyhawks jumped out to an early 5-0 lead before Arkansas State answered back with eight points of their own. The Red Wolves held on to the lead for a majority of the first half and started to slowly pull away from the Skyhawks later on in the half.
The Skyhawks had trouble getting shots to fall in the first half, shooting 36 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range. Arkansas State, led by forward Anthony Livingston, who tallied 19 points in the first half alone, carried a 39-23 lead into the locker room for halftime.
Up by 19 points early in the second half, the Red Wolves tried to coast to an easy season-opening win for them. However, the Skyhawks went on a 26-6 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half to give them the lead back.
The Skyhawks grabbed the lead but could not pull away as the Red Wolves followed closely behind. UTM held onto the lead for the last six minutes of the game and could not get anything above a 5-point lead.
Arkansas State could not get enough of a rally to snatch the lead back in the closing minutes of the game. The Skyhawks held onto the lead until the final buzzer, giving UTM its first win of the season, 75-73 over the Red Wolves.
The Skyhawks improved from their first-half shooting woes by shooting 57 percent from the floor and 42 percent from 3-point range during the second half.
Howard led the Skyhawks in scoring, tallying 21 points in the second half and ending the game with 23. Marshun Newell followed him with 15 points and Myles Taylor was a rebound short of a double-double, scoring 11 points and nine rebounds.
Arkansas State was led by Livingston, who despite his first half only scored seven points in the second half and ended the game with 26 points.
The Skyhawks will play their first home game of the season Thursday night against Champion Baptist. Tipoff between the Skyhawks and the Tigers is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.