UTM Men’s Basketball fell behind to University of Memphis with a final score of 93-65 on Thursday, Nov. 29.
University of Memphis is a Conference USA team and the game took place at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.
UTM took possession at tip-off; however Justin Childs was called for an over and back violation allowing Memphis to take control of the ball.
Early in the first half, UTM was able to tie the game with Memphis. There was a four-time lead change throughout the first half.
The first half was a very competitive game. UTM was able to maintain steady play against Memphis. Throughout most of the first half, UTM only trailed by a few points. Big scorers in the first half were Childs, Myles Taylor and Mike Liabo. Taylor scored the most points collectively in the first half, with 11 of the teams total 30.
“Those three guys, especially Mike and Myles, we count on them for scoring. Justin, we want him to score and he did a good job, but we want him to make plays for himself and for his team,” said head coach, Jason James.
The Skyhawks played a difficult game against a team with a lot of size and defensive power. Memphis players were obviously larger and prevented some of the UTM players from pushing through to the goal like they would in regular OVC play.
“They [Memphis] are big, strong, 260 lbs., 6’9 guys,” said James
The second half was a different story than the first; the game really got away from UTM in the second half.
“We kind of got deflated early in the second half. We’d run some good stuff, turn the ball over and they [Memphis] would get a layup, we’d turn the ball over and they’d get a layup,” said James.
During the second half, UTM left several of the Memphis players completely unguarded allowing them to sink several goals. This allowed Memphis to further increase their lead over UTM. Memphis gained their largest lead of 41 points in the second half with 8:51 left on the clock.
UTM was able to narrow Memphis’ lead to 28 before the second half was over. The big scorers in the second half were Childs, Taylor and Liabo. Liabo ended the game with the highest number of points collectively; he scored 21 of the team’s game total 65.
“I thought we played some good basketball in the second half. Obviously, against a team like Memphis you have to be perfect otherwise the game will get out of hand,” said James.
The Skyhawks fell to the Tigers 93-65 but played a great game against one of the top Men’s Basketball teams in the nation.
“We wanted to be competitive, we wanted to be physical and aggressive, I thought we did that. They [Memphis] are a good team,” said James.