Archive | UT Martin MBB

Butler thumps Skyhawks

Butler thumps Skyhawks

Posted on 23 December 2014 by Allen

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Arkeem Joseph established new career-highs in scoring and rebounding tonight for the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team but the Skyhawks fell in a tough 64-37 loss to Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Joseph also contributed a career-high 32 minutes this evening, scoring 12 points to go along with seven rebounds for UT Martin (7-4). He made five of his eight shot attempts and also blocked a shot for the Skyhawks, who forced Butler into 16 turnovers but struggled offensively with season-lows in points (37) and field goal percentage (33.3 percent).

Butler, who has spent a majority of the season ranked in the top-25, was led by Andrew Chrabascz’s 17 points. Kellen Dunham (15 points) and Kelan Martin (10 points) also chipped in with double-figures in the scoring column for the Bulldogs, who improve to 9-3.

“Butler is a really good basketball team and it just wasn’t our night,” UT Martin head coach Heath Schroyer said. “We cut it to eight at the half but they are one of the best defensive teams around. My hats off to Butler – they’re the best team we have played.”

Baskets by Twymond Howard and Deville Smith provided the Skyhawks with a 4-0 lead through the first 2:10 of the contest. However, Butler answered with an 11-0 run over the next four minutes to tilt the score back in its favor.

A step-in three-pointer by Alex Anderson and another driving bucket by Howard sliced the Skyhawk deficit down to two points (11-9) with 12:41 remaining in the first half. The Bulldogs then scored the next six points and would later use a 7-2 spurt to go on top by a 29-16 margin with 4:25 remaining in the first half.

The UT Martin defense then stepped up and held Butler without a field goal for the rest of the half, closing out the half on a 7-2 run to make the score 31-23 at the break. Smith, Howard and Anderson each sank shots during the run to get the Skyhawks back within single digits.

Howard, Anderson and Smith each had six points to lead UT Martin in the first half while Dunham’s 11 points paced the Bulldogs.

Butler began the second half with back-to-back three-pointers as part of an 8-0 run. The Skyhawks would close back within 12 points but the Bulldogs immediately came back with 10 unanswered points to go ahead 47-27 with 13:33 left to play in the contest.

Joseph did his best to keep UT Martin close – scoring nine of the Skyhawks’ final 12 points. The Skyhawks held Butler scoreless for nearly three full minutes during the waning stages of the second half but UT Martin could not make up ground offensively.

The Skyhawks will now have an eight-day layoff before they close out the 2014 calendar year with a home matchup against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Tuesday, Dec. 30. Tipoff from the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center is set for 6:30 p.m.

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Skyhawks thump Presbyterian 77-60

Skyhawks thump Presbyterian 77-60

Posted on 21 December 2014 by Allen

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In its first home game in a month, the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team sped past the visiting Presbyterian Blue Hose by a 77-60 margin in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.

The Skyhawks led for all but 1:29 of the contest this evening and turned a nine-point halftime lead into a 21-point lead midway through the second half. UT Martin committed only three turnovers while shooting 58 percent (29-for-50) from the floor tonight, improving its record to 7-3 overall. That marks the best winning percentage out of any team in the Ohio Valley Conference and the best 10-game start for UT Martin since 2001-02.

Deville Smith led the Skyhawks in scoring for the fourth straight game, pouring in 23 points while tying a career-high with five 3-pointers. He also tied a career-high with nine assists against only one turnover in 39 minutes of play.

“Deville is special,” Skyhawk head coach Heath Schroyer said. “When you have a guy like him who can put you on his back when you need it, it helps out if you get into some lulls on both ends of the floor. We hadn’t been at home in a while so we will definitely take the win.”

Twymond Howard added 16 points this evening, joining Alex Anderson (12 points on four 3-pointers) and Marshun Newell (11 points, nine rebounds, six assists) in double-figures. Javier Martinez also made a huge impact off the bench, scoring nine points to go along with career-highs of 10 rebounds and two blocks in 27 minutes for UT Martin, who won the rebounding battle (29-24) and shot 52.4 percent (11-for-21) from three-point range.

Presbyterian (4-8) was led by William Truss’ 12 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Downing also compiled 12 points while Austin Anderson handed out a game-high 10 assists for the Blue Hose.

UT Martin’s defense set the tone early, forcing a shot clock violation on the opening possession of the game. Smith began the three-point barrage with a trifecta from the right corner on the Skyhawks’ first trip down the floor.

Presbyterian briefly took a 5-3 lead before UT Martin reeled off a 13-0 run over the span of 2:25, capped off with treys by Howard and Newell.

After another Smith three-pointer at the 12:29 mark provided the Skyhawks with a 21-7 advantage, the Blue Hose answered with seven unanswered points to get within seven points with 9:35 to go in the first half. Anderson then connected on a triple with a little over nine minutes to play to push UT Martin’s lead back out to double-digits (25-15).

The Blue Hose responded with another brief 7-0 spurt to close within one possession but Smith answered right back with a three-pointer from the right corner that began a 8-0 run for the Skyhawks, who took a 33-24 advantage into the halftime break.

Smith led all scorers with 11 points in the first half, as the Skyhawks made seven 3-pointers and committed only one turnover in the first 20 minutes. Downing’s 10 points led Presbyterian.

Arkeem Joseph accounted for UT Martin’s first two baskets in the second half but Truss scored Presbyterian’s first six points of the half to get the Blue Hose within seven points (37-30) with 17:20 left to play.

The Skyhawks then essentially put the game away with a 19-5 run over a stretch of 6:47, as Smith and Martinez each poured in six points apiece during the big run, which resulted in a 56-35 UT Martin advantage.

A Smith three-pointer and driving layup by Howard kept the Skyhawk lead at 21 points midway through the second half. Presbyterian followed with an 8-0 run to get within 13 points but that was ultimately as close as the Blue Hose would get the rest of the way.

The Skyhawks head back on the road on Monday, Dec. 22 when they take on No. 23 Butler at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. The 6 p.m. game will be aired live on the Fox Sports 1 channel.

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Redbirds top Skyhawks 64-54

Redbirds top Skyhawks 64-54

Posted on 18 December 2014 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team left it all on the floor this evening but fell 64-54 at Missouri Valley Conference member Illinois State at Redbird Arena.

The Skyhawks (6-3) trailed by 10 points at the halftime break but came out on fire in the second half, knocking down their first 10 shot attempts to take a five-point advantage with 11:20 to play. The score was knotted at 52-all with just under four minutes to play before Illinois State closed out the game on a 12-2 run.

Deville Smith led UT Martin in scoring for the second straight game, pouring in 16 points while playing all 40 minutes. Marshun Newell also played the duration of tonight’s game, scoring 14 points while Twymond Howard compiled 11 points and a team-best eight rebounds for the Skyhawks. Alex Anderson added nine points, six rebounds and a game-high five assists for UT Martin, who shot 58.3 percent (14-for-24) in the second half.

Illinois State (6-3) was led by Daishon Knight, who scored all of his 18 points in the second half. Reggie Lynch scored 12 points while Justin McCloud compiled 11 points to round out the double-figure scorers for the Redbirds.

“I thought that we really battled,” UT Martin head coach Heath Schroyer said. “We made an adjustment at halftime to really space the floor offensively with four shooters to give us better looks and that was the difference that gave us a chance to win. I give Illinois State a lot of credit – they’re a very talented team and their length and depth in the post just wore us out.”

The Skyhawk defense came out on a mission, as Illinois State missed its first nine shot attempts until a McCloud layup at the 16:54 mark. Three-pointers by Smith and Newell accounted for the Skyhawks’ early offense and Javier Martinez followed with layups on back-to-back possessions to keep UT Martin close.

Newell canned a three-pointer from the left wing at the 11:18 mark to get the Skyhawks within a single point at 14-13. The Redbirds then answered with an 8-0 run but baskets by Howard and Anderson on two straight trips down the floor got the Skyhawks within five points (22-17) with less than five minutes to go in the first half.

However, Illinois State would score six of the next seven points to take a 28-18 lead into the halftime break.

Newell’s six points led the Skyhawks, who shot 25 percent (7-for-28) in the first half. Illinois State was led by McCloud’s eight points off the bench as the Redbirds shot 35.5 percent (11-of-31) in the first 20 minutes.

UT Martin connected on its first 10 shots of the second half to go on a 24-9 run out of the locker room. Smith was responsible for five of the Skyhawks’ buckets during the run while Howard added nine points during the spurt that resulted in a 42-37 lead for UT Martin.

The Skyhawks did not miss from the floor until the 10:50 mark of the second half but Illinois State would go on an 11-2 run over a stretch of 5:19 to go back ahead by a 48-44 margin.

UT Martin responded with an 8-2 run of its own, capturing a 52-50 lead thanks to a smooth fadeaway jumper on the left baseline from Anderson at the 5:16 mark.

The score was tied at 52-all with a tick under four minutes to play but the Redbirds claimed the next seven points in a span of 1:12 to go on top by a 59-52 margin. Newell would sink a pair of free throws with 2:05 left to play but that would ultimately be the last points that the Skyhawks would score the rest of the way.

After spending the last month on the road, the Skyhawks return home to the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center on Saturday, Dec. 20. UT Martin will take on Presbyterian out of the Big South Conference for a 3 p.m. tipoff.

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Skyhawks win at Longwood 77-67

Skyhawks win at Longwood 77-67

Posted on 07 December 2014 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team passed another road test with flying colors this evening with a 77-67 triumph over Big South Conference member Longwood at Willett Hall.

The road victory – which was the fourth of the young season – ties UMass-Lowell for the most road wins in Division-I basketball. Overall, the Skyhawks improved their record to 5-2, which marks the best seven-game start to a season since 2005-06.

UT Martin led by as many as 15 points in the second half but Longwood made a late run to get within seven points with 8:15 to go. Sophomore forward Javier Martinez then played big down the stretch, scoring eight of the Skyhawks’ 10 points during a span of 3:33 to help UT Martin stretch its lead back out to 15 points with four minutes remaining.

Martinez, who entered the game with a total of 10 points in 41 minutes played in five games this season, tallied 10 points and four huge rebounds in 11 minutes of play.

Joining Martinez in double-figures was Deville Smith and Twymond Howard, who each poured in 16 points for UT Martin. Marshun Newell added 10 points for the Skyhawks, who torched the nets for a 57.1 percent (24-for-42) shooting night.

Longwood (3-6) was led by a game-high 26 points out of Quincy Taylor. Shaquille Johnson and Lotanna Nwogbo added 11 points apiece for the Lancers.

“It was a gutty win,” Skyhawk first-year head coach Heath Schroyer said. “We didn’t play our best but we found a way to win. They cut it to seven points and we could have crumbled but I thought we showed a lot of character. Javier and several others really stepped up and made plays when they needed to.”

An Alex Anderson trifecta at the 18:38 mark began the scoring for both sides but Longwood then claimed a brief lead with five straight points. The score was knotted at 10-all before UT Martin went on a 10-2 run over a stretch of 6:51 to surge ahead by a 20-12 margin with seven minutes remaining in the first half.

Howard then got hot, scoring eight of UT Martin’s 10 points over a 2:22 span which resulted in a 28-17 Skyhawk lead with just under five minutes to go before the halftime break. An Arkeem Joseph layup with 2:21 concluded the scoring in the first half and provided UT Martin with a 35-22 halftime lead.

Howard’s 10 points led the Skyhawks in the first half while Myles Taylor tallied eight points and a game-high three assists in the opening half. Taylor’s 12 points guided Longwood, who shot just 28 percent (7-for-25) while UT Martin shot at a 55 percent clip (11-for-20) in the first half.

UT Martin displayed its versatility to begin the second half, as five different Skyhawks accounted for the first five baskets to help give UT Martin a 14-point advantage with 10:28 to go in the game.

Longwood then went on an extended run, outscoring the Skyhawks 7-0 over the next 2:13 to slice UT Martin’s lead to 53-46 with 8:15 remaining. Martinez then played the role of hero, sustaining the Lancers’ run with his torrid offensive stretch.

Longwood hit a couple of late three-pointers but would not get any closer than eight points with a minute remaining. Smith immediately answered with a fast break layup and the Skyhawks sank seven of their final eight attempts from the charity stripe to seal the win.

UT Martin concludes its six-game road swing next week when it travels to Illinois-Chicago (Monday, Dec. 15) and Illinois State (Wednesday, Dec. 17).

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Newell leads Skyhawks past Northern Kentucky

Newell leads Skyhawks past Northern Kentucky

Posted on 04 December 2014 by Allen

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Redshirt senior guard Marshun Newell accumulated his third career double-double to propel the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team to a resounding 71-56 victory at Northern Kentucky this evening.

Newell tallied game-highs of 15 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and two steals in 39 minutes of action for the Skyhawks. It marked the third time this season that the Memphis, Tenn. native had scored 15 points while the 11 rebounds equaled a career-high set against Belmont on Jan. 11, 2014. It also was UT Martin’s first double-double of the season by any player.

Alex Anderson added 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting for UT Martin while Deville Smith (14 points) and Twymond Howard (10 points) also cracked double-figures for the Skyhawks tonight. Myles Taylor (eight points, 4-for-4 from the floor) helped UT Martin shoot 61.9 percent (13-for-21) in the second half while winning the battle on the glass by a 37-22 margin.

Northern Kentucky (3-4) was led by Tayler Persons’ 15 points while Tyler White and Chad Jackson contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively.

UT Martin head coach Heath Schroyer was proud of his team’s determination on the road, as the Skyhawks matched their road win total from last season (three) on their way to improving to 4-2 overall.

“It was a huge win for us,” said Schroyer, who joins Tom Hancock (1982-83) as the only two coaches in program history to begin their UT Martin career with four wins in his first six tries. “To get our third road win in the first part of December is a big deal. I thought we played well at times and thought we really guarded – defensively, I thought this was our best game so far.”

UT Martin held an early lead thanks to the play of Newell, who scored the first five and nine of the Skyhawks’ first 14 points. His swooping up-and-under layup at the 13 minute mark of the first half provided UT Martin with a 14-9 advantage.

Northern Kentucky answered with a 7-0 run to briefly reclaim the lead before five straight points by Smith over a 31-second span ignited an 18-0 run where the Skyhawks held the Norse without a point for a stretch of 8:27. Six different UT Martin players scored in the extended run, as Anderson concluded the spurt with five straight points.

The Norse would close out the first half with six unanswered points to result in a 32-22 Skyhawk lead at the halftime break.

Newell posted a game-high 11 points in the first half for UT Martin, who held a 22-12 rebounding advantage in the game’s first 20 minutes. Persons’ six first-half points led Northern Kentucky, who shot 36 percent overall and 18.2 percent (2-for-11) from three-point range in the first half.

Howard then keyed the Skyhawks in the early stages of the second half, as he accounted for six of UT Martin’s first 10 points. A Taylor layup capped off a 9-3 run that gave the Skyhawks their biggest lead of the night – 56-34 – with a little over eight minutes remaining.

>From that point forward, UT Martin kept its lead around 20 points until a late 9-3 Norse run got Northern Kentucky within 14 points with less than two minutes remaining. However, the Skyhawks combined to hit five free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

UT Martin returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 6 when it travels to Farmville, Va. to take on the Longwood Lancers. Tipoff time from Willett Hall is set for 4 p.m. CST.

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Skyhawks top Bethune-Cookman, 74-56

Skyhawks top Bethune-Cookman, 74-56

Posted on 26 November 2014 by Allen

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A balanced scoring attack and hard-nosed defense lifted the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team to its third consecutive victory tonight, as the Skyhawks defeated Bethune-Cookman by a 74-56 margin.

With the win, UT Martin starts the season at 3-1 overall for the first time since the 2005-06 Skyhawk squad won four of its first five games. Tonight’s win was also the biggest margin of victory in a nonconference road game since UT Martin won 84-65 at Central Arkansas on Dec. 31, 2008.

The Skyhawks boasted six players with eight or more points this evening, led by Myles Taylor’s 16 points. The senior forward out of Little Rock, Ark. went 4-for-6 from the floor and sank all eight of his free throw attempts while adding nine rebounds in 23 minutes.

Marshun Newell tied a career-high with four 3-pointers, scoring 15 points in 20 minutes tonight. Twymond Howard rode a strong first half to 14 points and seven rebounds while the backcourt trio of Alex Anderson, Deville Smith (five assists, four rebounds, three blocks, two steals) and Dee Oldham (five assists, seven rebounds and a steal) also added eight points apiece for UT Martin, who shot 52.4 percent (11-for-21) in the second half and knocked down 88.5 percent of its free throw attempts (23-for-26) for the game.

Bethune-Cookman (2-3) was led by Mikel Trapp (11 points) and Denzel Dulin (10 points). The Skyhawk defense held the Wildcats to 34.9 percent shooting for the contest (15-for-43) while winning the battle on the glass (37-28) for the fourth straight game.

“It was a huge win for us to come on the road and get a true road win in a hostile environment,” UT Martin head coach Heath Schroyer said. “We didn’t come out great in the first couple of minutes but we made great adjustments again at halftime. I’m really proud of the guys.”

Howard came out rolling, scoring the first six points for UT Martin. After a layup by Taylor evened the score at 8-all at the 17:15 mark of the first half, Bethune-Cookman went on an 8-1 run over a stretch of five minutes to take its biggest lead of the night at 16-9.

The Skyhawks then answered right back with a 16-3 run, ignited by six consecutive points by Newell. All in all, five different UT Martin players pitched in with points during the lengthy run which resulted in a 25-19 Skyhawk lead with 7:14 left to play in the first half.

Seven unanswered points by Bethune-Cookman would give the Wildcats a lead for a span of 1:39 but an old-fashioned three-point play by Oldham at the 3:35 mark gave UT Martin a lead it would not concede the rest of the way. In fact, the Skyhawks would open up a 13-1 run to close out the first half as Anderson and Howard each scored five points in the final 2:32.

Howard scored 13 points in the first half to lead all scorers while Trapp’s 11 points paced Bethune-Cookman.

The Wildcats were within single-digits until a three-point shooting spree by Newell quickly provided UT Martin with a comfortable advantage. The redshirt senior guard out of Memphis canned three trifectas in a span of 3:45 to help the Skyhawks go on a 13-0 run.

A three-pointer by Smith resulted in the biggest lead of the night for UT Martin (68-42) with seven minutes remaining as the stingy Skyhawk defense limited Bethune-Cookman to just two field goals in the final 9:05 of the contest.

The Skyhawks return to action on Friday, Nov. 28 when they travel to Nebraska out of the Big Ten Conference. The game, which will be broadcasted live on ESPN3, is slated to tip off at 7 p.m.

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Skyhawks rally to beat Arkansas State

Skyhawks rally to beat Arkansas State

Posted on 18 November 2014 by Allen

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Down by 19 points early in the second half, the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team staged a comeback for the ages tonight at Arkansas State, downing the Red Wolves by a 75-73 victory to give first-year head coach Heath Schroyer his first win as a Skyhawk.

“Our guys just never stopped believing,” Schroyer said. “We made some adjustments at halftime and our guys executed. My hats off to the coaching staff – I couldn’t be happier for the guys on the team, the program and the university.”

Down by 16 points at the halftime break and 19 points with 18:54 left remaining, Howard and Newell put the Skyhawks on their back to post UT Martin’s first victory in Jonesboro since 1968. The duo combined to score 33 of UT Martin’s 52 points in the final 20 minutes to snap a seven-game skid against the perennial Sun Belt Conference power.

Howard poured in 21 of his team-best 23 points in the second half, shooting 9-for-15 from the floor to go along with five rebounds, three assists and a steal in 37 minutes. Newell tallied 12 of his 15 points in the final half, connecting on a career-high four 3-pointers (in five attempts).

Myles Taylor narrowly missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds while the backcourt of Deville Smith (11 points, five assists, five steals and three rebounds) and Alex Anderson (nine points, three steals) helped UT Martin shoot 56.7 percent (17-for-30) in the second half.

Arkansas State was led by Anthony Livingston’s 26 points and nine rebounds. Cameron Golden (17) and Sean Gardner (15) also reached double-figures in the scoring column for the Red Wolves.

The Skyhawks raced out to a fast start, as Anderson drained a three-pointer from the right wing on the game’s opening possession. A little over 90 seconds later, a soft touch left-handed hook from Arkeem Joseph gave UT Martin a 5-0 advantage less than two minutes into the contest.

Arkansas State then used an 8-0 run over a span of 4:02 to take its first lead of the game. Buckets on back-to-back possessions by Smith and Taylor gave the Skyhawks a brief 9-8 lead but the Red Wolves went on another 8-0 run until a basket by Smith ended UT Martin’s cold drought and made the score 16-11.

A turnaround jumper by Joseph at the 6:32 mark of the first half cut the Skyhawk deficit to 21-15 but another lengthy Arkansas State run – this time of the 9-0 variety – extended the Red Wolves’ lead out to 30-15.

The Red Wolves led by 19 points late in the first half before a Newell three-pointer at the buzzer made the score 39-23 at the break.

Smith’s seven points off the bench led UT Martin at the half while Livingston had 17 points to lead Arkansas State, who shot 66.7 percent (16-for-24) in the first half.

Arkansas State scored two early buckets in the second half but Howard then took over. The junior out of Pearl, Miss. keyed a 28-6 run by scoring 12 of UT Martin’s first 15 points in the second half – as the Skyhawks whittled away at their deficit.

Newell added six points during a 9-0 UT Martin run and minutes later, a fast break layup by Anderson gave the Skyhawks a 50-49 lead with 10:31 left to play. Coming out of an Arkansas State timeout, Howard came away with a steal and thunderous fast break dunk to pad UT Martin’s lead to three points at 52-49.

The Skyhawks’ advantage remained at three points until a brief 5-0 Arkansas State run tilted the score in Arkansas State’s favor (61-59) with 6:46 remaining.

However, UT Martin answered right back with seven unanswered points – as another Anderson fast break layup followed a Newell trifecta and lifted the Skyhawks to a 66-61 lead with 5:39 to go in the contest.

Back-to-back layups by Javier Martinez and Taylor kept UT Martin’s lead at five points (70-65) with 3:22 remaining but Arkansas State battled within two points less than a minute later.

>From that point forward, the Skyhawk trio of Anderson, Smith and Taylor sealed the game with five free throws in the final minute to cap off UT Martin’s comeback.

The Skyhawks now play under the lights of the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center for the first time this season on Thursday, Nov. 20. Tipoff time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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Skyhawks fall in opener at Marquette

Skyhawks fall in opener at Marquette

Posted on 15 November 2014 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team gave a valiant effort in its season opener at Marquette before falling by a 79-63 margin at the BMO Harris Bradley Center this evening.

A trio of newcomers led the Skyhawks in scoring in head coach Heath Schroyer’s UT Martin debut tonight, led by Deville Smith’s 12 points. Twymond Howard and Alex Anderson each added 11 points for UT Martin while Marshun Newell provided nine points, five rebounds and a team-high three assists. Myles Taylor snared a game-high 11 rebounds in only 15 minutes of play before fouling out, helping the Skyhawks outrebound their Big East Conference opponent by a 34-25 margin.

Marquette was led by Jajuan Johnson, who scored a game-high 20 points. Juan Anderson (16 points, seven rebounds), Matt Carlino (11 points, seven assists) and Deonte Burton (10 points) also cracked double-figures in the scoring column for the Golden Eagles.

UT Martin came out on a roll, keyed by the inside play of Arkeem Joseph. He accounted for both of the Skyhawks’ first two baskets to provide UT Martin with the early momentum. An old-fashioned three-point play by Howard gave the Skyhawks a 7-5 lead while a tip-in by Taylor provided a 11-8 UT Martin advantage a little over five minutes into the game.

Newell buried a three-pointer at the 12:13 mark of the first half to keep the Skyhawk lead at three points but Marquette soon went on an 18-3 run to go ahead 31-19 with five minutes to go before the halftime break.

The Golden Eagles led by 14 points with 3:39 left in the first half before another trey by Newell and back-to-back buckets by Howard whittled UT Martin’s deficit back down to single-digits at 37-29. The margin remained at eight points at the half, as Marquette led 38-30.

Howard’s eight points paced the Skyhawks at the break while Burton tallied 10 points in 12 minutes off the bench for Marquette.

The Golden Eagles began the second half on a 12-4 run before a Newell layup ignited an 8-2 UT Martin run that made the score 50-40 with 13:52 left in the game. Four different Skyhawks accounted for points during the run.

After an offensive board and putback by Javier Martinez, Marquette scored eight unanswered points to go on top 61-42. Smith then took over, accounting for eight of the next nine points to pull UT Martin within 12 points at 63-51 with seven minutes to go.

Marquette then then pieced together a 11-3 run and despite a late barrage by Anderson (seven points in a span of 2:16), the Skyhawks couldn’t get any closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

UT Martin returns to action on Monday, Nov. 17 when it visits the Arkansas State Red Wolves. Tipoff from the Convocation Center is set for 7:05 p.m.

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Skyhawks ready to fly under new coach

Skyhawks ready to fly under new coach

Posted on 10 November 2014 by Allen

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A gifted core of seven returners blended in with nine talented newcomers has generated plenty of buzz to the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball program under the direction of Heath Schroyer, who takes over the reins of the Skyhawks in 2014-15.

The background credentials speak for themselves with Schroyer, who was introduced as UT Martin’s ninth head coach in program history on March 20. He was named a top-20 assistant coach in back-to-back seasons at UNLV from 2012-14 and all six of his stops at a Division-I institution has culminated in either a conference championship or postseason play.

As the nation’s second-youngest Division-I head coach, Schroyer led Portland State University to its first-ever conference championship in 2004-05. He also guided the University of Wyoming to 19 victories and a postseason berth in 2008-09.

Making his return to head coaching after spending the last three seasons at UNLV, what Schroyer found at UT Martin was a group of returning players who were hungry for victories.

“All the returners have really tried to embrace what it is that we’re trying to do – I can’t speak more highly of them,” Schroyer said. “They really wanted a change and they understand that we need to do things differently so I’ve really talked to them about having a plan and being able to execute our plan on both sides of the ball.”

Schroyer spent a bulk of his offseason preparations trying to mold the Skyhawks into an exceptional defensive team. Last season, UT Martin ranked last amongst all Division-I teams with a .521 defensive field goal percentage. With that said, Schroyer has instilled a new defensive mindset into the Skyhawks during preseason practices, drills and repetitions.

“We are starting to understand our identity,” Schroyer said. “That is the biggest thing that we’ve tried to talk about since we started practice. We spent the fall developing an identity and understanding what we need to do to be successful. We have to have a defensive mindset – that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve tried to change since I’ve been here. Offensively, first and foremost, we have to take great shots. We’re just not going to run down the floor and take bad shots and not have structure. It’s very simple but there needs to be discipline and execution on both sides of the ball.”

This year’s version of the Skyhawks projects to feature a lot of depth and versatility.

“We have a lot of guys who can really play significant minutes, which I love,” Schroyer said. “We really don’t talk as much about starting games as we do about finishing games. We have proven guys at our level and a few are growing into playing at this level.”

Any casual observer of the UT Martin men’s basketball program for the past three seasons has noticed the skill of forward Myles Taylor. After all, the 6-7 standout joined the 1,000 career point club last season and has cemented his status as one of UT Martin’s all-time program greats. However, a majority of the Skyhawks’ faithful fans may have to do a double-take to recognize Taylor, who has shed over 40 pounds over the summer and is now listed at a svelte 235 pounds for his final collegiate campaign. He is expected to move to his natural position of power forward, which should free him from having to match up against the opposing team’s center.

Taylor averaged team-highs of 14.6 points and 6.3 rebounds last season, earning a Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference nod from the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.

Allowing Taylor to slide into the 4 spot has been the emergence of 6-9, 280-pound junior center Arkeem Joseph. The Brooklyn, NY native earned all-region accolades at Monroe College last season after averaging 8.3 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 56 percent in only 15.8 minutes per game.

Also expected to see major minutes in the frontcourt are 6-7 sophomores Chandler Rowe and Javier Martinez. Rowe brought energy off the bench last season, playing in 28 contests while Martinez started in 13 games as a true freshman, shooting 62 percent from the floor.

Nick Detlev (defensive asset who is the tallest player in UT Martin history at 7-2) and Brandon Hitchman (versatile 6-9 player with exceptional outside shooting touch) will also vie for playing time in the post as freshmen.

The Skyhawk backcourt returns a pair of starters from last season in Marshun Newell and Dee Oldham. Newell was steady as the team’s point guard last season as a junior, ranking in the top-10 in the OVC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4, ninth), steals (1.4 per game, ninth) and assists (3.5 per game, 10th) while also leading the team in scoring on four different occasions. Oldham developed into one of the team’s best players down the stretch last season as a sophomore, scoring in double-figures in 11 of the final 13 games (including 15 or more points in eight different games in that stretch).

Schroyer will also coach a familiar face in Deville Smith, who was granted an NCAA waiver to play immediately after averaging 9.7 points and 2.7 assists last season at UNLV. The speedy guard led the Runnin’ Rebels in scoring seven times in 2013-14 and was a four-star recruit coming out of Callaway High School in Jackson, Miss.

Another duo with a lengthy list of impressive accolades are Alex Anderson and Twymond Howard, who both were crowned junior college All-Americans last season. Anderson averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game as a point guard at Itawamba Community College while Howard – a 4-star wing recruit out of high school – nearly averaged a double-double (15.8 points, 9.8 rebounds per game) at Southwest Mississippi Community College.

Returners Terrence Durham (redshirted last year after two years at junior college powerhouse South Plains) and Khristian Taylor (26:13 assist-to-turnover ratio in 22 games last season) also project to see significant playing time in 2014-15, along with freshmen duo CJ Davis (deadeye shooter who averaged 24 points per game last year at Westwind Prep Academy in Arizona) and Richard Lee (three-star signee who averaged 19 points per game last year at Northeast High School in Florida) give the Skyhawks eight legitimate options in the backcourt.

UT Martin will be tested early, as eight of the first nine games on the schedule will be played on the road. The Skyhawks will take on power conference teams Marquette, Nebraska and Butler while also squaring off against a half-dozen teams (Nebraska, Illinois State, Eastern Kentucky, Morehead State, Belmont, Murray State) who reached the postseason last year.

All in all, UT Martin will face seven first-time opponents, teams from 11 different conferences and play in 10 different states in 2014-15.

“We have a lot of road games,” Schroyer said. “Obviously that’s challenging but the beauty of it is that we’re going to learn a lot from it because if you’re going to win a conference championship, you have to figure out how to win certain games on the road.”

Schroyer has inherited a Skyhawk team that has shown the willingness to get better every day in practice – a trait that has not gone unnoticed.

“Every day I ask our guys three things,” Schroyer said. “Are we getting better? Are we getting tougher? Are we getting hungrier? Those three things should be happening every day. If those things happen, the rest will take care of itself throughout the year.”

Schroyer knows that the sky is the limit for a UT Martin team that will boast just as much talent and athleticism as any team it lines up against this year.

“We’re trying to win every game,” Schroyer said. “And then to understand on top of that to continue to get better every game. You’re not going to win a championship in November, but you’re setting yourself up to continue to get better and hopefully win a championship in March. There’s a lot of growth that needs to happen, but we’re making our strides.”

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Skyhawks Hoops Season Tipsoff Thursday

Skyhawks Hoops Season Tipsoff Thursday

Posted on 04 November 2014 by Allen

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The 2014-15 University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball season begins this Thursday, Nov. 6 when the Skyhawks take on Blue Mountain College at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center at 7 p.m. Admission is free and the game is being sponsored by Thunderbolt Broadcasting.

Led by first-year head coach Heath Schroyer, seven returners and 10 newcomers will take the floor for UT Martin on Thursday. The Skyhawks opened practice on Oct. 4 and this game will serve as the only tune-up before UT Martin officially opens the season at Marquette on Friday, Nov. 14.

Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference selection Myles Taylor leads the returners, as he is coming off a team-best 14.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game as a junior in 2013-14. He enters his final collegiate season ranking eighth in UT Martin history with 1,264 career points.

Marshun Newell (10.5 points, team-high 3.5 assists per game) and Dee Oldham (9.1 points per game, team-best 87 percent free throw shooter) each return after combining to make 38 starts in the backcourt last season. Senior Khristian Taylor, redshirt junior Terrence Durham and sophomore forwards Javier Martinez and Chandler Rowe will also battle for playing time as returning players from 2013-14.

Likely to lead the newcomers is Deville Smith, who was granted an NCAA waiver to play this season after averaging 9.7 points at UNLV in 2013-14. Junior college All-Americans Alex Anderson and Twymond Howard join junior center Arkeem Joseph to lead a group of four upperclassmen transfers who will look to contribute immediately.

A star-studded class was signed shortly after Schroyer took over the reins at UT Martin on March 20, 2014. CJ Davis, Richard Lee, Brandon Hitchman and Nick Detlev will all vie for playing time as true freshmen.

Schroyer takes over the Skyhawk program after he was named a top-20 assistant coach in the nation in back-to-back years at UNLV. He previously led Portland State to a conference championship as one of the nation’s youngest head coaches in 2004-05 and also led Wyoming to a postseason appearance as head coach during the 2008-09 campaign.

An NAIA school based out of Blue Mountain, Miss., Blue Mountain College has already started its season – falling 67-59 at Lyon College on Nov. 1. Shane Butler poured in a team-high 20 points while Anfernee Floyd (14 points, eight rebounds) nearly compiled a double-double. The Toppers are coached by JD Parker, who is in his fifth season at the helm.

Fans can watch the exhibition live, free of charge on the OVC Digital Network at this link: http://www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com/watch/?Live=1934. Live stats will be available by clicking here: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=70270.

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Nebraska and Butler headline 2014-15 Skyhawks Basketball Schedule

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Nebraska and Butler headline 2014-15 Skyhawks Basketball Schedule

Posted on 22 September 2014 by Allen

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Seven first-time opponents and 12 home dates highlight the University of Tennessee at Martin 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule, which was released today by first-year head coach Heath Schroyer.

The Skyhawks will take on teams from 11 different conferences in 2014-15 while playing in 10 different states. UT Martin returns seven players and three starters while welcoming in 10 talented newcomers this upcoming season.

“I think the first half of our preseason schedule will test us,” Schroyer said. “It will challenge us mentally and physically – which I look forward to because the Ohio Valley Conference race will be a challenge, just like it is every year. This schedule will put us in the best possible situation to compete for an OVC championship, which is our ultimate goal every year.”

An exhibition game against Blue Mountain College is set for Nov. 6 in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. The Skyhawks then face a challenging non-conference schedule which includes eight of the first nine games on the road.

The Heath Schroyer Era at UT Martin will officially begin on Nov. 14 with a matchup at Big East Conference opponent Marquette. Three days later, the Skyhawks travel to Arkansas State for the fourth straight year and 10th time since 2004.

UT Martin’s home opener is set for Nov. 20 with a matchup against Champion Baptist, an Association of Christian College Athletics member based out of Hot Springs, Ark.

The Skyhawks’ next six games are then on the road and will take place in five states over a span of 23 days. UT Martin faces Bethune-Cookman (Nov. 25) and 2014 NCAA Tournament participant Nebraska out of the Big Ten Conference (Nov. 28) before battling Northern Kentucky (Dec. 3) and Longwood (Dec. 6) to open the month of December. After a brief break during Finals Week, the Skyhawks travel to Illinois-Chicago and Illinois State, who won a pair of games in last year’s College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament.

UT Martin then returns home for five of its next six games. The Skyhawks host Presbyterian in a return game from last year’s 73-70 road win in South Carolina. UT Martin then travels to Indianapolis to take on Butler out of the Big East Conference on Dec. 22.

A Dec. 30 home game against Maryland-Eastern Shore kicks off a season-long four-game homestand while also concluding the 2014 calendar year. Two days later, UT Martin will officially ring in the new year with a Jan. 1 game against Crowley’s Ridge College, a National Christian College Athletic Association school located in Paragould, Ark.

The Skyhawks then start OVC play on Jan. 8 when they host defending OVC Tournament champion Eastern Kentucky, followed by a home matchup against 2014 CBI participant Morehead State two days later.

A road game at Tennessee Tech follows on Jan. 15 before UT Martin returns home for three of its next four. The Skyhawks host Jacksonville State on Jan. 17 and travel to defending OVC regular season champion and 2014 NIT participant Belmont on Jan. 22 before hosting Southeast Missouri and Eastern Illinois on Jan. 24 and Jan. 29, respectively.

Back-to-back road games at Murray State (2014 CollegeInsider.com Tournament champion) and Austin Peay follow before SIU Edwardsville visits the Elam Center on Feb. 7. An away matchup at Southeast Missouri is slated for Feb. 12 before a Valentine’s Day home game against Austin Peay.

Three straight road games (at Eastern Illinois, SIU Edwardsville and Tennessee State) follow before the regular season finale against Murray State on Feb. 28.

The OVC Tournament takes place on March 4-7 and will once again be played at historic Municipal Auditorium in downtown Nashville.

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Aiken joins Skyhawk hoops as assistant coach

Aiken joins Skyhawk hoops as assistant coach

Posted on 07 August 2014 by Allen

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John Aiken has joined the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball coaching staff as an assistant coach, head coach Heath Schroyer has announced.

Aiken brings seven seasons of collegiate coaching experience to UT Martin, including the past two years as head coach at Belhaven University, a NAIA school located in Jackson, Miss.

“John has been a successful head coach and has a diverse background while coaching at many different levels,” said Schroyer, who enters his first season as Skyhawk head coach in 2014-15. “He has coached close to the Tennessee area and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program.”

Aiken posted 30 overall wins and a 22-16 Southern States Athletic Conference record as head coach at Belhaven. Last season, he helped guide the Blazers to an 18-15 record (14-6 SSAC) and a spot in the NAIA Division I National Tournament. He spent the previous four seasons as the top assistant at Belhaven, which included two more trips to the NAIA national tournament (2010 and 2012). The Blazers went 24-10 during the 2009-10 season, earning a spot in the national tournament for the first time since 1972.

All in all, Aiken coached four honorable mention All-Americans, six all-division honorees and nine all-conference selections during his tenure at Belhaven.

“I am excited to work with Coach Schroyer and his coaching staff and also becoming a part of the Martin community,” Aiken said. “I believe all the pieces are in place to turn the program around and compete for Ohio Valley Conference championships in the near future.”

Before his stint at Belhaven, Aiken was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of New England, an NCAA Division-III school located in Biddeford, Maine. He helped the Nor’easters reach the 2008 ECAC New England Regional Championship game after New England posted a 17-12 overall record.

Aiken also served as an assistant coach at Cheverus High School in Portland, Maine and Greater Portland Christian School in South Portland, Maine before entering the collegiate coaching ranks.

Aiken has gained valuable experience working prestigious summer camps at the University of Louisville, Xavier University, University of Connecticut, Wake Forest University, Florida State University and the University of Miami. He also worked as the director of basketball operations for Camp Caribou in Winslow, Maine.

A native of Portland, Maine, Aiken earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Southern Maine in 2008. He also completed his Master’s degree in sports administration at Belhaven in 2013. He and his wife Michelle spent a summer working with Athletes in Action in South Africa and Mozambique where they volunteered at orphanages, coached against several professional and club teams and visited with various schools and governmental organizations. He and Michelle have one daughter, Gracie.

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Skyhawks’s Cox goes to the Padres in 16th round

Skyhawks’s Cox goes to the Padres in 16th round

Posted on 08 June 2014 by Allen

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History was made this afternoon as Taylor Cox became the highest Major League Baseball draft pick in University of Tennessee at Martin history when the San Diego Padres snagged the junior left-handed pitcher in the 16th round (477th overall).

With today’s selection, the Skyhawk baseball program has now produced a MLB draft pick in four straight years. Other selections include Trey Karlen (2011, 33rd round, Washington Nationals), Alec Mills (2012, 22nd round, Kansas City Royals) and Dan Tobik (2013, 39th round, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim).

Cox was just the second left-handed pitcher selected by the Padres in the 2014 draft and was the ninth Ohio Valley Conference player (sixth pitcher) selected.

A 6-3, 210-pound Bartlett, Tenn. native, Cox made 49 appearances (25 starts) in his three-year UT Martin career. He struck out 98 batters over 138.1 career innings pitched. He also made appearances at first base, designated hitter and right field over the past two seasons, hitting .314 with a .407 on-base percentage and .464 slugging percentage in 163 plate appearances.

In his first season as the No. 1 starter, Cox posted six starts where he allowed three earned runs or less in 2014. He posted one of his best career starts in the season opener at UAB, tossing seven innings with one unearned run allowed on six hits and no walks. He made a team-high 13 starts as a sophomore and tied for the second-most appearances on the team (23) out of the bullpen in 2012.

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Skyhawks add 7’2 Nick Detlev to 2014 signing class

Skyhawks add 7’2 Nick Detlev to 2014 signing class

Posted on 04 June 2014 by Allen

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University of Tennessee at Martin head men’s basketball coach Heath Schroyer has announced the signing of Nick Detlev, a 7-2, 225-pound center out of Andrews Osborne Academy in Willoughby, Ohio.

Detlev is the tallest player in UT Martin history, passing 7-footer Ned Rolsma (2000-02). Detlev is the eighth player in the star-studded first signing class under Schroyer, who was introduced as the ninth men’s basketball coach in UT Martin history on March 20.

“We are really excited to add Nick,” Schroyer said. “He obviously has great size and length. He is a late bloomer and his best basketball is definitely ahead of him. He’s not a finished product yet but he’s a young man who has a willingness to work hard. We are excited about the opportunity to develop him over the next four years.”

A Euclid, Ohio native, Detlev became the first boys basketball player at Andrews Osborne to reach the 1,000 point club in 2013-14. He also became the first player in school history to be crowned an All-Ohio selection, as he was named third team all-state.

Detlev averaged 19.5 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks per game as a senior under head coach Nate Barnes, helping guide Andrews Osborne to 23 victories and the Lake Effect Conference title. He had nine games of 20-plus points, four games of 20-plus rebounds and eight games of at least eight blocks during his senior season. He posted season-highs with 37 points and 25 rebounds at Hearts for Jesus High School on Dec. 12 and swatted away a season-best 13 blocks against Cleveland Horizon Science Academy on Jan. 14.

After the season, Detlev was selected to participate in the News-Herald Classic, where he scored 10 points with seven rebounds and four blocks against fellow Ohio prep all-stars.

Detlev joins Twymond Howard (Pearl, Miss./Southwest Mississippi CC), Alex Anderson (Memphis, Tenn./Itawamba CC), CJ Davis (Cave Creek, Ariz./Westwind Prep Academy), Brandon Hitchman (Stratford, England/Westwind Prep Academy), Fatodd Lewis (Memphis, Tenn./Raleigh-Egypt HS), Richard Lee (Lake Worth, Fla./Northeast HS) and Arkeem Joseph (Brooklyn, NY/Monroe College) in the 2014 signing class.

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Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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