After a 2-7 start to the season, people were starting to write off the UT-Martin Skyhawks before they gave them a fair shake in 2015-16. Yes, they lost four straight to open the year, and then had another three-game losing streak to their name, but things can turn around in a heartbeat. That is especially true in the college basketball world, and the Skyhawks entered Tuesday afternoon’s tilt riding a four-game winning streak.
They were looking to extend their streak when they went on the road to take on the Florida Atlantic Owls. The Owls entered with a 2-10 record, and were stuck in a five-game losing streak. Florida Atlantic was searching for answers, and they were hoping they could put an end to their streak on Tuesday afternoon against the Skyhawks.
Points were at a premium on the afternoon, as both teams shot less than 30% from the floor, but somebody had to come out on top. Twymond Howard recorded a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the UT-Martin Skyhawks to the 57-48 win over the Florida Atlantic Owls, getting back to the .500 mark in the process.
The Skyhawks wasted little time getting on the board, as Myles Taylor scored the first two points of the game just 10 seconds into the contest. Jeantal Cylla scored 5 of the first 7 points for the Owls, staking Florida Atlantic to a mini 7-6 lead at the 16:22 mark.
From there, it was all about the Skyhawks. Alex Anderson connected on a jumper shortly after Cylla’s second basket of the game, sending UT-Martin on a 17-2 run that spanned over 9 minutes in the first half, pushing the Skyhawks’ lead to 23-9.
The Owls would cut the deficit to just 4 on a three pointer from Adonis Filer in the closing minutes of the half. But, Taylor would stretch the lead back to 6 with a layup, and the Skyhawks took a 31-25 lead into the locker room.
To open the second half, the Skyhawks went ice cold from the field, not scoring a point for over four minutes, allowing the Owls to get right back into the game. Florida Atlantic went on an 8-1 run to open the half, capped off by a three pointer from Jackson Trapp, and they took a slim 33-32 lead.
An 11-2 run by the Skyhawks put an end to any momentum the Owls had generated from the start of the half, pushing UT-Martin back in front by 8 with 11 minutes to play.
Florida Atlantic would continue to fight as the game wound down, but they would never take another lead in the game. They went cold from the field for over three minutes with just under 4 minutes to play in the game, allowing UT-Martin to seal the victory.
The UT-Martin Skyhawks scored the 57-48 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls, pushing their record back to the .500 mark in the process.
Myles Taylor and Twymond Howard led the Skyhawks to the victory, scoring a combined 38 points on the day. Each recorded 19 points, while Howard recorded 10 rebounds for the double-double performance.
Taylor narrowly missed a double-double, recording 9 rebounds himself in the win.
Adonis Flier led the way for the Owls, recording 17 points and 9 rebounds in a losing effort. Jeantal Cylla added 12 points and 9 rebounds, narrowly missing a double-double as well.
The game was all about misses, as four players came oh-so close to a double-double on the day. Both teams shot under 38% from the field on the game, as the Skyhawks were held to 22-of-58 (37.9%) shooting, and the Owls were limited to 18-of-56 (32.1%) shooting.
The win marked the fifth-straight victory for the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks (7-7), and they have seemingly put their sluggish start behind them. They have the talent to contend in the Ohio Valley this season, and could be turning a new leaf at the right time. They will open the New Year with a non-conference game against the Boyce Bulldogs on January 2nd.
On the flip side, the loss was the sixth-straight defeat for the Florida Atlantic Owls (2-11), who are probably happy to see 2015 come to an end. The Owls are hoping for bigger and better things when the calendar flips to 2016. They will open up conference play with an instate rivalry game against the Florida International Golden Panthers on January 3rd.