CINCINNATI, Ohio – The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team forced 19 turnovers this afternoon, but a pair of early runs by No. 24 Cincinnati led to an 80-57 Skyhawk loss at Fifth Third Arena.
Senior Jeremy Washington led the Skyhawks with 15 points and six rebounds today, cracking double-figures for the second time in as many games this season. Myles Taylor (six rebounds) and Mike Liabo (team-high three assists) added 12 points each while Justin Childs scored 10 points in a game-high 36 minutes for UT Martin (0-2), who recorded 13 steals and outscored the host Bearcats 40-37 in the second half.
For Cincinnati, Cashmere Wright (16 points) and Sean Kilpatrick (14) led the team in scoring, while Justin Jackson pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
A Washington jumper gave the Skyhawks an early 2-0 advantage, while the UT Martin defense limited Cincinnati to only four points in the first four minutes of the game thanks to five missed shots and four turnovers.
The Bearcats then scored 14 unanswered until Taylor converted a tough layup at the 12:44 mark. After a layup by Liabo on UT Martin’s next possession, the Skyhawk offense went cold, as Cincinnati would go on a 17-0 run over the next 6:28 to build a 27 point advantage.
The Skyhawks would respond with nine of the next 12 points, led by five points from Bobby Jones. However, Cincinnati closed out the first half on a 7-2 run over the final 1:42 to take a 43-17 halftime lead.
Taylor’s six points paced UT Martin at the half, while Kilpatrick scored 10 points to lead Cincinnati.
A pair of free throws by Taylor opened the scoring in the second half, while Childs was responsible for a steal and fast break layup to slice the Skyhawk deficit to 45-21 less than 90 seconds into the second half.
Cincinnati used a trio of three-pointers during a 14-2 run to go on top 59-23 but Washington came back with an old-fashioned three-point play with 13:31 remaining. That play ignited 10-3 run for UT Martin, with Washington accounting for seven points during that span.
Childs then heated up for the Skyhawks, scoring eight straight points – including a pair of trifectas. Childs’ second three-pointer of that stretch began a 19-6 run to conclude the game for UT Martin but time ran out on the Skyhawks.
UT Martin now returns home for a three-game homestand in the course of a week. The Skyhawks’ 2012-13 home opener is set for Wednesday, Nov. 14 against Fontbonne at 7 p.m.