NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Down four starters because of injuries, The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team fell 86-62 to the Lipscomb Bisons at Allen Arena this evening.
The Skyhawks (3-7) were led by sophomores Myles Taylor and Khristian Taylor tonight. Myles Taylor scored 14 points in 20 minutes, while Khristian Taylor tallied career-highs of 14 points and six rebounds for UT Martin. Mike Liabo (nine points, game-high four assists), Dee Oldham (eight) and BJ McLaughlin (seven) also chipped in to the Skyhawks’ offensive attack. Defensively, Omari Minor (four steals) and DeMarc Richardson (three) each set new career-highs in steals for UT Martin, who forced the Bisons into 20 turnovers tonight.
Martin Smith scored 22 points to lead Lipscomb (4-4), while Deonte Alexander (13 points), John Ross Glover (13) and Stephen Hurt (10) also cracked double-figures for the Bisons.
“It just wasn’t our night,” Skyhawk head coach Jason James said. “We didn’t have the right mindset to be in this game. The younger guys had a chance to get in the game and get some minutes. Anytime you can get newer players the chance to run up and down the floor, that’s good.”
Myles Taylor got the Skyhawks started with an 18-foot jumper on the game’s opening possession to give UT Martin a 2-0 advantage. Lipscomb soon would go on an 11-2 run over a span of 2:57 to take an eight-point lead.
Baskets on back-to-back possessions by Myles Taylor and Khristian Taylor got the Skyhawks within six (15-9) with 15:22 left in the first half. The Bisons led by 10 points midway through the first half but UT Martin fought back with an 8-2 run – thanks to consecutive three-pointers by Liabo and Myles Taylor – to make the score 23-19 at the 8:20 mark.
Lipscomb responded with seven unanswered points until a McLaughlin three-pointer in the right corner got the Skyhawks back within single-digits at 30-22. However, the Bisons posted a 16-5 run over the final 4:25 of the first half to take a 46-27 halftime lead.
Myles Taylor’s nine points paced the Skyhawks in the first half, while Smith, Alexander and Glover each scored 11 points to lead Lipscomb.
UT Martin began the second half on a 7-2 run, with five points coming via Myles Taylor. After the Skyhawks sliced their deficit to 14 points, the Bisons responded with an 8-2 run over the next 2:14 before back-to-back buckets by Khristian Taylor and Liabo made the score 56-40 with 15:34 left to play.
The Bisons held a 63-40 before UT Martin reeled off five unanswered points – capped off by a basket inside by Tobias Dowdell. Down the stretch, the Skyhawks were led by Khristian Taylor, who poured in nine straight points for UT Martin late in the contest.
The Skyhawks close out their three-game road swing next Saturday, Dec. 15 when they head to Saint Louis University. Tip-off time is scheduled for 7 p.m.