TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team battled at Florida State this afternoon but fell to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Seminoles by an 89-61 margin at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Skyhawks (1-4) were led this afternoon by a pair of forwards. Junior Myles Taylor poured in 17 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench while freshman Javier Martinez compiled career-highs of 13 points and a game-high seven rebounds on a near-perfect shooting performance (6-for-7 shooting, 1-for-1 from the free throw line). Senior guard Justin Childs also added 10 points, six rebounds, two assists and three steals for UT Martin, who was playing its third game in the last five days.
Ian Miller’s 20 points led Florida State (3-0), who is coached by UT Martin alum Leonard Hamilton. Aaron Thomas (19 points), Okaro White (17 points) and Devon Bookert (13 points) also paced the Seminoles, who were forced into 19 turnovers by the Skyhawk defense.
A jumper by Tobias Dowdell gave UT Martin a 2-0 lead at the 18:11 mark of the first half. The Skyhawks stayed within one possession through the game’s first five minutes until Florida State opened up an 11-4 advantage with 14:21 to play before halftime.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Taylor ignited an 8-0 Skyhawk run, as a Bobby Jones three-pointer at the 11:31 mark provided a 12-11 UT Martin lead. However, the Seminoles answered with nine unanswered points and would later go on a separate 7-0 spurt to lead 31-16 with 5:39 remaining in the first half.
Florida State led by 20 points until a Newell jumper with just under a minute left in the half provided the halftime margin of 41-23.
Taylor compiled seven points in the first half to lead the Skyhawks while Florida State was led by Miller’s 13 points.
The Seminoles began the second half on a 6-0 run but UT Martin kept fighting, as an 8-0 run over a span of 1:30 got the Skyhawks within a dozen points (52-40) with a little over 13 minutes to play. Taylor sank a jumper, followed by a Dee Oldham three-pointer and old-fashioned three-point play by Martinez to get UT Martin back within striking distance.
Florida State would follow with seven unanswered points to go ahead 59-40 at the 11:31 mark. Just over two minutes later, back-to-back buckets by Martinez and Oldham would make the score 65-50 but another 7-0 Seminole run immediately followed and the Skyhawks would not get any closer than 17 points the rest of the way.
UT Martin now returns home for a four-game homestand. The Skyhawks kick off the home stretch on Wednesday, Nov. 20 against UMKC out of the Western Athletic Conference. Tip-off from the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.