MARTIN, Tenn. – Kedar Edwards compiled a triple-double while Javier Martinez was responsible for a career-high in points as the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team blew past Bethune-Cookman in a 97-72 win at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.
Edwards racked up 15 points, a career-best 11 assists and a game-high 10 rebounds tonight to become only the third Skyhawk to amass a triple-double, joining Lester Hudson (quadruple-double against Central Baptist on Nov. 13, 2007 and against Southeast Missouri on Feb. 16, 2008) and Deville Smith (at Northwestern State on March 19, 2015).
Martinez went off for a career-high 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting, accomplishing that feat in just 26 minutes of play. Fatodd Lewis (12 points), Matthew Butler (10 points) and Malik London (career-high 10 points) also reached double-figures in scoring.
Jalen Jackson added career-highs of eight points and seven assists for UT Martin (9-4), who handed out 27 assists while shooting 77.8 percent (21-of-27) in the second half.
“We were very unselfish and got back to how we like to play on offense distributing the ball tonight,” Skyhawk head coach Anthony Stewart said. “We played for one another and got the ball flowing. We have expectations to win every game and tonight we got back in the win column by having everybody in tune to our game plan and staying with the process.”
Bethune-Cookman (3-9) was led by Reggie Baker’s 22 points while Diamante Lewis tossed in 19 points for the Wildcats, who connected on 40.9 percent (27-for-66) of their field goal attempts this evening.
UT Martin led for 38:45 of clock time tonight, scoring the first four points of the game on jumpers by Martinez and Butler. A fast break layup by Jackson at the 14:01 mark capped off a 10-2 run and provided the Skyhawks with a 16-7 advantage.
A pair of Martinez free throws with 9:40 to go in the first half extended UT Martin’s lead out to double-digits at 29-19. Bethune-Cookman sliced its deficit to four points but Martinez accounted for three layups in the span of 1:11 to swing the advantage back out to 36-26.
The Wildcats were able to close out the first half on a 7-0 run as the Skyhawks held on to a 42-39 lead at the break. Martinez tallied 18 points while Baker’s 20 points paced Bethune-Cookman.
After the Wildcats tallied the first five points of the second half to take their first lead of the contest, Edwards and Martinez combined to score nine consecutive UT Martin points to nudge the Skyhawks ahead by a 51-46 margin.
Martinez sank a fast break layup at the 16:14 mark to make the score 55-46 but Bethune-Cookman got back within four points (62-58) a little under three minutes later.
UT Martin answered with a 29-6 run – doing a majority of its damage with a lineup that consisted of Jackson, Butler, Lewis, Kahari Beaufort and London. An alley-oop layup from Edwards to London at the 3:40 mark provided the Skyhawks with their biggest lead of the night at 91-64 on the way to the victory.
The Skyhawks go on the road for two games next week, traveling to UMKC on Tuesday, Dec. 20 and Southern Illinois on Thursday, Dec. 22.