MARTIN, Tenn. – Terence Smith and Myles Taylor both had outstanding individual efforts for the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team tonight but it wasn’t enough as the Skyhawks fell 68-64 to Jackson State at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.
Smith poured in a season-best 23 points, tied a career-high with seven assists and also pulled down six rebounds with two steals for UT Martin (1-6). He drained a career-best five 3-pointers in nine attempts and just missed his career-high total in scoring (26 points against Southeast Missouri on Feb. 16, 2013).
Taylor compiled 17 points, nine rebounds and a career-high seven blocked shots in 28 minutes of action this evening. He made four of his seven shot attempts while canning nine of his 11 attempts from the charity stripe. His seven blocked shots were the most by any UT Martin player in the last decade and most by an OVC player since Kenneth Faried accomplished the feat for Morehead State against Austin Peay on March 4, 2011.
Jackson State (2-4) was led by 17 points and 14 rebounds by Brandon West. Julysses Nobles also scored 17 points and had five assists for the Tigers, who shot 54.5 percent (12-for-22) in the second half to overcome 19 turnovers in the contest.
The Skyhawks led 5-0 nearly three minutes into the game but Jackson State went on a 7-0 run to take a 9-7 lead with just under 14 minutes to go in the first half. A Smith three-pointer at the 12:55 mark tilted the score back in UT Martin’s favor at 10-9 but the Tigers came back with a 10-2 spurt to go on top 19-12 with 9:32 to go before the halftime break.
A three-pointer by Smith and layup by Javier Martinez on back-to-back possessions got the Skyhawks back within one possession (22-19) at the 6:13 mark. Jackson State would take an eight-point lead (33-25) with 1:27 to go before the half but Smith answered with a pair of free throws to make the score 33-27 at the break.
Smith’s 11 points led all scorers at the half while Nobles scored 10 points to lead Jackson State in the first half.
Yet another trifecta by Smith opened the scoring for UT Martin in the second half but Jackson State was able to take a 44-33 lead with 16:48 remaining.
The Skyhawks kept chipping away – reeling off an 8-0 run, capped off by a Dee Oldham three-pointer in the left corner that made the score 46-44 midway through the half. However, the Tigers came right back with a 9-2 run over a span of 3:48 to go on top by a 55-46 margin.
A steal and old-fashioned three-point play by Justin Childs got the Skyhawks back within five points (60-55) with 2:15 left to play. UT Martin would get within five points on three more possessions but could not get any closer until a three-point play by Taylor with one second left provided the final scoring margin.
UT Martin continues its four-game homestand with a matchup against in-state rival Lipscomb on Monday, Nov. 25. The game, which is the second half of a women’s and men’s doubleheader, is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m.