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Weddle’s big night darkened by FSU

Weddle’s big night darkened by FSU
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Union City High School product Marquis Weddle and Reuben Clayton helped UT Martin hit a season-high 12 three-pointers on Tuesday, but the Skyhawks couldn’t shake off a slow start in a 95-68 loss at Florida State.
Weddle — playing in just his second game of the 2009-10 season after being ineligible during the first semester of the campaign — and Clayton each hit 5-of-10 three-pointers.
Weddle finished with 27 points, his 23rd career 20-plus point game, while Clayton’s career-high five treys helped him finish the night with 17 points.
Benzor Simmons also scored in double-figures (12 points) and grabbed six rebounds for the Skyhawks, who were playing short-handed without starting point guard Delrico Lane — out with a leg injury that will sideline him indefinitely.
UC product MJ Brown finished with four points, hitting his only 3-point attempt.
“Those are the numbers we are used to from Marquis,” UT Martin head coach Jason James said. “He came out and shot the ball well. He had a different array of shots and I thought in the first half he got us going and in the second half he picked up where he left off in the first half.”
Six Seminoles scored in double-figures, led by Michael Snaer’s 18 points off the bench. Xavier Gibson (12 points), Terrance Shannon (11 points), Chris Singleton (10 points), Deividas Dulkys (10 points) and Jordan DeMercy (10 points) also assisted FSU, which is coached by UTM alum Leonard Hamilton, to the victory.
“The second half we decided to come out and compete a little harder, but the game was already stretched out so much it was hard to come back,” James said. “They’re as long a team as you’ll see maybe in the country and they’re as athletic a team as you will see in the Atlantic Coast Conference. That’s a good basketball team we played tonight.”
Florida State began the game on a 16-0 run, with five different players contributing to the offensive attack. The Skyhawks got their first seven points of the night from Weddle, who hit a leaner in the paint at the 13:56 mark to get UT Martin on the scoreboard.
After Simmons made one of two free throw attempts, the Seminoles went on an 11-2 run that included two three-pointers from Dulkys, pushing the Florida State lead out to 36-10 with 7:36 left in the first half.
The Seminoles would extend their lead out to 28 with 4:24 left before the Skyhawks unleashed an 8-0 run capped off by a Simmons trey to make the score 43-23 with three minutes remaining before the halftime break. Florida State would go back up by 26 points before Weddle hit a long three-pointer from straight away with one second left in the half, making the score 51-28 at the half.
Weddle’s 10 points led the Skyhawks in the first half, as he made four of his nine field goal attempts, including 2-for-4 shooting from three-point range. As a team, UTM shot 32 percent (10-for-31), but did convert 46 percent of its three-point tries (5-for-11). Michael Snaer led all scorers with 11 points off the bench for Florida State, who shot 56 percent from the field (including 54 percent from beyond the 3-point arc).
A 15-foot jumper from Simmons off a well-designed in-bounds play started the scoring for the second half, cutting the Seminole lead to 50-31. After a lay-up on the other end by Xavier Gibson, Weddle answered with a trey from the left wing to cut the lead back to 20. UT Martin then applied full-court pressure and forced a turnover, but Simmons — a 87 percent free throw shooter entering the game — missed two free throws, leading to an 8-0 Seminole run.
Weddle then caught fire once again, scoring seven points on three straight trips down the floor. After a reverse dunk by Alabi, Terrance Coleman hustled for an offensive rebound and found MJ Brown for an open three-pointer to make the score 63-43 with 13:43 left.
A Snaer fadeaway jumper off an offensive rebound ignited an 8-0 run for the Seminoles, which was stopped when Andres Irarrazabal had a put-back at the 10:06 mark. Florida State answered right back with another run — this time an 8-2 run that gave the Seminoles its biggest lead of the night at 33 when Dulkys collected a steal and dunk at the 7:22 mark.
UTM stormed back with a 9-2 run of its own over the next 2:26, as Clayton nailed two treys and Weddle added another to make the score 83-57 with under five minutes left. However, the Skyhawks couldn’t ever get any closer than 25 points the rest of the way.
UT Martin will close out the 2009 calendar year with a home game against Westminster College Dec. 30. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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