It was a pleasant return to the Pittsburgh area for Florida Gulf Coast guard Tavian Dunn-Martin Saturday night at the UPMC Events Center.
Dunn-Martin and the Eagles defeated Robert Morris 85-74 as the graduate transfer guard recorded a game-high 31 points and 12 assists.
The Huntington, West Virginia native played three seasons at Duquesne from 2018-2021 before transferring to Florida Gulf Coast in his final year of eligibility.
“It means a lot to me, and it was fun for me to come back to Pittsburgh to see my friends,” Dunn-Martin said. “I’m glad we got the win.”
The 2018-19 Atlantic 10 Sixth Man of the Year averaged 9.2 points and 2.7 assists-per-game in 80 games with the Dukes.
31 points are the second-most Dunn-Martin has scored during the 2021-22 campaign, beginning the season with 34 against Loyola-Chicago on Nov. 13. Dunn-Martin credits his family being in attendance, especially his son, for the impactful and memorable performance in Moon Township.
“I think it was because my family was there and this was the first time my son got to see me play,” Dunn-Martin said. “I think that’s what helped me.”
Dunn-Martin finished the night 9-18 from three-point range including a shot from near halfcourt to demoralize the crowd and continue to spark a dynamic Eagles squad to their third-straight win and a 9-3 overall record.
“It gets my teammates going when I hit shots like those,” Dunn-Martin said. “I don’t take them to be fancy, I practice those shots and my teammates and coaches believe in me to make them. I had it rolling tonight and my teammates played unbelievable and gave me the confidence to make shots tonight as they do every night!”
Florida Gulf Coast is in a prime position to reemerge in the ASUN Conference thanks to Dunn-Martin and a combination of three-point shooters and impactful post players on the boards.
Dunn-Martin has registered 19.5 points-per-game and shoots only small percentage points apart from the field and behind the three-point line, both above 41%.