February 8, 2018

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RICHMOND, Ky. – The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team never trailed as the squad pushed its season-long winning streak out to five games with a 72-54 road victory against Ohio Valley Conference foe Eastern Kentucky.

The Skyhawks (13-12, 9-4 OVC) eclipsed the .500 mark for the first time on the season after posting a dominating road victory over the Colonels. UT Martin would hold Eastern Kentucky to just eight points in the first quarter before taking a lead as large as 22 points in the second quarter. Along with the team’s strong offensive play, the Skyhawks forced the issue on defense, causing 22 turnovers on the evening.  

UT Martin saw five players score in double figures for the third time this season as Kendall Spray led the squad with 19 points. Spray continued to climb the program’s single-season three-point list, knocking down five three-pointers in the contest to boost her season total to 102, ranking fourth. Meanwhile Richmond, Ky. native Ashton Feldhaus posted a nice homecoming, scoring 13 points while fellow senior Janekia Mason chipped in 12 points of her own. The freshman pair of Chelsey Perry and Maddie Waldrop both tallied 11 points each while combining for 13 rebounds to round out the Skyhawks in double figures.

“We started playing pretty good to start the game but I think our heart just wasn’t in it in the third quarter and we gave them a little life,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “I just want us to be the best team we can be but we can’t put it together over 40 minutes. However, we got a win on the road, which is hard to do, now we have to get rested and ready to play against on Saturday.”

Eastern Kentucky (7-15, 4-9 OVC) dropped its fifth straight outing with a rough shooting night, making just 38.5 percent of the team’s field goal attempts. Junior Abby Wright paced the Colonels with 24 points while narrowly missing out on a double-double with nine rebounds. Freshman Bria Bass also scored in double figures, notching a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

UT Martin would waste little time jumping out to a nice margin in the contest. After taking a four-point advantage at the first media break, the Skyhawks would outscore the Colonels 12-4 over the final five minutes of action in the quarter to take a 20-8 advantage into the second.

The Skyhawks would stay aggressive in the second quarter, opening the period on an 11-2 run before the first media break. With the lead out to as much as 22 points midway through the period, EKU would rebound nicely in the final minutes of the half by stringing together an 8-3 run. Despite the run by the home squad, UT Martin would take a 39-20 lead into halftime.

Eastern Kentucky looked to fight back in the third quarter, coming out of the half on an 11-2 run to start the period. After the big run to start the quarter, play would level off as UT Martin steadied the ship and kept the margin at a sizable advantage, holding a 56-43 lead after three quarters.

The score would only get as close as 12 points in the fourth quarter as UT Martin put the game away down the stretch. With the game never in reach after a strong first half, the Skyhawks would cruise down the stretch to push their winning streak out to a season-long five games with a 72-54 victory.

UT Martin returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 10 when playing host to Southeast Missouri. Tipoff from the Elam Center is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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