February 10, 2018

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MARTIN, Tenn. –
The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team continued its hot play, notching the team’s sixth straight win with a 72-65 home victory over Ohio Valley Conference foe Southeast Missouri.

The Skyhawks (14-12, 10-4 OVC) led for over 31 minutes in today’s contest while placing three players in double figures. UT Martin would tally 11 steals while forcing Southeast Missouri into 20 turnovers – translating into 23 points.  

Senior Ashton Feldhaus led the way for the home squad, tying a career-high with 23 points while tallying four rebounds. Freshman Chelsey Perry also tallied a big afternoon, tying a career-high of her own with 21 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Kendall Spray would round out the Skyhawks in double figures with 12 points on the day.

“Today was a strange game that didn’t feature a lot of flow,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “We struggled a little bit to find our flow and make adjustments in the first half but I thought our intensity was better in the second. There came a point in the game where we really needed someone to step up and make a shot and that is where Ashton came through for us today. She made big plays when we needed them and gave us a great senior performance.”

Southeast Missouri (11-15, 6-8 OVC) battled throughout the contest by shooting 50 percent from the floor and winning the rebound battle. The Redhawks would also feature four players in double figures, led by the play of Ashton Luttrull with 18 points while Iyanna McCurdy (11 points), Deja Jones (10 points) and Martin native Kaley Leyhue (10 points) rounded out the quartet.

UT Martin wasted little time looking to carry over momentum from the team’s winning streak early as the Skyhawks held a lead as large as six points in the opening quarter of play. Spray would play a big part in the strong start, scoring 10 points in the first alone while the Skyhawks took a 16-13 lead into the second quarter.

The Redhawks looked to respond in the opening minutes of the second quarter by outscoring the Skyhawks 11-5 through the first five minutes of the period to not only eliminate the team’s deficit but build a lead of their own. SEMO posted a five-point advantage of its own before UT Martin responded before the half with a run keyed in large part by Perry who scored all 15 of her first half points in the second quarter. With the squad trailing by two possessions, Perry would score eight consecutive points to give the Skyhawks a 34-33 lead heading into halftime.

The third quarter was played tight throughout with neither team finding much breathing room. UT Martin would start the quarter strong, taking a lead as large as eight points, but Southeast Missouri would answer right back to trim the deficit to 54-51 at the final horn of the third.

The lead would change hands twice in the fourth quarter but jumper by Emanye Robertson with 7:26 to play would give UT Martin its final lead of the game which it would not relinquish. The Skyhawks would lean heavy on the play of Feldhaus down the stretch as she tied her career-high for the contest while tallying 13 of her 23 points in the fourth quarter. Backed by the play of the senior, the Skyhawks would seal the 72-65 victory.

UT Martin will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 15 when playing host to Ohio Valley Conference rival SIUE in a nationally televised affair on ESPNU. Tipoff from the Elam Center is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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