WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM OPENS WITH VICTORY OVER JACKSONVILLE STATE
December 31, 2012
MARTIN– Senior Rickiesha Bryant, from Homestead, Fla., recorded her second career double-double and three other University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball players scored in double digits to lead the host Skyhawks past Jacksonville State, 93-63, Monday afternoon at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center in the Ohio Valley Conference opener.
Bryant scored 14 points and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds.
“It is time to step it up,” Bryant said. “It is time to take responsibility.”
Junior guards Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome scored 25 and 24 points respectively while freshman Katie Schubert added a career-high 11 points.
“We are hoping Rickiesha will be that third player,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “We did what we wanted to do today. We found balance and had a great game from Rickiesha. She got in the head of people, which is a stat you can’t measure.”
Bryant was 5-for-5 from the field in the first half with six rebounds and five blocks. With the five rejections, she moved up to No. 2 in school history for the most blocks (97).
“We told Rickiesha before the game we were going to go to her until she missed two shots,” McMillan said. “She didn’t miss, so, we will continue to go to her.”
The Skyhawks cruised to a 52-27 lead at halftime. While Bryant was perfect from the field, the Skyhawks shot 47.6 percent from the field and knocked down eight 3-pointers.
Newsome made three treys, while Butler and Schubert each sank a pair.
Jacksonville State opened the second half with a 7-0 run, but the Skyhawks answered with an 18-6 run capped off by a Butler 3-ball with 10:28 to play in the game.
The Skyhawks stretched their lead to 29 points four times and led by as many as 32 points with 2:13 to play when Bryant made a layup.
“Coach told me he wanted me to rebound, catch the ball clean and score,” Bryant said.
The junior college transfer listened.
“If you tell me I can have Butler and Newsome plus 14 points and 13 rebounds from Rickiesha (Bryant) every night I will take it,” McMillan said.
Jacksonville state was paced by Briana Morrow who scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
With the victory the Skyhawks are now 6-9 overall and 1-0 in the OVC. UT Martin will return to action Saturday, Jan. 5, when it hosts Murray State. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.
“I wanted to see that ‘we have a job-to-do’ look in their eyes, and I saw that today,” McMillan said.
The Skyhawks’ 52 first-half points is the most this season.
The Skyhawks eight first-half and 15 total 3-pointers were the most in a game this season.
Senior Rickiesha Bryant recorded her second career double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Junior Heather Butler extended her games with at least one 3-pointer to 61. Butler is closing in on the NCAA Division I record for most games (69) with a 3-pointer made
Senior Rickiesha Bryant finished the game with six blocks. She is now second in career blocks. Bryant passed Chastity Bohannan (93) who played at UT Martin from 1997-2000.