WOMEN'S BASKETBALL RETURNS HOME FOR OVC BATTLE WITH MOREHEAD STATE
January 18, 2013
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The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team will ride the momentum from an 82-71 victory over host Southeast Missouri into Saturday’s Ohio Valley Conference showdown with Morehead State. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center as the Skyhawks will unveil their 2011-12 OVC Championship banner.
Junior guards Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome turned in impressive efforts. Butler scored 23 points and became UT Martin’s all-time leading scorer with 1,772 career points. Newsome led all scorers in the game with 36 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
Senior Rickiesha Bryant turned in another stellar game with 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. It was the second double-double in the past six games for her.
“What you saw was us play harder in spurts,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “We played harder, but not better. Physically it was clunky at best. If we continue to play harder, eventually it will get smooth. We will have to take baby steps to get there.”
The game was tied six times and the lead changed hands seven times. UT Martin took the lead for good when Newsome made a layup with 2:27 left in the game. The Skyhawks closed out the game with a 12-3 run. Seven of the 12 points came at the free throw line where the Skyhawks made 22-of-27 attempts.
Newsome also made one of her five 3-pointers and the team’s eight treys in the game in the final three minutes of action. Butler made the Skyhawks’ other three.
After shooting a disappointing 29 percent in the first half, the Skyhawks shot a blistering 54.8 percent from the field in the second half and finished the game shooting 41.9 percent.
“We are making a turn in the right direction,” McMillan said. “We played really good offense at the end of the SEMO game and really good defense at the beginning. But what you are seeing is glimpses that this team is playing hard.”
Morehead State, which is 6-12 overall and 2-2 in the OVC standings, enters Saturday night’s showdown after a 77-71 victory at Austin Peay.
Morehead State had four players in double-digits against Austin Peay. Almesha Jones led the way with 24 points, while Allie Turner tossed in 17 points and Terrice Robinson added 15 points.
Fans can catch a free live video stream of the game on the OVC Digital Network at this link: http://www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com/showcase/#Live/427. On the radio, Chris Brinkley and Tom Britt will have the call on Star WCMT 101.3 FM, while live stats will be available here: http://www.utmsports.com/livestats/wbasketball/xlive.htm.