BUTLER, NEWSOME SET NEW RECORDS AS UT MARTIN WOMEN CLAIM BIG OVC VICTORY
February 4, 2013
MARTIN, Tenn. – It took junior guard Heather Butler almost the entire first half to knock down a 3-pointer, but when she connected for the trey with 3:36 it did two things – it tied the game at 22-all and took the pressure off the Gibson County native who opened the game against Eastern Kentucky at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center 0-for-7 from behind the arc.
Butler finished the game with 24 points. She was 2-for-11 from 3-point range as The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team posted a 75-60 victory over Eastern Kentucky. With the victory the Skyhawks improved to 11-13 overall and 6-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference West Division. Eastern Kentucky falls to 13-7 on the year and 7-3 in the OVC East.
That first 3-pointer of the game marked an end to Butler’s shooting woes. She was 0-for-11 from the field before the trey.
“We didn’t talk about the record at all,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “It must have got in her head.”
With that lone first-half 3-pointer, Butler set a new NCAA record for the most consecutive games scoring a trey (70). She finished the game with 24 points, two 3-pointers and she was 8-for-24 from the field.
“It put a little pressure on me, but I would rather win games in the NCAA Tournament,” Butler said. “We are basically concerned about playing 40 minutes with effort.”
Junior Jasmine Newsome joined the show. She had nine assists in the game and led all scorers with 27 points. She made 15-of-16 from the free-throw line.
With the nine assists, Newsome became UT Martin’s all-time assists leader. She has 464 career assists and passed UT Martin Hall of Famer Gwen Long who had 458 assists.
The Skyhawks led for most of the first half, but Eastern Kentucky would not go away. Butler’s 3-pointer knotted the game at 22-all. However the Skyhawks went on a 9-2 run to close out the first half.
Eastern Kentucky stayed close in the second half, but the combination of Butler and Newsome with some help from senior Rickiesha Bryant led to the Lady Colonels’ demise. Marie Carpenter prolonged the defeat by making five 3-pointers. She finished the game with 17 points.
Bryant scored 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
“It was a fight of a game, Eastern (Kentucky) always plays us tough,” McMillan said. “They are a physical team that wears you out inside. Every game, every possession, every defensive possession is a fight.”
- Junior Heather Butler set a new NCAA record for consecutive games scoring a three-point field goal (70). The Medina native broke the record set by Loyola Chicago’s Maggie McCloskey who scored a 3-pointer in 69 consecutive games.
- With nine assists against Eastern Kentucky, junior Jasmine Newsome is UT Martin’s new career assist leader. Newsome past UT Martin Hall of Famer Gwen Long (1985-88, 1989-90) who had 458 career assists.
- Senior Rickiesha Bryant scored 12 points in the game. The double-digits marked the 11th time in the past 12 games Bryant has scored in double figures. She only scored in double figures one time last season.
- The Skyhawks return to action, Saturday, Feb. 9, when they host SIU-Edwardsville in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. The women will play after the men’s game which starts at noon.
- The Skyhawks have the best home attendance in the Ohio Valley Conference through games as of Feb. 3, 2013. The Skyhawks have averaged 2,001 fans per home game. The attendance is the 63rd best in the nation. Tennessee Tech is second in the OVC and 110th in the nation. Tennessee Tech is averaging 1,246 fans per game.