WOMEN'S HOOPS SET TO PLAY RIVAL EASTERN ILLINOIS IN OVC TOURNEY SEMIS FRIDAY
March 7, 2013
Game Notes Live Stats ESPN3
The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team will matchup with No. 1 seed Eastern Illinois for the third time this season in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Semifinals. Tip is set for noon on Thursday from Municipal Auditorium in Nashville.
UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan and the Skyhawks head into the duel riding a season-best six-game winning streak.
The Skyhawks (17-14, 11-5 OVC) enter the contest on the wings of a 78-63 victory in the OVC Tournament Quarterfinals over Eastern Kentucky. Junior guard Jasmine Newsome scored UT Martin’s first 15 points on her way to an OVC women’s basketball tournament record 41-point performance as the Skyhawks shook off a slow start to roll past Eastern Kentucky 78-63 at Municipal Auditorium.
After the league named Newsome its Player of the Year for the second consecutive season on Tuesday, Newsome put on a show in UT Martin’s tournament opener. She converted 14 shots – including a trio of three-pointers – and knocked down all 10 of her free throw attempts. She also corralled nine rebounds, handed out two assists and swiped a pair of steals.
Despite being held scoreless in the first half, three-time All-OVC first teamer Heather Butler amassed 21 points, doing most of her damage at the charity stripe (11-for-14). Senior Rickiesha Bryant tallied nine points, 11 rebounds and six blocks for the Skyhawks.
UT Martin and Eastern Illinois split the regular season, with both teams winning on their own home floor. The semifinals matchup will be the second time these team meet in nine days, as UT Martin defeated the Panthers by an 82-62 margin on Feb. 28.
The Skyhawks take a perfect record into the game at Municipal Auditorium since 2004. UT Martin has won the last two OVC Tournaments, with their last defeat coming in 2010 at the hands of Eastern Illinois in the tournament semifinals.