March 7, 2014

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Live Stats           Listen: Star 95.1 FM / WUTM 90.3 FM          Watch: OVCDN / ESPN3        UTM Game Notes

– The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball will continue its quest for a fourth consecutive Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship when the Skyhawks take on No. 2 seed Belmont in the tournament finals on Saturday, March 8. Action from Municipal Auditorium is scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Skyhawks (23-7, 15-1 OVC) made quick work of No. 5 seed Eastern Kentucky in the tournament semifinals on Friday, jumping out to a quick 22-0 lead before the Lady Colonels tallied their first basket. Overall, the Skyhawks notched the largest margin of victory in OVC Tournament history by smashing the previous record of 35 points, set in 1986, by defeating Eastern Kentucky 97-45 for a 42 point margin.

Led by the play of tournament veterans, senior guards Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome combined for 44 points on the day. Butler, the newly appointed OVC Player of the Year, scored a game high 23 points and three steals while notching her 127thconsecutive game in double figures, ranking fifth in NCAA history, and notching her fifth straight game with 20 points or more. Newsome tallied 21 points and six assists on the day, passing Tennessee Tech’s Cheryl Taylor on the OVC’s all-time scoring list with 2,533 career points. Butler and Newsome now sit in first and second, respectively, on the OVC’s scoring leaderboard.

Joining the duo of Butler and Newsome in double figures was the trio of Elizabeth Masengil, Ashia Jones and Karisma Tyson. Masengil tallied 11 points and five rebounds while Jones and Tyson scored 10 points each. Today’s game marked just the fourth time this season in which the Skyhawks placed five players in double figures.

Belmont (14-16, 10-6 OVC) comes into the finals fresh off a decisive 65-50 victory over No. 6 seed Jacksonville State. The Bruins won the OVC East division in the regular season and are winners of three of their last four. The Bruins are led in scoring by Jordyn Luffman who averages nearly a double-double per contest at 14.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Supporting Luffman is a cast of six players who average more than five points per game.

UT Martin won the lone regular season matchup at home, 82-53. Belmont leads the all-time series between the two schools 18-7, but the Skyhawks have won three of the last four contests.

Fans can watch the game live, free of charge on the OVC Digital Network or on ESPN3 at the links above. Tom Britt (play-by-play) and Chris Brinkley (color) will call all the action live from courtside locally on Star 95.1 FM while WUTM 90.3 FM, UT Martin’s award-winning student radio station, will broadcast the game online while live stats will be made available at the links above.

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