November 9, 2016

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Louisville Game Notes

The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team will officially open the season on Friday, Nov. 11 when the Skyhawks play host to nationally ranked No. 5 Louisville. Tipoff from the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

The Skyhawks (0-0) enter the season looking to reload a team which boasted the program’s third straight conference title, sixth consecutive postseason appearance and first postseason victory in 17 years after posting yet another 20-win season in 2015-16. The Skyhawks will need to replace over half of the team’s offensive output from a year ago while minimizing the lack of experience throughout the roster. The team will have little time to adjust however, as Friday’s contest serves as the first of four games over the next seven days.

UT Martin returns four players who saw action last year – even though standouts Jessy Ward and Shy Copney missed Monday’s exhibition due to injuries and remain day-to-day. Despite the lack of experience, the Skyhawks cruised to a 76-48 victory in the team’s lone exhibition against Christian Brothers on Monday evening. The Skyhawks saw freshman Kendall Spray give fans a quick look at her potential by scoring a game-high 21 points one 7-of-9 shooting and six three-pointers. Martin native Teddy Vincent made a splash in her Skyhawk debut, tossing in 15 points while freshman Ansley Eubank flirted with a double-double, tallying nine points and 11 rebounds.

The Skyhawks are coached by Kevin McMillan who enters his eighth season with a 142-83 record. McMillan - the two-time reigning Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year - ranks seventh on the OVC’s all-time wins leaderboard.

Louisville (0-0) enters the contest ranked fifth by the Associated Press and eighth in the USA Today/Coaches’ Poll and are picked to finish second in the ACC behind top ranked Notre Dame. The Cardinals return eight players from last year’s squad which went 26-8 – including a 15-1 mark in conference play – before ultimately falling in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Cardinals are led by reigning and preseason ACC Player of the Year Myisha Hines-Allen who headlines a full returning starting lineup. The preseason AP All-America honorable mention recipient averaged 17.6 points and 8.4 rebounds while notching 11 double-doubles as a sophomore. She is supported by All-ACC selection Mariya Moore (14.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 4.4 apg) and All-ACC freshman selection Asia Durr (11.0 ppg and 1.1 spg).

Friday’s contest serves as the sixth meeting between the two programs with Louisville holding a perfect 5-0 series advantage. The game also marks the first time the Cardinals have played in the Elam Center since Nov. 26, 2012 when they were ranked sixth nationally.

The contest will be streamed free, courtesy of the OVC Digital Network at the link above. Chris Brinkley (play-by-play) and Cal Luther (color) will broadcast the game on 104.9 FM KYTN. Live stats for the game along with radio broadcast can also be followed by accessing the link above. For in-game updates, follow the Skyhawks on twitter @UTM_Gameday.

Season and individual game tickets are currently on sale for the 2016-17 Skyhawk basketball season. Reserve your tickets today by calling ticket operations manager Fran Spears at (731) 881-7207.

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