January 28, 2017

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The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team saw five players score in double figures while posting a pair of double-doubles for the first time this season en route to a 90-70 road victory at Ohio Valley Conference rival Murray State on Saturday.

The Skyhawks (6-16, 3-6 OVC) picked up their second straight victory behind a balanced scoring attack which featured five different players in double figures and a solid rebounding effort all while shooting 50 percent from the field. The win also marked the Skyhawks first road victory since Nov. 14, 2016, snapping a streak of nine consecutive games. UT Martin led for over 35 minutes in the contest due in large part to the team’s ability to knock down open shots and cherish the ball, limiting their turnovers to just 11 – resulting in the team’s largest margin of victory this season.  

Sophomore guard Emanye Robertson led all scorers by matching her previous career-high with 23 points while tallying four assists and four steals. Junior forward Ashton Feldhaus also maintained her hot play as of late, tallying 19 points and a career-best 11 rebounds to notch her first double-double of the season. Additionally, the Skyhawks saw Kendall Spray and Myah Taylor toss in 18 and 14 points, respectively, while Janekia Mason tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.

“I think it is safe to say that nobody saw this coming because Murray State has a really good club,” said UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan. “Our kids did a better job than we have been doing on the glass while our effort was better across the board. I hope our kids are learning what it takes to win games in this league. With all of the youth we have, it is going to take time to figure that out but hopefully we are starting to turn the corner. This was probably the best overall effort we have had this season. We have a lot of players who can score, but they have to feed off each other and they did a good job of doing that tonight.”

Murray State (12-9, 4-4 OVC) dropped its third consecutive contests after struggling to shooting from the floor. Despite the team’s shooting troubles, the Racers laced four players in double figures led by Bria Bethea who tallied 21 points and 10 rebounds. Ke’Shunan James – the OVC’s leading scorer – was held to just 14 points while Jasmine Borders (13 points) and LeAsia Wright 11 points and 10 assists rounded out the Racers in double figures.

After a slow start to the contest, the Skyhawks would string together a 7-0 run behind three consecutive steals to force the Racers to call a timeout, trailing 8-2. Murray State would respond with a 10-2 run of its own to retake the lead midway through the quarter. Things would stay tight throughout the rest of the quarter with UT Martin eventually taking a 24-22 lead into the second quarter.

UT Martin would once again start the second quarter with a quick 6-0 run before ultimately pushing the team’s advantage out to nine points following a trifecta by Spray with three minutes left to play in the quarter. Murray State would look to trim the deficit, cutting the margin down to four points on three different occasions before UT Martin ultimately took a 45-39 lead into halftime.

The Skyhawks would pad their lead in the third quarter of play by outscoring the Racers 25-19. The duo of Robertson and Taylor would both score seven points in the third quarter, leading to a 70-58 advantage for the Skyhawks heading into the final quarter of play.

UT Martin would look to put the game way early in the fourth quarter. The Skyhawks would string together a 11-0 run, highlighted by a four-point by play Spray to balloon the lead out to 21 points midway through the period. The Racers would trim the deficit down to as close as 16 in the final minutes before the Skyhawks put the game away with a 90-70 victory.

The Skyhawks will to build upon its past two victories with another road contest at Tennessee Tech on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Tipoff from the Eblen Center is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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