March 3, 2017

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Championship Central

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Listen: Star 95.1 FM / WUTM 90.3 FM

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The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team will continue its title quest with a matchup against No. 1 ranked Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference Basketball Championship semifinals on Friday, March 3. Tipoff from Municipal Auditorium is scheduled for noon.

The Skyhawks (12-18) enter the contest having won eight of their last 10 contests – including a 59-43 victory over Austin Peay in the OVC Basketball Championship quarterfinals on Friday afternoon. In the contest the Skyhawks held the Governors to just 43 points, ranking as a season-low for an opponent this season. After dropping an early deficit, UT Martin outscored Austin Peay by 20 over the final three quarters of play to seal the team’s victory. Offensively, the Skyhawks were led in scoring by Emanye Robertson who flirted with a double-double, tallying 17 points and nine rebounds. Janekia Mason (14 points, seven rebounds) and Myah Taylor (11 points, five rebounds) also scored in double figures.

With the victory, UT Martin improved to 13-3 in the OVC Basketball Championship since 2010. The Skyhawks have now reached at least the semifinals in the tournament bracket for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

UT Martin features four players who average in double figures, led by the team’s three All-OVC members in Taylor (12.4 ppg), Kendall Spray (12.3 ppg) and Ashton Feldhaus (11.3 ppg).

Belmont (25-5) enters the contest riding a 19-game winning streak after becoming just the seventh team in OVC history to post a perfect record in conference play en route to a regular season championship. The Bruins also rank as the defending tournament champions while boasting three All-OVC first team honorees in Kylee Smith (15.2 ppg), Darby Maggard (14.1 ppg) and Sally McCabe (12.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 83 blocks) – who also took home OVC Defensive Player of the Year honors. Belmont won its quarterfinal matchup against No. 8 seed Southeast Missouri 74-59.

Friday’s contest also serves as a matchup of two of the league’s top coaches in UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan and Belmont’s Cameron Newbauer. The duo has combined to win the last three OVC Coach of the Year honors with McMillan ranking fifth on the OVC’s all-time wins list with 154 victories in eight seasons while Newbauer has posted 77 in four years.

The game also marks the 31st meeting between the two programs in series history with Belmont holding a 19-11 advantage. UT Martin has won five of the last eight contests against Belmont despite dropping an early season matchup on the road 71-66 on Jan. 5. The Skyhawks are 2-0 against the Bruins in OVC Basketball Championship action with wins coming in 2014 and 2015.

The contest will be streamed live on both ESPN3 or WatchESPN along with the OVC Digital Network at the links above. Fans can also tune into Star 95.1 FM to hear Tom Britt (play-by-play) and Chris Brinkley (color) provide analysis or to WUTM 90.3 FM, UT Martin’s award winning student radio station. Links for both radio broadcast along with live stats can be accessed through their respective links above. For in-game updates, follow the Skyhawks on twitter @UTM_Gameday.

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