Postgame Press Conference
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team posted a powerful debut in the team’s lone preseason exhibition, soaring past No. 8 ranked NAIA foe Lindsey Wilson College on Monday evening by a final score of 97-42.
The Skyhawks looked strong in the team’s lone tune-up of the season, approaching triple digits behind an explosive offense which shot 54.2 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from beyond the arc. UT Martin tallied 52 points in the paint while scoring 40 points off 36 turnovers by the Blue Raiders.
UT Martin was led in scoring by reigning OVC Freshman of the Year Kendall Spray who tallied 27 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Joining Spray in double figures was the play of freshman duo Chelsey Perry (16 points) and Zaire Hicks (15) while all 10 players scored in the contest.
“Tonight was about getting your uniform on, coming out in front of you home crowd and playing under the lights,” said UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan. “There is a lot we have to work on, but there is also a lot to build on. We played harder than we have been lately and I didn’t really realize the size and length we had until I saw them on the floor against another team. If these kids will keep working, I think our fans will enjoy watching them.”
After a slow start to the contest, UT Martin found its stride midway through the first quarter. With just five combined points through the opening three minutes of play, the Skyhawks would turn up the intensity on both side of the ball, forcing nine turnovers before closing out the period on a 19-4 run. With the large run, UT Martin would take a 22-6 lead into the second quarter.
UT Martin would stay aggressive in the second quarter, forcing 13 additional turnovers while outscoring Lindsey Wilson 29-8 during the period. The Skyhawks would take a 51-14 lead into halftime with Perry leading all scorers with 12 points while Spray chipped in 11 points.
The Skyhawks posted another strong quarter in the third, outscoring the Blue Raiders 27-11 in the period. Spray would lead the way in the quarter, scoring 13 of her 27 points in the third alone while the team shot nearly 65 percent from the field.
With the final score remaining as the only question mark in the contest, play leveled off in the fourth quarter as UT Martin outscored Lindsey Wilson 19-17. Six different Skyhawks would score in the final quarter paving the way to a 97-42.
The Skyhawks will officially open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 10 at regional rival Southern Illinois. Tipoff from SIU Arena is scheduled for 6 p.m.