COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team used a balanced scoring attack and 36 points in the paint to power past Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee Tech 67-51 on Saturday evening.
The Skyhawks (10-12, 6-4 OVC) picked up its third win in four games with a strong showing throughout the contest, leading for nearly 36 minutes. UT Martin benefited from its work in the paint, scoring 36 of the team’s 67 points in the paint while shooting 47 percent from the floor. While the team was successful on the offensive end, the Skyhawks held its second straight opponent in the 50s while limiting them to just a 33 percent shooting clip from the floor.
The post trio of seniors Janekia Mason and Ashton Feldhaus along with freshman Chelsey Perry each scored in double figures. Mason and Feldhaus paced the Skyhawks with 14 points and four rebounds each while Perry tossed in 11 points and five rebounds.
“I think we are starting to figure things out a little better,” said UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan. “Maybe there is something to how we are trying to play with the rotations we have implemented as of late. With fresh legs we are starting to finish games with two in a row. There were things I was still disappointed in that we left out there and didn’t execute but I thought we played well defensively for much of the contest and closed it out down the stretch. Anytime you can win three of four games on a road trip, that is big.”
Tennessee Tech (4-17, 1-9 OVC) continued its struggles, dropping its 10th game in the last 11 outings behind a rough shooting night from the floor. Despite the team’s offensive struggles, senior Yaktavia Hickson led all scorers with 20 points and eight rebounds while sophomore guard Akia Harris tallied 10 points and five assists.
The Golden Eagles would get out to a 5-0 lead to start the contest before going cold from the field for the duration of the first quarter. After falling behind early, UT Martin would rebound by holding TTU scoreless over the final eight minutes of the period while finishing the quarter on a 13-0 run.
UT Martin would continue its dominance through much of the first half with yet another strong second quarter. After an early bucket by Tech, UT Martin would string together a 13-2 run over five minutes of play to push its lead out as large as 17 points at the 3:57 mark of the second. The Golden Eagles would later find their stride, cutting the deficit down to single-digits with an 8-0 run of their own to make it a nine-point contest. With the two team’s respective runs in the second quarter, UT Martin would take a 29-17 advantage into halftime.
Tennessee Tech would find its rhythm in the third quarter after a tough shooting evening in the first half. After making just 6-of-27 shots in the first half, the Golden Eagles shot 46.7 percent in the third quarter while outscoring the Skyhawks 19-13 to trim the margin down to six points heading into the final period of play.
The Skyhawks would use a strong fourth quarter to seal the team’s double-figure victory by outscoring the Golden Eagles 25-15. The senior duo of Mason and Feldhaus would prove big in the period, combining to score 17 points in the fourth to control the points in the paint. With the strong finish down the stretch, the Skyhawks would secure a 67-51 victory.
UT Martin will return to action and the friendly confines of the Elam Center on Thursday, Feb. 1 against Austin Peay. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.