YouTube: Postgame Highlights
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team used a barrage of three-point shooting to cruise past Ohio Valley Conference foe Austin Peay 100-66 on Thursday night to notch its third consecutive victory.
The Skyhawks (11-12, 7-4 OVC) would knock down 13 three-pointers in the contest while shooting 53.4 percent from the floor. Behind a strong shooting performance, UT Martin would lead by as much as 39 points early in the fourth while placing four players in double figures.
Sophomore Kendall Spray continued her hot shooting on the season, scoring a game-high 25 points while knocking down 7-of-10 three-point attempts. With seven three-pointers Spray surpassed both Heather Butler (2010-11) and Jessy Ward (2014-15) on the single-season three-pointers made list by pushing her season total up to 89 made trifectas – tying her record-setting freshman season’s output.
Along with Spray’s hot shooting, junior Myah Taylor also found her shooting stroke by scoring 18 points while knocking down 5-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc off the bench. Freshman Zaire Hicks continued a trend of bench scoring by tallying 12 points on the night while junior guard Emanye Robertson tallied 11 points and seven assists.
“Overall tonight was a pretty good effort,” said UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan. “We played really strong in both the first and third quarters, but just wish we would have finished the game out a little stronger down the stretch. What is encouraging is that we have been practicing better lately and I think tonight we saw that come through on the court. We shot the ball well and our players were fresh down the stretch. When we work hard, we can be pretty good and I’m glad our fans got to see a performance like that at home.”
Austin Peay (12-10, 5-6 OVC) struggled for much of the contest before breaking through for 23 points in the fourth quarter off 82 percent shooting in the period. While the fourth was strong for the Governors, they could not overcome 30 minutes of struggles as only Brianne Alexander (11 points) scored in double figures while the squad committed 22 turnovers on the night.
UT Martin would waste very little time jumping out to a big lead in the first quarter. After a quick three-pointer by the Govs to open the contest, the Skyhawks would proceed to string together an 8-0 run to force APSU to call a timeout just three minutes into the contest. Overall the Skyhawks would push their advantage out to as large as 12 points midway through the quarter before taking a 25-14 lead into the second period.
The Skyhawks would maintain control of the contest in the second quarter, pushing the team’s margin out to 23 points with just under four minutes to play in the half. Taylor would catch fire in the quarter, nailing three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to bring her first half scoring total up to 14 points. With yet another strong quarter of play, UT Martin took a 47-30 advantage into halftime.
The third quarter would hold a similar pattern as the first two as UT Martin outscored Austin Peay 25-13 in the period. Spray would play a big part in the scoring output for the Skyhawks, tallying 11 points of her own in the quarter. The Skyhawks would later push their lead out to 29 points as they took a 72-43 lead into the fourth.
UT Martin would cruise to a victory down the stretch, pushing its margin out to a season-high 39 points with 7:54 to play in the contest. With only the final score left to be decided, the Skyhawks turned to their reserves down the stretch to seal a 100-66 victory.
The Skyhawks will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 3 when playing host to regional rival Murray State. Tipoff from the Elam Center is scheduled for 4 p.m.