MARTIN, Tenn. – Despite a valiant second-half run where The University of Tennessee at Martin out-scored visiting Indiana State 29-14 over the final 11:48 in regulation, the Sycamores escaped the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center with a 73-71 overtime victory over the Skyhawks.
“The bottom line is Indiana State wanted to win this game more than we did,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said.
Junior Heather Butler scored 24 second-half points to lead UT Martin and all scorers with 26 points. Jasmine Newsome and Rickiesha Bryant scored 10 points each, while senior Shelby Crawford netted nine points.
Butler forced the five-minute overtime when she made a layup with six seconds left in regulation. She had a chance to put the Skyhawks up by two with 12 seconds left in the overtime, but missed the back-end of a two-shot foul.
Bryant led the Skyhawks with nine rebounds and four blocks.
True freshmen Chelsey Hall and Sydney Vanlandingham scored nine and seven points respectively. Each player made a 3-pointer in the second half of the game. Hall opened the overtime period with a 3-pointer and then made a free throw to give the Skyhawks a 64-60 advantage with 4:33 to play. Vandlandingham came through with a 3-pointer with 2:41 to play and gave the Skyhawks a 70-65 cushion.
“Both Chelsey and Sydney played hard and gave us a good effort,” McMillan said.
However the game was tied twice in the final 38 seconds, once at 70-all and then again at 71-all.
Indiana State’s Natasha Zurek gave the Sycamores a 72-71 lead with six seconds left and then Anna Munn sealed the victory for the visitors when she made the front-end of a two-shot foul with less than a second to play in overtime.
Munn led Indiana State with 25 points, while Racheal Mahan tossed in 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Skyhawks are now 4-8 on the year and return to action Tuesday, Dec. 18, when they host Southern Miss in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Indiana State is now 7-2 on the year.