CAPE GIRARDEAU – Heather Butler, a Gibson County native, became The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball all-time leading scorer with 23 points against host Southeast Missouri State Wednesday night.
She entered the game six points shy of the 1,754 -mark set by Mary Kate Long who played at UT Martin from 1985-89.
With 9:45 to play in the first half against Southeast Missouri State, Butler made a 10-foot jumper to surpass Long’s 1,754 points. The Skyhawks posted an 82-71 victory over Southeast Missouri State.
“This is a tribute to (Heather) Butler, her teammates and Jasmine (Newsome) who are out there on the floor with her every night,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said.
Butler still has 11 regular season games to play this year and her entire senior season. She is now chasing the Ohio Valley Conference record for most points scored. The ominous mark belongs to Cheryl Taylor who played at Tennessee Tech from 1983-87. Taylor scored 2,526 career points.
Butler is on the Wade Trophy Watch List. The Wade Trophy is to women’s basketball as the Heisman Trophy is to college football. She is the Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Player of the Year, and has scored double-digits in every game she has played (82).
To break the former Gibson County High School standout’s scoring down – she has scored 20 or more points in 45 career games; scored 30 or more points in eight career games; and scored 40 or more points in two games.
She currently holds the school record for most points scored in a single game (42) and has made at least one three pointer in 65 consecutive games. She is currently the OVC’s leading scorer (22 p.p.g.) and ranks sixth in the NCAA in scoring (22.3 p.p.g.).
Butler led Gibson County High School to back-to-back state championships her junior and senior year. Her junior season she played for current UT Martin coach Kevin McMillan.
Her senior season she played for David Russell who is currently one of her assistant coaches.
“Butler would much rather win and see her teammates play well then keep up or worry about her own statistics,” McMillan said. “She is absolutely phenomenal.”