COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Five players scored in double digits as The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team claimed a convincing, 81-63, Ohio Valley Conference victory over host Tennessee Tech Monday night at the Eblen Center.
Jasmine Newsome, from Millington, led the way with 19 points, while Heather Butler scored 16 points. Freshman Katie Schubert tossed in a career-high 14 points and four 3-pointers. Senior Rickiesha Bryant tossed in 13 points while freshman Sydney Vanlandingham had a career-high 12 points.
“When we get 19 from (Jasmine) Newsome, 16 from (Heather) Butler, 14 from Katie Schubert, 13 from Rickiesha (Bryant) and 12 from (Sydney) Vanlandingham, I will take it every night and not worry about a thing,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “When we help Butler and Newsome, we are a pretty good basketball team.”
UT Martin built a 22-point lead with 12:32 to play in the game and never looked back. The Skyhawks shot 56.4 percent from the field and hit 12-of-24 from 3-point range.
“When you make shots like we did we are a pretty good team,” McMillan said.
The Skyhawks also forced 18 turnovers on the night and grabbed 12 steals as their 1-3-1 defense stymied the Golden Eagles. Newsome led the team with five steals. “We are not a great zone team, but we have been able to bother people with our defense,” McMillan said. “We executed on defense and on offense,” McMillan said. “It was probably the best we have done in a while.”
UT Martin jumped out to a 5-0 run in the first half and never looked back. The Skyhawks hit seven 3-pointers, with Vanlandingham knocking down all four of her attempts.
Butler made 5-of-8 attempts from the field and scored 11 points in the first half. The Skyhawks shot 62 percent from the field and 63.6 percent from behind the arc.
Tennessee Tech cut the Skyhawks lead to one point, 12-11, when Lashay Davis hit a 3-pointer with 14:48 to play in the half. Tech was able to get close one other time in the first half, 18-16, when Davis hit her second 3-pointer of the game. Davis led Tech with 19 points and five 3-pointers.
The Skyhawks outscored Tech 18-7 off turnovers and 9-2 on the fast break.
UT Martin returns to action Saturday afternoon at SIU-Edwardsville. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. The Skyhawks also play Monday, Jan. 28, at Eastern Illinois.
“It will not get any easier,” McMillan said. “The next two games will be huge.”