MURRAY, Ky. – Junior Jasmine Newsome scored 31 points and senior Rickiesha Bryant recorded her seventh career double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds to lead The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team to a 72-60 victory over host Murray State Saturday afternoon at the CSFB Center.
Junior Heather Butler tossed in 18 points, while Newsome’s 31 points marks the second consecutive game the Millington native has poured in 31 points and the seventh time in her career she has scored 30 or more points in a game.
“This is a good win on the road for us,” said UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillian. “Maybe we’re starting to come on.”
The Skyhawks have now won three consecutive Ohio Valley Conference games (Southeast Missouri State, Tennessee State and Murray State). This is the second time this season the Skyhawks have rattled off a three-game winning streak.
Murray State jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead with 16:15 to play in the first half, but UT Martin answered with a 32-7 run that culminated with a Butler jumper with 2:42 to play before the break. However, Murray State closed out the first half with a 10-0 run. UT Martin led at the break 35-24.
“We’re close to being a good basketball team,” McMillian said. “But we have to limit runs to be successful.”
Murray State made a late 11-1 run and cut the UT Martin lead to nine points when Alyssa Like knocked down a jumper in the paint with 1:17 to play in the game.
UT Martin closed out the game with five consecutive free throws. Newsome made four of those five free throws. She was 8-for-8 from the line in the game, while the Skyhawks shot 86 percent (18-for-21) from the charity stripe.
The Skyhawks drained 10 treys in the game and shot 60 percent from behind the arc in the second half.
Murray State won the battle on the boards, 45-40. Kelsey Dirks led the Racers with nine rebounds.
“Without (Bryant’s) boards we are in a lot of trouble,” McMillian said. Bryant has led the Skyhawks in rebounding the past three games and 15 times this season.
With the victory the Skyhawks improve to 14-14 on the year and 9-5 in the OVC West. Murray State falls to 15-11 and 7-7 in the league.
The Skyhawks will close out the home portion of their schedule Thursday, Feb. 28, when they host Eastern Illinois at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.