CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Junior guard Heather Butler scored 19 points and junior guard Jasmine Newsome scored 26 points to lead The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team to an 81-64 victory over host Austin Peay Saturday afternoon. In the process, Butler became the first UT Martin basketball player to score 2,000-plus career points
Butler now has 2,005 career points and is UT Martin’s all-time leading scorer.
With the victory over Austin Peay and Tennessee State’s come-from-behind win over Eastern Kentucky, UT Martin wrapped up the fourth seed in next week’s Ohio Valley Conference postseason tournament at historic Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. UT Martin will play the winner of No. 5 Eastern Kentucky and No. 8 Murray State at noon on Thursday, March 7.
The score was tied four times and the lead changed seven times in the first half before UT Martin could find a way to stop the upstart Lady Govs.
“Hats off to our players for winning the game on the road,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “We just have to get ready for the tournament.”
With 4:15 to play in the first half, Newsome made a short jumper to give the Skyhawks a 27-25 advantage and a lead they would never relinquish.
The Skyhawks closed out the first half with a 12-8 run and led 39-33. Newsome scored 18 points in the first 20 minutes of the game.
Senior Shelby Crawford drained a 3-pointer with 16 minutes to play and the Skyhawks led 54-42 and never looked back. Butler scored 14 of her 19 points in the second half, while Crawford finished the game with seven points.
Senior Rickiesha Bryant finished the game with 13 points and 13 rebounds, her seventh career double-double.
Austin Peay was led by senior Meghan Bussabarger with 19 points. Nicole Olszewski tossed in 15 points while Leslie Martinez added 10 points.
The Skyhawks are now 7-0 when they score 81 or more points and have won five consecutive games.
“The energy and intensity didn’t seem to be there even though we won by fifteen, but it just felt like we were going through the motions,” McMillan said.
Photo courtesy of Robert Smith, The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle