EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Without the guidance of their head coach Kevin McMillan combined with poor shooting, the University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball saw its season-best 10 game winning streak snapped at SIU Edwardsville 65-62. The loss was the first Ohio Valley Conference loss for the Skyhawks this season.
The Skyhawks (17-7, 10-1 OVC) were without the services of their head coach as McMillan missed the road trip due to illness. Compounded with shooting 31 percent from the floor and making only 13-of-24 attempts from the free throw line, the Skyhawks dropped their first decision since Dec. 30 against No. 20 Florida State.
UT Martin was led in scoring by Jasmine Newsome who tallied 18 points while Ashia Jones finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Heather Butler tallied 12 points and seven rebounds while Megan White tallied 11 points.
SIUE placed four players in double figures as well behind the play of Ashley Capotosto who tallied a team-high 14 points and nine rebounds. Coco Moore finished with 13 points while Micah Jones and Allyssa Decker tallied 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The Skyhawks would open the game with a quick 4-0 run before taking the 6-4 lead into the first media break. The trio of Newsome, Butler and Jones each tallied field goals in the opening three minutes of the game.
Neither team could find any fluidity over the next four minutes of play. Both teams combined to shoot 0-for-14 with seven missed shots each. Along with the poor shooting marks, the team tallied a combined five turnovers during the span.
UT Martin would outscore the Cougars 6-5 over the ensuing five minutes of play as Butler, Newsome and Jones once again tallied a field goal each. The low scoring affair had the Skyhawks leading 12-9 with 7:11 to play in the first half.
SIUE would respond with an offensive outburst of their own, going on a 13-8 run to take the 22-20 lead with 3:30 to play in the first half. The Cougars would match their first 12 minute production by knocking down five field goals during the three minute span. Moore would lead the way for the Cougars with five of the team’s 13 points.
UT Martin ended the first half on a 5-0 run to take a 25-22 lead into the break. The Skyhawks were led in scoring by Newsome who tallied eight points while Jones registered seven points and nine rebounds in the opening period. The Cougars were led in scoring by Moore with seven points.
The Cougars came out firing in the second half, putting together an 11-4 run to retake the lead. Holding a 33-29 advantage, the Cougars got two points from Moore and a pair of field goals from Jones.
Both teams tallied six points each over the next several minutes, as Butler, Newsome and Jones each reached double figures. Moore reached double figures for the Cougars after knocking down a three-pointer and a layup.
The Skyhawks slightly outscored the Cougars 8-7 through the 7:46 mark to cut the margin to three. A three-pointer by Katie Schubert cut the Skyhawk deficit to as small as one point, snapping a long standing strand of missed three-pointers.
Senior sharpshooter White snapped her 0-for-6 night from beyond the arc by hitting three of her next four three-pointers to tie the game at 55 with just over four minutes left to play. The Skyhawks and Cougars would continue to go back and forth, seeing the lead change hands seven times while having the game tied on three occasions in the final minutes of the game.
The Skyhawks would have the chance to take control of the game in the final minutes but missed three of their last four free throws to seal their fate. With a final score of 65-62, the Skyhawks saw their 10-game winning streak come to a halt.
UT Martin will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 15 when they travel to Southeast Missouri. Tipoff from the Show Me Center is scheduled for 3 p.m.