MARTIN, Tenn. – It took the University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team over six minutes to get in the scoring column against the No. 5 ranked Louisville before ultimately falling 100-57 in the team’s season opener.
The Skyhawks (0-0) struggled throughout the night without two of the team’s projected starters due to injury. Face against one of the nation’s toughest squad, the Skyhawks committed an uncharacteristic 32 turnovers while shooting just 39.5 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Myah Taylor led the Skyhawks with 14 points while junior Ashton Feldhaus chipped in 12 points in her debut.
Louisville (1-0) proved its top-billing with pressure defense and an electric shooting touch. The Cardinals dominated in all phases of the game, tallying 40 points in the paint while scoring 37 points off turnovers. The squad shot 56.1 percent from the field while the team’s bench tallied 49 points alone.
Sophomore Asia Durr led all scorers with 23 points while Briahanna Jackson tallied 13 points as well. Preseason All-American Myisha Hines-Allen posted a double-double in the season opener, tallying 12 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
“I told the kids that the game was going to be decided in the first three possessions,” said UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan. “You hear often times that a game can’t be won in the first quarter, but it can be lost. It was either going to go the way we wanted it to go or the way they want to go. We just were not able to slow the game down. I wish we could have played this game in December like we did last year, because with our youth and two starters being out, it was a tall task. We give all of the credit to Louisville though. They are a great team and arguably the best we have played over the past several years.”
Louisville would jump out to a sizable advantage out of the gate, opening the game on a 21-0 run before the Skyhawks got in the score column six minutes into the game. Nine different players would score for the Cardinals in the opening period led by Durr with six points while Taylor scored five of the Skyhawks’s seven first quarter points. After one quarter of play, Louisville would lead 31-7.
The game would slow down a little for the Skyhawks in the second quarter after tallying 13 turnovers in the first period alone. Louisville would still outscore the home squad in the second quarter but the margin would be minimal, with the Cardinals posting an 18-17 advantage in the period. Despite the close play in the second, UT Martin would still go into the locker room trailing 49-24.
After seemingly getting the game under control heading into the half, all momentum would sway back to the visitors in the second half. Much like the first quarter, the Cardinals would put the game away by outscoring the Skyhawks 35-15 in the period behind five three-pointers.
With the only thing left to decide being the final score, UT Martin would win the fourth quarter outscoring Louisville 18-16. Despite the late run towards the end, the Skyhawk would find themselves on the short end of a 100-57 loss.
UT Martin will return to action for its second game over the course of the next week with a trip to North Carolina A&T on Monday, Nov. 14. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CST.