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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team placed three players in double figures en route to snapping a three-game losing streak after knocking off regional rival Southern Illinois 76-68 on Tuesday night.
The Skyhawks (2-5) picked up their first home victory of the season after shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and placing three players in double figures. The trifecta of Myah Taylor, Breanna Boggs and Ashton Feldhaus each either tied or eclipsed their previous career highs in the contest to provide a balanced attack. The squad benefited from scoring 44 points in the paint while tallying 24 points off the bench. The win also marked the fifth victory over the Salukis in the last six meetings.
Taylor led all scorers with a career-high 25 points – converting 10-of-18 shot attempts and four three-pointers. Boggs made her impact known by knocking down 8-of-9 shot attempts for a career-high 17 points while tallying seven rebounds. Feldhaus, the Reigning OVC Newcomer of the Week, tallied her third straight game with 14 points while nearly notching a double-double with nine assists.
“I thought we played a pretty decent game even though we had a lot of lapses in execution, but we were able to push out and figure a way to win,” said UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan. “I think that Breanna’s play in the third quarter was the key to the game while Ashton’s play - being able to get her the ball - was exactly what we needed. We just have to get experience and it’s going to take some time for us to take the next step.”
Southern Illinois (3-3) would challenge throughout the contest, placing four players in double figures. Forward Kim Nebo would flirt with a double-double, tallying 19 points and eight rebounds while Carlie Corrigan tallied 14 points. The duo of Kylie Giebelhausen (13 points) and Rishonda Napier (10 points) rounded out the Salukis in double figures.
Both teams would play even in the opening minutes of the first quarter with Southern Illinois holding a slim 11-10 margin at the first media timeout. The Skyhawks would turn up the gas coming out of the timeout, forcing four turnovers en route to a 9-0 run. Myah Taylor would play a big part in the run as she scored seven consecutive points in the span of 20 seconds to give the Skyhawks a 21-13 lead. The Salukis would not lie down however, finishing the first quarter on 6-0 run to trim the deficit to 23-19 heading into the second.
The Skyhawks would keep up the defensive attack in the second quarter, forcing four more turnovers while outscoring the Salukis 6-1 to draw a timeout just three minutes into the period. With UT Martin holding a 29-20 lead, Southern Illinois would turn up the pressure while finishing the first half on a 15-4 run. The Salukis would be led by six points each from the duo of Napier and Corrigan on their way to taking a 38-35 lead into halftime.
UT Martin would retake the lead in the third quarter by outscoring Southern Illinois 14-7 in the first five minutes of the period. The Skyhawks would push their advantage out to as high as eight points following a jumper by Boggs – who tallied eight of her 17 points in the third - to give the home squad a 55-47 lead. The Salukis would respond however down the stretch, trimming the margin to two points heading into the final quarter of play following a jumper by Giebelhausen to move into double figures.
The game would stay close early in the fourth quarter with UT Martin clinging to a 66-63 lead midway through the period. The Skyhawks would find some breathing room down the stretch, pushing the margin out to eight points in the final minute before picking up their second win of the season by a 76-68 score.
UT Martin will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 3 when the Skyhawks play host to in-state rival Chattanooga. Tipoff from the Elam Center is scheduled for 6 p.m.