WOMENS HOOPS SET FOR REGULAR SEASON FINALE AT AUSTIN PEAY WITH OVC SEEDING IMPLICATIONS ON THE LINE
The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team will close out its regular season Saturday afternoon at 5:15 p.m. at Austin Peay.
UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan and the Skyhawks will ride a four-game winning streak into the finale.
“We are playing the best basketball we can, going into the tournament and that’s the most important thing,” McMillan said.
The Skyhawks are one game over .500 on the year and 10-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Austin Peay is 7-20 overall and 2-13 in the OVC. The Skyhawks have already clinched a berth in the league’s postseason tournament, while Austin Peay will call it a season.
The Skyhawks enter the game after beating visiting Eastern Illinois, 82-62, Thursday night in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. Junior guards Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome led the Skyhawks with 21 and 17 points respectively. Senior Rickiesha Bryant had four blocks and 10 rebounds, while freshman Chelsey Hall scored a career-high 13 points against Eastern Illinois.
Butler and Newsome enter the game as the nation’s seventh and eighth leading scorers. The Skyhawks also enter the game as the second best 3-point shooting team in the country, averaging 9.3 treys a game. The Skyhawks made 16 3-pointers Thursday night against Eastern Illinois.
Austin Peay suffered a 71-58 overtime loss to Belmont this past Wednesday and has dropped three consecutive games (Belmont, at Eastern Illinois and at Eastern Kentucky). Tiasha Gray scored 22 points and Meghan Bussabarger hung 20 points on Belmont in the overtime loss.
The OVC Tournament gets under way at noon on Wednesday, March 6, at Historic Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. The Skyhawks can finish anywhere from No. 3 to No. 5 in the tournament.
Inside the Numbers
- Junior guard Heather Butler needs 14 points to reach the 2,000-point plateau. She will become the first basketball player (men or women’s ) to score 2,000 points in school history.
- Butler is also seven 3-pointers away from breaking her own single-season record for most 3-pointers made. She currently has 93.
- Senior Rickiesha Butler is 10 blocks away from setting a new single-season record for most blocks. She currently has 72 blocks and the record is 81 by Mary Kate (86-87).
- Junior guard Jasmine Newsome has made 58-of-62 free throws in the last eight games. She has made 142-of-168 this season and is 10 free throws from tying her own single-season record.