UT MARTIN WOMEN'S HOOPS BATTLES BIG TEN FOE NORTHWESTERN BEFORE FALLING 71-63
November 18, 2017
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team pushed Big Ten Conference member Northwestern to the brink on Saturday afternoon before ultimately falling just short in its comeback attempt 71-63.
The Skyhawks (1-2) showed good fight against a Power Five opponent in the Elam Center as the squad forced 22 turnovers and held a lead as high as four points. Facing a deficit as large as 10 points in the final quarter of play, UT Martin held tough and trimmed the margin to as close as four points before its comeback attempt finished just short.
UT Martin had four players score in double figures with Chelsey Perry and Myah Taylor leading the way with 14 points each. Sophomore Kendall Spray notched 12 points on the afternoon while Janekia Mason also tallied 12 points to round out the squad in double figures.
Northwestern (3-0) saw two players score in double figures to lead the way. Lydia Rohde scored a game-high 22 points while Abi Scheid also eclipsed the 20-point plateau with 21 points and eight rebounds. Pallis Kunaiyi-Akpanah paced all players with 10 rebounds.
Northwestern would look to take control of the game early with a strong first quarter and five points in the first 66 seconds. The contest would stay even after the opening run before the Wildcats turned up the defensive intensity to stretch the margin from four points to 10 late in the quarter. At the end of the first quarter of play, Northwestern would take a 17-9 advantage into the second.
After the opening minutes of the second quarter saw the margin remain in double figures, UT Martin strung together a quick 12-2 run over three minutes following a trio of three-pointers from Taylor, Spray and Perry to trim the deficit to a single possession. The Skyhawks would ultimately take their first lead of the contest following another 6-0 run to take a 30-28 advantage with 2:18 to play in the first half. With the strong play to end the quarter, UT Martin took a 32-20 lead into the locker room.
Both teams would exchange shots in the third quarter with Northwestern narrowly outscoring UT Martin 19-18 in the period. The Skyhawks would lead by as much as four points in the third before the Wildcats posted a 5-0 run of their own to post a four-point advantage as well. With the even play, UT Martin would hold a 50-49 advantage after three quarters.
Northwestern would pull away in the fourth quarter by outscoring UT Martin 22-13. A 7-0 run over two minutes proved costly as the Wildcats built a 10-point advantage with just under three minutes to play. The Skyhawks would make a late run, trimming the deficit to as close as four points before ultimately falling 71-63.
UT Martin will return to action with a road contest at Arkansas State on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Tipoff from the Convocation Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.