January 11, 2018

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Postgame Press Conference

MARTIN, Tenn. –
The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team jumped out to an early lead and never looked back en route to a 77-49 victory over Ohio Valley Conference foe Eastern Kentucky on Thursday evening.

The Skyhawks (7-10, 3-2 OVC) picked up their second consecutive victory behind an offensive performance which saw five players score in double figures for the first time this season. While UT Martin played strong offensively, it was its defensive presence which held Eastern Kentucky to just 29 percent shooting from the field and just 18 field goals in the contest.  

UT Martin was led in scoring by sophomore Kendall Spray with 18 points while junior Emanye Robertson was close behind with 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds. The post trio of Janekia Mason (13 points), Ashton Feldhaus (12 points) and Chelsey Perry (10 points) would dominate, combining to tally 35 points and 18 rebounds to round out the group in double figures.

“With yet another injury, we have been forced to reinvent ourselves on both the offensive and defensive ends,” said UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan. “At times our play is going to look ugly while we try to make the rest of the season a heavy weight match by throwing it inside and making our opponents guard us. Tonight we played about five different defenses but I think that is what we will have to do to make other teams uncomfortable. We are currently a good team, but we have to decide if we want to be great. Right now we are comfortable settling for being satisfied but we are trending the right direction.”

Eastern Kentucky (5-9, 2-3 OVC) dropped its third OVC contest of the season following a tough night shooting from the floor. Reigning OVC Newcomer of the Week A’Queen Hayes would prove to be the team’s lone bright spot, tallying 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

The Skyhawks would jump out to a big lead, scoring the game’s first 16 points before the Colonels finally broke through with a jumper by Joya Wright with 5:56 to play in the quarter. UT Martin would benefit from a hot shooting stroke, making eight consecutive field goals during the first quarter run. Behind eight points from the duo of Robertson and Mason, the Skyhawks secured a 24-12 lead going into the second quarter.

UT Martin continued to stretch out its margin out to as large as 20 points in the second quarter. Sparked by yet another 8-0 run, a jumper by Spray at the 4:10 mark gave the Skyhawks a 36-16 advantage. As a result of a 63.3 percent shooting performance in the first half, UT Martin held a 43-23 lead at the break.

Eastern Kentucky would narrowly outscore UT Martin in the third quarter, trimming the deficit down to as close as 17 right before the end of the period. The Skyhawks saw their lead balloon out to as large as 25 points on a pair of occasions in the third before the Colonels closed the period on a 10-4 run. After three quarters of play, the margin would hold at 17 points for the home squad.

With the contest well in hand, UT Martin controlled the fourth quarter as well. The Skyhawks turned to their reserves down the stretch to close the game, ending the contest on an 8-0 run to secure a 77-49 victory.

UT Martin will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 13 when playing host to OVC foe Morehead State. Action from the Elam Center is scheduled to get underway at 4 p.m.

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