WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM GETS PRODUCTION FROM SENIORS, EFFORT FROM HALL IN VICTORY OVER SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE
February 16, 2013
MARTIN, Tenn. – Kevin McMillan, the head women’s basketball coach at The University of Tennessee took timeout before the game to recognize his two seniors, Shelby Crawford and Rickiesha Bryant.
Crawford and Bryant spent the next 40 minutes playing one of their best games in a Skyhawk uniform. Crawford finished the game with a career-high 11 points and five rebounds, while Bryant recorded her sixth-career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds to lead UT Martin to a 75-61 victory over visiting Southeast Missouri State in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center Saturday afternoon.
Juniors Jasmine Newsome and Heather Butler tossed in 27 and 23 points respectively. Newsome is now UT Martin’s second all-time leading scorer with 1,764 points.
However, McMillan said the player of the game was not one of the four players with stellar stat lines. It was freshman Chelsey Hall who came off the bench and played 17 minutes. Hall scored two points, had two rebounds and had three assists and two steals.
“Chelsey (Hall) was the key to the game,” McMillian said. “Her numbers don’t show up but her effort and energy picked us up when we were down and I think that was the difference in the ballgame. It doesn’t matter how big you are, how talented you are … just go out there and play hard and Chelsey did that today. She was the player of the game.”
With the game knotted at 45-all with 13:05 left to play, the Skyhawks went on a 21-6 run over eight minutes to build a 66-51 advantage.
Newsome scored seven points in the run, including a pair of free throws. She was 13-of-14 from the charity stripe in the game.
After trailing 34-32 at the half, Southeast Missouri State went on a 9-0 run to build a 41-35 advantage. SE Missouri was led by Bailie Roberts who scored 18 points. Kara Wright scored 15 points, while Patricia Mack had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Despite Mack’s effort, UT Martin won the battle on the boards, 45-34. UT Martin cashed in at the free throw line, making 18-of-24 attempts for 75 percent. The Skyhawks also scored 22 points in the paint, 29 points off turnovers and 20 second-chance points.
“If we make layups and free throws I’m pretty content with this ball club,” McMillian said.
The Skyhawks are now 7-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference and 12-14 overall. The Skyhawks will return to action when they play at Tennessee State in Nashville. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
“We’re just trying to get where we’re fun to watch for 40 minutes,” McMillian said.
- Junior Heather Butler has now made at least one 3-pointer in 72 consecutive games and scored in double-digits in 89 games.
- Junior Jasmine Newsome has 1,764 career points. She passed Mary Kate Long (1,754 points; 1985-89) and become UT Martin’s second all-time leading scorer behind teammate Heather Butler.
- Senior Rickiesha Bryant has 128 career and 54 blocks this season. Bryant, who led the team with six blocks in the SIU Edwardsville game, is on pace to lead the Skyhawks in blocks for the third consecutive season. Bryant is UT Martin’s second career-leader in blocks.
- Junior Heather Butler now has 1,941 points, the most in UT Martin history. She is 59 points shy of 2,000 points. No other UT Martin women or men’s basketball player has ever scored 2,000-career points. Butler is also the active career leader in scoring in the Ohio Valley Conference with 1,916 points. She needs 586 points to become the OVC’s all-time leading scorer. The record is currently held by Cheryl Taylor (Tennessee Tech, 1983-87). Taylor scored 2,526 points.