WOMEN'S HOOPS NOTCHES FIRST WIN OF SEASON AT WESTERN CAROLINA 84-72
November 16, 2016
CULLOWHEE, NC – The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team scored early and often en route to its first win of the season with an 84-72 victory over Southern Conference foe Western Carolina on Wednesday night.
The Skyhawks (1-2) broke into the win column behind a steady mixture of fresh players, full-court pressure defense and timely shooting. The squad forced Western Carolina into 21 turnovers while tallying 17 assists and 11 steals as a team – both ranking as season highs. The key for the matchup was every player on the roster’s contributions with all 12 available players seeing action as 10 different Skyhawks got on the board.
Sophomore guard Emanye Robertson led the Skyhawks with a career-high 15 points while notching five assists and two steals. Classmate Myah Taylor ranked second on the team with 14 points while Kendall Spray (12 points) and Ashton Feldhaus (11 points) rounded out four Skyhawks in double figures.
“We knew going into the game that we were going to try some different things to be successful,” said UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan. “We played a lot of different kids, splitting their minutes to try and find an advantage. With a young team you look for intensity and execution. Hopefully we can build on this to keep getting better.”
Western Carolina (0-2) dropped its home opener while three different players scored in double figures. The Catamounts were led in scoring by Raziyah Farrington (16 points) and Tess Harris (14 points) off the bench. Sherae Bonner flirted with a double-double, tallying 12 points and eight boards.
The game would start slow for both teams, with UT Martin taking a 7-4 lead into the first media. Coming out of the break the game’s scoring would go to another level with both teams combining to score 19 points in the final four minutes of play. Playing all 12 available players in the first quarter, UT Martin would take a 17-13 advantage into the third quarter while shooting 50 percent from the floor.
UT Martin would open the second quarter on a 9-4 run following a lane jumper from Feldhaus four minutes into the period. The Skyhawks would keep knocking down shots while forcing five turnovers to push the team’s margin to as his as 14 points following a trifecta from Teddy Vincent on the left wing. The Catamounts would slowly chip away in the final minutes, reducing the deficit to nine points with a layup at the buzzer by Julia Brown. Despite the layup, UT Martin would take its first lead of the season into the half with a 39-30 advantage.
The Skyhawks would look to continue the team’s strong play in the third quarter. The visitors would open the third on a 10-4 run while forcing five turnovers in the first five minutes. UT Martin would stay aggressive, pushing its margin out to a high as 17 points following a layup by Taylor at the four-minute mark. The Catamounts would settle down, outscoring the Skyhawks by eight over the final minutes to keep the deficit at nine points heading into the final quarter of play.
Western Carolina would keep looking to trim the team’s deficit in the opening minutes of the fourth. The Catamounts would outscore the Skyhawks 12-9 through the first media timeout, cutting the margin down to six points with five minutes to play. WCU would get as close as four points down the stretch, but UT Martin would put the game away en route to an 84-72 victory.
UT Martin will return to action on Friday, Nov. 18 with a road trip at Ohio. Tipoff from the Convocation Center is scheduled for 10 a.m. CST.