September 24, 2013

MARTIN, Tenn. – Defending three-time Ohio Valley Conference Tournament champion and NCAA Tournament qualifier, the University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team is no longer flying under the radar of national media as Athlon Sports ranked the Skyhawks No. 22 in their women’s hoops preview.

Athlon Sports magazine ranked UT Martin No. 22 in a Preseason Top 25 Poll featured in its 2013-14 College Basketball Preview edition.

Fresh off a 19-15 mark and the program’s third consecutive OVC Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament, the Skyhawks return arguably the OVC’s most dynamic duo in league history with senior guards Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome, who are among eight returners.

Both three-time All-Ohio Valley Conference first teamers, Newsome (22.6 points per game) and Butler (22.4) each ranked in the top-10 in the nation in scoring in 2012-13, ranking fifth and sixth, respectively. Newsome captured her second straight OVC Player of the Year honors en route to All-American honorable mention accolades last season. Butler set an NCAA record by making a three-pointer in 80 consecutive games and tallied 37 points in the Skyhawks’ NCAA Tournament game against eventual Final Four participant Notre Dame – which ranked as the highest individual scoring game in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Together, Butler and Newsome are the program’s top two scorers after only three seasons, as Butler has poured in 2,111 points and Newsome has accumulated 1,958 points. They have helped UT Martin to 63 victories and three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances since 2010.

Founded in 1967, Athlon Sports Communication, Inc., is a Nashville-based media company with two major areas of expertise: publishing and sports marketing. Athlon Sports publishes preseason, single-title sports annuals, covering professional and college athletics. These premium publications are sold at newsstands throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe. As a publisher, Athlon ranks No. 1 among sports annuals based on retail sales dollars and magazines sold. The magazine – which features Tennessee’s Jordan McRae and Vanderbilt’s Rod Odom on the cover – hit newsstands earlier this week and is on sale for $6.99.

Athlon’s Preseason Top 25

1. Connecticut

2. Stanford

3. Tennessee

4. Maryland

5. California

6. Duke

7. Notre Dame

8. Kentucky

9. Baylor

10. Louisville

11. North Carolina

12. Michigan State

13. Oklahoma

14. Georgia

15. Colorado

16. LSU

17. South Carolina

18. Iowa State

19. Dayton

20. Saint Joseph’s

21. Penn State

22. UT Martin

23. Vanderbilt

24. Gonzaga

25. Purdue