SPOKANE, Wash. – The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team could not overcome nationally ranked No. 25 Gonzaga in the second round of the Preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament on Sunday afternoon, falling to the host Zags, 91-54 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
The Skyhawks (1-1) struggled from the field against Gonzaga, shooting just 26.7 percent from the floor. Freshman forward Tiara Caldwell led all Skyhawks with 13 points while tallying six rebounds. Senior guard Heather Butler was the only other Skyhawk to crack double figures, tossing in 12 points on the day. Butler has now scored double figures in 99 straight games, the longest active streak in the NCAA. The Skyhawks would place nine players in the scoring column.
Gonzaga (2-0) placed four in double figures, led by Haiden Palmer with a game-high 18 points. Keani Albanez tallied 14 points to go along with a game-high eight rebounds. Sunny Greinacher and Stephanie Golden rounded out the point leaders with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
UT Martin’s Caldwell would notch the game’s first points, providing the Skyhawks their lone lead of the game. Gonzaga would respond however, going on a 21-6 run over the next eight minutes.
Gonzaga would continue their hot shooting, closing the first half on an 11-2 run in the final five minutes. UT Martin went into the break trailing 45-21.
The Zags would not allow the Skyhawks the opening to make a late run, going on a 27-8 run in the opening minutes of the second half. Gonzaga would eventually push their lead out to a game-high 43 points with just over five minutes to play in the game.
The Skyhawks will have to wait to find out their next opponent as they move into the consolation round of the WNIT. Potential opponents for the Skyhawks are Wichita State, Saint Joseph’s and the loser of tomorrow evening’s Louisville/Quinnipiac matchup. Official word from tournament officials is expected in the coming days.