MARTIN, Tenn. – Senior guard Jasmine Newsome needed just 11 points this evening against Quinnipiac to become just the second player in program history to reach the 2,000 career point mark in University of Tennessee at Martin basketball history. The speedy 5-6 guard eclipsed that in the first 14 minutes of the game on her way to a program-record 44 points as the Skyhawks outlasted the visiting Bobcats by a 102-97 margin in overtime in the consolation bracket of the Preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament.
Newsome’s 44 points shattered the program record for single-game scoring set by current teammate Heather Butler (42 points against Tennessee State on Jan. 30, 2012). She also made the points count when UT Martin needed it the most, tallying 15 of the team’s 19 points in overtime. All in all, the Millington, Tenn. native went 12-for-19 from the field (4-of-10 from three-point range) and tied her own school record with 16 free throws in 19 attempts. She also added six rebounds and eight assists to help UT Martin (2-1) edge Quinnipiac, who was coming off a 30-win campaign a year ago.
Butler compiled 31 points before fouling out with 27 seconds remaining in regulation. It marked the third time in program history that both Newsome and Butler scored at least 30 points in the same game (at Tennessee State in 2012, at Tennessee State in 2013).
Tiara Caldwell also pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds for the Skyhawks, who received 38 of their points at the free throw line (in 53 attempts).
For Quinnipiac (1-2), Jasmine Martin scored 25 points while Gillian Abshire had 20 points to go along with a game-high nine assists. Samantha Guastella (15 points, 13 rebounds) also recorded a double-double for the Bobcats, who were forced into 16 turnovers this evening.
“I thought our effort was really good – this was an unbelievable win for us,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “We had control of the game and gave it away and we were down in overtime. But when time came down to make plays, Jasmine did it. This is the biggest win we have had since I’ve been here.”
The Skyhawks jumped out to an early lead before a 7-0 Quinnipiac run resulted in a 9-4 advantage. Newsome accounted for her first bucket of the night at the 14:42 mark of the first half and proceeded to reel off nine straight points for UT Martin.
With the Skyhawks trailing 19-13 at the 8:40 mark of the first half, UT Martin scored nine of the next 11 points to take a one-point advantage thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by Trischa Lacy and Butler.
A Newsome trifecta at the 5:43 mark gave UT Martin a 28-23 lead but Quinnipiac went on a quick 6-0 run to reclaim the advantage. The lead would change hands seven more times over the final 3:45 of the first half until a Butler layup gave the Skyhawks a 37-36 halftime lead.
Newsome (17 points) and Butler (12 points) were the only players in double-figures in the scoring column on either side at the break.
The Bobcats began the second half on a 6-1 run to go on top by a 42-38 margin with 18:18 to play in regulation. UT Martin answered right back with a 10-0 run – capped off by five straight points by Chelsea Roberts – to go on top 48-42 with just under 16 minutes remaining in the second half.
Another six unanswered points by the Skyhawks pushed their lead out to 56-44. Quinnipiac would trim its deficit to seven at the 8:21 mark but a three-pointer by Katie Schubert made the score 63-51 in UT Martin’s favor at the 7:56 mark.
A pair of Butler free throws with just over five minutes to play gave the Skyhawks a 69-61 lead but Quinnipiac kept chipping away and tied the score at 74-all with 2:43 to go in the second half. Newsome immediately answered with a three-pointer on UT Martin’s next possession but the Bobcats took a 78-77 lead with one minute left to play in regulation.
Butler nailed a three-pointer on the Skyhawks’ next possession to tilt the score back in UT Martin’s favor at 80-78 but the two teams were forced into overtime when Abshire canned a pair of free throws with five seconds to go in the second half.
Quinnipiac led by three points early in overtime but an old-fashioned three-point play by Newsome gave the Skyhawks their first lead in the extra period at 90-89 with two minutes left to play. Yet another old-fashioned three-point play by Newsome extended UT Martin’s lead out to 95-89 with 1:02 remaining.
The Bobcats would get within a single possession twice in the final 25 seconds of overtime but Newsome knocked down four clutch free throws to close out the game.
UT Martin returns to the court on Tuesday, Nov. 19 when it travels to Sun Belt Conference member Arkansas State. Tip-off from the Convocation Center is set for 7 p.m.