|Skyhawk women’s basketball falls to No. 7 Delta State in exhibition |
|MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team fell 77-37 to No. 7 ranked and six time Division II national champion Delta State Monday night in an exhibition contest at Skyhawk Arena. The Skyhawks, who have been hampered by injury in the preseason, dressed only eight players and suffered from a cold shooting hand all night. UT Martin was led by Crystal Fuller and Jennifer Angler, who both netted eight points on the night. |
The Skyhawks opened up struggling to score from the field, failing to net a point until Fuller capitalized on a Delta State turnover and connected on a layup over five and a half minutes into the game. The cold shooting continued for the majority of the first half, as the Lady Statesmen were able to build as much as a 31-point lead. Delta State carried that same margin into the halftime break.
In the second half, the Skyhawks again struggled to score as the Lady Statesmen were able to extend their lead to 45 points with just over eight minutes remaining in the game. From that point on, Fuller regained her form from last year, scoring four of her eight points and pulling down three rebounds in that eight-minute segment of the game.
“We let a very good Division II team come in and out play us in every aspect of the game,” said Skyhawk head coach Tara Tansil. “From the start they set the tone and were more aggressive; we didn’t respond well. Tomorrow we will go back and work on the little things that we didn’t do. Those little things are what hurt us the most.”
Despite falling to a very good Delta State team, who is picked to win its third consecutive and 14th overall Gulf South Conference championship, the Skyhawk newcomers were able to gain a valuable amount of playing time and experience. With injuries ravaging the team in preseason, full scrimmages and five-on-five playing time has been limited.
“The new players got a good taste of Division I basketball tonight and it was a good learning experience for them. The level is much higher here than the junior colleges and high schools they were with last year,” said Tansil.
Aunjel Adams led the newcomers with 30 minutes played and three points, while Sarah Stinson pulled down five rebounds and netted a free throw in her 20 minutes of action.
The Skyhawks will now regroup quickly as they prepare to open the regular season Friday night at home against Lipscomb University. Lipscomb, which is picked to finish sixth in the A-Sun this year, defeated Harding University of the Gulf South Conference 67-56 in its preseason exhibition. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. and is the first event of “Ladies Night” in UT Martin athletics, as the Skyhawks volleyball team will also play Friday night.