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Lead slips away from UTM women

Lead slips away from UTM women
Lead slips away from UTM women | UTM Skyhawks women's basketball, Lipscomb Lady Bison, UTM, UT Martin, Martin, Tennessee

Phyllisha Mitchell
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team led by as many as 12 points early in the second half Thursday night on the road against Lipscomb, but a late comeback by the Lady Bisons ended in a 61-56 loss for the Skyhawks, who fell to 0-2 on the 2008-2009 season.
Yalonda Davis led the Sky-hawks with 11 points, while Phyllisha Mitchell barely missed a double-double, scoring eight points but grabbing 17 rebounds, two shy of her career-high set against Murray State on Feb. 24, 2007. Sienna Forney and Cali Cupples also chipped in eight points apiece for the Skyhawks, who had eight players score four points or more.
The Skyhawks shot 40 percent for the game, going 21-of-53 from the field, but couldn’t hold a 27-20 halftime lead and got outscored 41-29 in the second half by the Lady Bisons.
“This is the second time we have given the game away,” said UTM head coach Tara Tansil-Gentry. “We have to learn how to take the lead and keep it.”
The Skyhawks had a quick start, striking first on a Forney layup at the 19:31 mark. A quick 4-0 run by Lipscomb was offset by a pair of free throws after the first media timeout by Davis, knotting the score at 4-4 at the 15:55 mark of the first half.
Lipscomb’s Jilian Partin then scored the next three points, hitting one of two free throws and collecting an offensive rebound before hitting a layup that was set up by a UT Martin turnover.
The two teams then traded baskets on their next two possessions. UT Martin’s Mitchell got a layup off an offensive rebound, but Lipscomb’s Jenna Bartsokas answered with a jumper for a 9-6 Lady Bison lead.
Forney came back and hit a mid-range jumper. Lipscomb’s Valerie Bronson raced down the court for a layup just 11 seconds later, giving Lipscomb an 11-8
Brittany Duerk made two free throws for Lipscomb, but Forney set up Samantha Harper for a layup to cut the deficit to 13-10. Lipscomb shared its biggest lead of the first half at the 10:48 mark when Miriam McAlister hit two free throws for a 15-10 score.
UT Martin went on a 7-0 run over the next 1:03, as Mitchell scored off another offensive rebound, and Harper hit a fastbreak jumper. The run culminated in a Davis 3-pointer at the 9:26 mark, giving UTM its first lead since it scored the first basket of the game.
Partin hit one of two free throws, but UTM’s Alishia Glover got a fastbreak layin to extend the lead to three. Lipscomb was in the double bonus at the 5:47 mark, and Katie Rollins hit one of two free throws. Kiara Smith got on the board for UTM with a jumper to make the Skyhawk lead 21-17 with 3:41 left in the first half, and Lipscomb quickly called their first timeout of the half.
The UT Martin defense held Lipscomb scoreless on its next offensive set, leading to a Maryam Kirk jumper from 18 feet out to put UT Martin up 23-17. McAlister answered for Lipscomb with a quick bucket, making the score 23-19 in the Skyhawks’ favor with 3:08 to play in the first half.
Anna Bowers hit one of two free throws for Lipscomb to cut the UT Martin lead to 23-20.
The Skyhawks then used a 4-0 run to reach their biggest lead of the half at seven. Davis, fouled with 22 seconds left, made both free throws. Lipscomb then missed a shot with five seconds left, and Cupples found a wide-open Smith for a layup at the buzzer to give UTM a 27-20 halftime advantage.
At the half, Davis led the Skyhawks with seven points, while Mitchell had 13 rebounds (seven offensive) in 16 minutes. As a team, the Skyhawks shot 36 percent from the field (11-for-31), but held Lipscomb to only five field goals on 23 attempts and 22 percent shooting.
Allison Wright picked up where the Skyhawks left off in the first half, nailing a 3-pointer from the top of the key just 14 seconds into the second half, putting UT Martin up 30-20. A Davis runner at the 18:50 mark stretched the Skyhawks’ lad to 12, but Rollins answered for Lipscomb with a basket inside. Cree Nix then hit two free throws for Lipscomb to make the score 32-24, but Glover hit a turnaround jumper on the Skyhawks’ next possession to extend the lead back out to 10.
After a UTM defensive stand, Kirk drove past a defender for a layup to make the score 36-24. Nix hit a short jumper at the 15:50 for a 36-26 UTM lead.
Forty seconds later, Partin converted one of two free throws, and Lipscomb scored on a run-out by Bartsokas. Fouled on the play, she hit the free throw to complete the 3-point play, cutting the UT Martin lead to six.
Forney came right back with a jumper for an eight-point lead.
Mitchell made two free throws at the 10:56 mark, but Bowers got the points back for Lipscomb with two free throws 12 seconds later. Bartsokas’ jumper cut the UTM lead to 40-34, causing Tansil-Gentry to call a timeout at the 10:03 mark.
Nix came back with a jumper in the paint at the 9:29 mark, and Bartsokas intercepted the inbounds pass for a layup to make the score 40-38. UTM then turned the ball over again in its own backcourt, with Bartsokas getting a steal and a foul on a shot attempt, drawing another timeout from Tansil-Gentry.
Out of the timeout, Bartsokas hit one of two free throws, and both teams exchanged turnovers before Glover was fouled inside. Glover hit both free throws, but Bronson hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 42-all at the 7:42 mark.
Davis responded with an off-balance jumper in the lane to put UT Martin up 44-42, but Bartsokas hit two free throws to tie the game once again.
Forney shook her defender and created a wide open mid-range jumper to give UTM another temporary lead, but Bowers’ layup tied the game at 46-46.
Kirk’s pretty pass to Mitchell underneath led to a layup to make the score 48-46. Duerk hit two free throws to tie the score again at 48-all, but Cupples answered right back with two free throws of her own to put the Skyhawks back on top, 50-48.
McAlister took Lipscomb’s third offensive rebound of its next possession and got a layup to make the score 50-50. A Partin jumper put the Lady Bisons on top for the first time since the 10:06 mark of the first half, 52-50, at the 2:27 mark.
Mitchell missed two free throws to keep the Lady Bison lead at 52-50. Partin then hit a big 3-pointer from the wing to extend Lipscomb’s lead to 55-50 with 1:24 left to go in the game.
After a UT Martin turnover, Bowers made two free throws for a 57-50. The Skyhawks then got a big 3-pointer from Cupples, who was left wide open on the right wing, to make the score 57-53. After the UT Martin defense had trapped Lipscomb in the corner, Lipscomb head coach Frank Bennett called a timeout, preventing a possible turnover.
Partin, with 39 seconds left, made one of two freebies for a 58-53 lead in the Lady Bisons’ favor. UT Martin then turned the ball over and fouled Partin again, getting the same result – one of two free throws made.
Cupples came back and hit a tough 3-pointer from the top to give UTM hope at 59-56. UTM fouled immediately after the inbounds pass, but Bowers hit both free throws to seal the 61-56 win for Lipscomb.

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