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Skyhawks’ Mitchell ranks fourth in NCAA in rebounds per gameSkyhawks’ Mitchell ranks fourth in NCAA in rebounds per game

Skyhawks’ Mitchell ranks fourth in NCAA in rebounds per gameSkyhawks’ Mitchell ranks fourth in NCAA in rebounds per game
Skyhawks' Mitchell ranks fourth in NCAA in rebounds per gameSkyhawks' Mitchell ranks fourth in NCAA in rebounds per game | Phyllisha Mitchell, UT Martin, UTM, Skyhawks, OVC

Phyllisha Mitchell
Phyllisha Mitchell of the University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team is currently ranked No. 4 in the NCAA for rebounds per game. Mitchell is pulling down 12.1 rebounds per game, which also leads the Ohio Valley Conference by a full two rebounds per game. In the national rankings, Mitchell trails only All-American Courtney Paris of Oklahoma (13.8 rpg), Arnika Brown of Western Kentucky (13.3 rpg) and Judie Lomax of Columbia (13.1 rpg).
Mitchell, who stands only 5-10, has been aided on the boards by four games in which she pulled down at least 14 rebounds, including a career-high 21 against Winthrop at the National City Xavier Invitational. That 21-rebound showing against Winthrop was also good enough to set a new record at the Cintas Center, which has been the home to the No. 22 Xavier women’s basketball and No. 10 Xavier men’s basketball teams since 2000, and earn her a spot on the all-tournament team.
Mitchell began the season ranked No. 7 on the UT Martin career rebounding list with 622 rebounds in three seasons, but has already leaped to No. 5 with a career total of 686 after seven games this season. Along the way, Mitchell passed a very familiar name at No. 6 in Skyhawks head coach Tara Tansil-Gentry, who finished her Hall of Fame career with 657 career rebounds. Mitchell is currently on pace to finish the season at No. 2 on the career rebounding list, behind only Hall of Fame member Mary Kate Long who finished her career with 1,318 rebounds.
“This is a huge honor for Phyllisha to be ranked so highly in the nation. She has been known as a rebounding machine since high school,” said Tansil-Gentry. “Most importantly though, Phyllisha has also been helping the team out offensively and defensively, not just with rebounds.”
Tansil-Gentry added, “It is bittersweet to be passed in the record book, but I’m glad it happened from someone working as hard as Phyllisha. I’m very proud for her as she continues to do well for us; she is a great leader on the floor and has tremendous intensity.”
Mitchell isn’t just a rebounding threat for UT Martin. She is also leading the Skyhawks in scoring this year, netting 15.3 points per game. She has poured in 20 or more points three times already this season and set a new career-high with 22 points against Morehead State. Mitchell’s point production this year has been helped by the 28 free throws she has already connected on. She is shooting 90.3 percent from the charity stripe, which is also good enough to rank her No. 31 in the NCAA.
Mitchell will have a tough test coming up this Sunday when she leads her Skyhawk team to Columbia, Mo., to face the University of Missouri Tigers of the Big XII Conference. Mitchell will have to fight a Tigers roster that sports six players at 6-1 or taller, most notably the 6-5 Kendra Frazier and 6-1 Jessra Johnson who leads Mizzou with 8.4 rebounds per game.

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