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UTM Butler cooks from beyond arc, but L’ville wins

UTM Butler cooks from beyond arc, but L’ville wins
LOUISVILLE — UT Martin freshman Heather Butler continued her sizzling shooting touch on Tuesday.
Butler tied her own school record with seven 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 29 points.
However, the Skyhawks fell 92-67 to Big East powerhouse Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center.
Altogether, Butler, the reigning Ohio Valley Conference Player and Freshman of the Week, went 9-for-22 from the floor, including 7-of-14 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Her seven treys tied her effort last time out (7-for-9) against Murray State on Dec. 22 and UT Martin Athletics Hall of Famer Kelly Pendleton (7-of-12 on Jan. 7, 2002 at North Carolina) for the most 3-pointers made in a single game.
“Heather didn’t have many open looks because they were keying on her but she got her points anyway,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “She’s a competitor — she wants to win. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to help us to win and we need more players to take that responsibility seriously.”
Jasmine Newsome made six of her nine field goals and scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half for UT Martin (7-6), who shot an even 50 percent from the field (15-for-30) in the last 20 minutes.
Freshman Shoni Schimmel led Louisville (10-5) with 24 points, 12 assists and seven steals in 31 minutes. Monique Reid scored 20 points off the bench, while Tia Gibbs (11 points) and Becky Burke (10) rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Cardinals.
McMillan said the key to the game was the team’s first half performance, when the Skyhawks turned the ball over 15 times in the first stanza.
“The first half was the difference,” McMillan said. “We didn’t compete and that’s the bottom line. For our kids to understand what we need to do as a basketball team, they have to bring it every day and every possession. Most games have been like this – we feel the other team out to see what we have to do to compete and then we compete. We can’t do that if we’re going to cross over that line and be a really good basketball team.”
Louisville accounted for the game’s first four points before Heather Butler drained a long three-pointer exactly one minute into the game to slice Louisville’s lead to one point. The Cardinals then scored eight unanswered points before Beth Hawn converted a layup to beat the shot clock at the 16:36 mark.
Another lengthy UT Martin scoring drought ensued. however, as Louisville managed to put together a 15-0 run over the next 5:26 until Butler sank a pair of free throws with a little over 11 minutes to go in the half.
Louisville led 50-25 at the break.
UTM will now make the short 75 mile trek across the Commonwealth to take on Kentucky on Thursday. Tip-off from Memorial Coliseum is set for 5 p.m.

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