Early deficit too much for UTM women at Louisville
Posted: Friday, December 31, 2010 12:02 am
The 5-6 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 in program history.
“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), which 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 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 3-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. Taylor Hall then scored on a putback and Rickiesha Bryant sank a turnaround jumper to get the Skyhawks back within 16 points at the midway point of the first half.
The Cardinals responded by scoring the next nine points before Butler poured in UT Martin’s next five points to begin a brief Skyhawk run to conclude the first half. The Skyhawks scored six of the last nine points of the half to make the score 50-25 at the break.
Schimmel’s 14 points at the half led all scorers, while Reid added 10 points to pace the Cardinals. Butler accumulated 10 points to lead UT Martin, which had seven different players score in the first 20 half.
Gibbs came out hot to begin the second half for Louisville, scoring six points in the first 1:08 to help the Cardinals push their lead to 33 points – their largest advantage of the evening. However, the Skyhawks responded by scoring the next eight points over a span of 1:15 to begin a furious rally.
A pair of treys from the left wing from Butler on consecutive trips down the floor made the score 68-46 with just under 12 minutes remaining. Coming out of the under-12 minute media timeout, the Skyhawks unleashed a 9-2 run capped by a Bryant bucket to get within 18 points with 8:59 to go.
A long 3-pointer from Schimmel ended the UT Martin run and began a 7-0 run for Louisville, but Butler nailed another 3-pointer right in front of the Skyhawk bench to end the run. Newsome then came up with a steal and went coast-to-coast for a layup, then followed that with a pull-up jumper in the lane on UT Martin’s next possession to get the Skyhawks back within 18 again. However, that was as close as the Skyhawks got the rest of the way.
UT Martin will now make the short 75-mile trek across the Commonwealth to take on the University of Kentucky Wildcats this afternoon (Thursday). Tip-off from Memorial Coliseum is scheduled for 5 p.m.