UTM women hang close to No. 11 UK Wildcats
Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 12:02 am
Freshman guard Jasmine Newsome poured in 13 of her team-best 16 points in the first half for UT Martin (7-7). Heather Butler added 12 points and Taylor Hall chipped in nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point line. Jaclissa Haislip grabbed a team-high seven rebounds for the Skyhawks, who were playing in their last non-conference game of the season at Kentucky.
The No. 11 Wildcats (11-1) were led by Keyla Snowden’s 17 points and a double-double by Samantha Drake (14 points, 13 rebounds). A’dia Mathies scored 10 points to round out the double-figure scorers for Kentucky.
“This was the best game we played all year as far as competing and just flat-out effort,” Skyhawk head coach Kevin McMillan said. “We never quit battling and we could have laid down three or four times. We can build on this – I thought the second half against Louisville (on Tuesday) and this entire game that we grew up. I hope our players got a little taste of this over the last three halves. Because if they do, we’ve got some kids out there that can do some things and they’re fun to coach when they play that hard.”
Kentucky’s Snowden began the game with a 3-pointer from the left wing, but Alecia Weatherly responded with a trey of her own just over a minute into the game. The teams then swapped buckets until the Wildcats went on a 9-0 run over a span of 7:44 until a 15-foot jumper by Butler ended the Skyhawk skid.
Butler’s basket began a stretch where UT Martin scored six of the game’s next eight points to get back within six points at the 8:06 mark. Snowden then buried her third 3-pointer of the half and Victoria Dunlap added a 12-foot jumper on back-to-back possessions to give Kentucky a 24-13 advantage.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 12 with under two minutes to go until Newsome drained a trey from the left corner with 1:28 to play in the half. Drake scored on the low post just nine seconds later, but the Skyhawks ended the half strong. Weatherly sank a free throw and Newsome added a jumper in the lane to make the score 31-23 in favor of the Wildcats at the halftime break.
Newsome’s 13 points led all scorers at the half, as the Skyhawks (38.1 percent) outshot Kentucky (37.5 percent). Newsome also pulled down a game-high six rebounds in the first half, helping UT Martin outrebound the Wildcats by a 20-15 margin. Snowden led Kentucky with nine points in the first stanza.
Kentucky scored the first four points of the second half before Rickiesha Bryant cut the Skyhawk deficit to 10 with a layup at the 17:32 mark. The Wildcats then scored four unanswered points, but a long 3-pointer by Hall and an old-fashioned 3-point play from Newsome on consecutive trips down the floor got the Skyhawks back within single digits at 39-31.
For the next 4:23, however, the UT Martin offense went cold, allowing Kentucky to reel off an 11-0 run to move ahead by 19 points with 9:35 remaining. Hall ended the Skyhawk drought with a 3-pointer from the right wing, but that was the last field goal for UT Martin until a Butler trey at the 6:30 mark.
A Snowden 3-pointer with 5:37 remaining gave Kentucky its biggest lead of the night at 61-37. The Skyhawks whittled their deficit down to 18 by scoring seven of the game’s next eight points, but ultimately that was as close as they could get for the remainder of the game.
The Skyhawks will return to Ohio Valley Conference action when they entertain Austin Peay on Thursday evening. Tip-off from the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.