Lone senior leads young Skyhawks to big victory
Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 10:42 am
With the victory, the Skyhawks still trail the Golden Eagles by 1.5 games in the Ohio Valley Conference standings. The Skyhawks did extend their home winning streak to 14 games since Jan. 30, 2010. The Skyhawks are now 16-9 overall and 11-3 in the OVC race. Tech is 19-5 on the year and 13-2 in the league standings.
“In the back of our mind, we all knew we had something to prove tonight,” Weatherly said. The Skyhawks suffered a 74-57 setback at Tech a month ago. With four minutes to play that game the score was tied.
Tennessee Tech opened the game Saturday with a 5-0 run and dominated the boards with 6-5 Brittany Darling, who grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and scored 12 points.
“Weatherly was huge tonight,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “We needed her to combat Darling and she did a great job.” Darling scored all her points and had eight of her 11 rebounds in the first half.
Freshman Beth Hawn helped Weatherly with Darling, but in the second half Hawn was the Skyhawks’ mainstay on defense.
“This is the best defense we have played in awhile,” McMillan said. “We will have to continue to play defense like this to have a chance in the tournament.”
Tech used an 8-2 run in the first seven minutes of the second half and cut the Skyhawks’ lead to six points, 50-44.
“We knew they were going to make a run at us in the second half,’ Weatherly said. “We just wanted to keep that run to a minimal.”
The Skyhawks answered the run with a flurry of 3-pointers and stretched the lead to 18 points when freshman Aubrey Reedy made a layup with 9:10 to play in the game.
Not only did the Skyhawks have to deal with Darling, they had to play almost half of the game without point guard Jasmine Newsome who was sidelined with four fouls.
Newsome scored 16 points in the first half and took advantage of the free-throw line where she made 8-of-10 tries. Newsome picked up her fourth foul with 16:04 left to play.
“With the numbers Jasmine has been putting up, other teams have to guard her, so when we use the ball screen that leaves me wide open,” Weatherly noted.
Weatherly took advantage of the open shots and knocked down 6-of-9 from the field. Newsome finished the game with 18 points, while Heather Butler scored 17 points. Beth Hawn added 10 points to the tally.
The Skyhawks will return to action Thursday, when they travel to Charleston, Ill., to play Eastern Illinois. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.