Skyhawk women clinch tourney byes, No. 2 seed

Skyhawk women clinch tourney byes, No. 2 seed

Posted: Friday, March 4, 2011 2:44 pm

MARTIN, Tenn. – Freshman Jasmine Newsome scored 33 points, made four 3-pointers and grabbed eight rebounds to lead The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team to an 88-69 victory over visiting Morehead State Saturday in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.
With the win, the Skyhawks clinched the No. 2 seed in this week’s Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at Historic Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. The Skyhawks wrapped up the 2011 regular season with their 16th consecutive home win since Jan. 30, 2010.
The Skyhawks will play at 2 p.m., Friday, in the semifinals. The Skyhawks will play the winner of the Thursday’s contest between Jacksonville State and No. 3 seed Morehead State. Jacksonville State eliminated Tennessee State rallied from a 31-15 halftime deficit to nail a buzzerbeater and win 57-55 in their opening round game on Wednesday afternoon. A Skyhawk victory on Friday advances UT Martin to the OVC championship game to be played at 3 on Saturday afternoon.
“We could play them (Morehead State) next week and it will really count,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said.
If the Skyhawks do meet Morehead State in the tournament semifinals they will have to pick up the intensity earlier than they did Saturday in the Elam Center.
Morehead State jumped out front 24-16 when senior Chynna Bozeman hit a jumper with 11:46 to play in the first half. Bozeman scored 16 first-half points.
“Our intensity wasn’t there early in the first half,” McMillan said. “Late in the first half we made a push.”
The Skyhawks went on a 6-2 run in the final 2:27 of the first half and went to the locker room trailing 39-36. The Skyhawks opened the second half with a 17-3 run and took an 11-point lead with 13:50 left in the game.
The Skyhawks stretched the lead to 15 as Newsome made one of her four 3-pointers with 11:02 to play.
“I thought the key for us was Perica Glenn,” McMillan said. Glenn scored 11 points and had eight rebounds. Freshman Heather Butler netted 17 points, while freshman Jaclissa Haislip tossed in eight points and led the Skyhawks with 11 rebounds.
Newsome scored 23 of her 33 points in the second half. In all the Skyhawks managed to get 72 of their 88 points from five freshmen.
It was only appropriate on senior night that the Skyhawks’ lone senior, Alecia Weatherly, make a contribution. Weatherly tossed in 13 points and grabbed four rebounds.
“Newsome was phenomenal in the second half,” McMillan said. “Butler had a good game, and Weatherly did whatever we needed her to do.”
Bozeman finished the game with 32 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.
“Chynna Bozeman is phenomenal,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “She can carry any team on her back.”
The Skyhawks finished the regular season with a 19-10 overall record and a 14-4 OVC worksheet. Morehead State end the season at 20-9 and 13-5 in the OVC.

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