UTM freshmen guards earn big OVC postseason honors
Posted: Friday, March 4, 2011 12:02 am
MARTIN, Tenn. – Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome piled up some impressive accolades as freshman basketball players at The University of Tennessee at Martin. The two Skyhawk guards have been recognized as Freshman of the Week five times each. Both players have also been recognized as the league’s Player and Freshman of the Week in the same week.
However, those weekly honors are pale in comparison to the latest hardware for Butler, from Medina, and Newsome, from Millington.
Butler, who prepped at Gibson County High School, was named the Ohio Valley Conference’s Freshman of the Year. Newsome, from Millington, was named the league’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Butler and Newsome were also named to the All-OVC first team and the OVC’s All-Newcomer team.
“Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome each bring different things to the table, but they have been effective all season long,” UT Martin head basketball coach Kevin McMillan said.
Butler is averaging 19 points, 3.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. She shoots 40 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range. Earlier this year, Butler broke the UT Martin school record for most 3-pointers made in a season when she netted four treys against Southeast Missouri State. She enters the OVC Tournament having made 81-of-223 3-pointers.
Butler is the nation’s leading freshman scorer and is 21st overall in scoring. She also ranks 13th in the nation for 3-point field goals made per game (2.9).
Newsome averages 17.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. She shoots 41 percent from the field, 36 percent from 3-point range and 75 percent from the free-throw line. Newsome leads the team in steals with 65 and at 5-foot-7-inches tall she has seven blocks to her credit.
Newsome is the nation’s third-leading freshman scorer and the 51st leading scorer in the nation.
Butler and Newsome are the first All-OVC first team selections for UT Martin since 2005-06 when Andreika Jackson landed on the elite squad. The only time UT Martin has had an OVC Player of the Year was in 1999 when Zabrina Harris earned the award.