Weekly conference awards roll in for UTM’s athletes
Posted: Friday, March 4, 2011 12:02 am
• Liabo shoots way to OVC Freshman of the Week Award
Mike Liabo, a 6-6 guard on The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team, has been named as the adidas Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Week for his efforts against Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State last week.
This marks the eighth Freshman of the Week award for the Skyhawks this season, which is only the third time that one university has won that many in a single season since the OVC started giving out the award in the 1978-79 season. Liabo and teammate Troy King have each been honored three times, while Terence Smith brought home the award twice.
UT Martin’s leading scorer in OVC play (12.2 points per game), Liabo set several new career highs in UT Martin’s split with Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State last week.
Against the Colonels on Thursday, he tied a career best with 21 points, helping the Skyhawks erase a 16-point deficit and clinch a spot in the OVC Tournament. On Saturday against Morehead State, he poured in 14 points and set a new career high with five assists without committing a turnover. For the week, he made eight 3-pointers and shot an even 50 percent from beyond the arc.
Overall, the Naples, Fla. native averages 11.3 points per game while leading the team in field goals made (132). His 48 3-pointers rank one behind King for the team lead.
• Newsome garners pair of OVC weekly prizes
Jasmine Newsome, the 5-7 point guard on The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team, has been named the adidas Ohio Valley Conference Player and Freshman of the Week for her efforts last week against Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State.
Newsome averaged 26 points and 7.5 rebounds in the two Skyhawk victories. She scored 19 points against Eastern Kentucky and followed that with 33 points versus Morehead State. The Millington native shot 52.9 percent from the field and 85.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Newsome led UT Martin to an 88-69 victory over Morehead State which secured the No. 2 seed for the Skyhawks in this week’s Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at historic Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. The Skyhawks will play at 2 p.m., Friday, March 4 in the semifinals.
A UT Martin player has been named the OVC Freshman of the Week 13 times this season. Newsome and Heather Butler have won the honor five times each. Beth Hawn was named the OVC’s first Freshman of the Week this season.
Newsome and Butler are the only two freshmen in program history to win the OVC Player and Freshman of the Week awards in the same week. Butler was named the league’s Player and Freshman of the Week on Dec. 27, 2010.
• Shutouts put UTM pitcher in OVC spotlight
Junior Chelsea Jones was named the adidas Ohio Valley Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week Monday.
Jones pitched back-to-back complete game shutouts to lead The University of Tennessee at Martin to victories over Northern Iowa and IUPUI this past weekend in the Frost Classic at Chattanooga.
Jones, from Tullahoma, set a new school single-game record with 15 strikeouts against UNI. She fanned 11 batters in the IUPUI victory. She did not allow an earned run and walked just three in 15.2 innings of work.
Jones is the first UT Martin pitcher to be recognized by the OVC this season. She earned Pitcher of the Week honors this past season on March 1, 2010. She was one of five UT Martin players to be recognized last year for their efforts in the circle.