BREAKING NEWS: UT Martin women’s team wins OVC title, claims NCAA Tournament berth
Posted: Saturday, March 5, 2011 5:18 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
NASHVILLE — Tournament Most Valuable Player Jasmine Newsome scored 24 points to lead UT Martin to its first-ever Ohio Valley Conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth with an 82-76 victory over Tennessee Tech Saturday afternoon.
The Skyhawks (21-10) will discover their first round NCAA tourney foe on March 14 when those brackets are released.
Newsome’s equally-decorated freshman backcourt teammate Heather Butler added 21 points and Taylor Hall tied a career-high with 13 points at UTM put five players in double figures.
Also of note is the fact that Newsome is the first freshman to be named the OVC Women’s Tournament MVP.
Alicia Weatherly — the lone senior on a roster that was the nation’s youngest when the season began — pitched in with 11 points while Perica Glenn finished with 10.
UT Martin build a lead as big as 17 points (50-33) with 13:48 to play by making 8-of-12 shots to open the second half after leading 34-25 at the intermission.
UTM made 12 straight free throws down the stretch to keep Tech (23-7) from getting any closer than the final score.
The Skyhawks took advantage of frigid TTU first-half shooting to twice lead by as many as 13 points — the first on Newsome’s 3-pointer with 2:50 left before intermission, the second after a Perica Glenn free throw (32-19) with just under two minutes showing.
Tech missed 21 of its first 30 shots from the floor and nine times from beyond the arc before Kylie Cook and Tacarra Hayes sank back-to-back treys in a half when the Lady Eagles shot just 33 percent from the field.
The Messenger will provide complete coverage of the historic event in Monday’s edition.