Skyhawk women give gift of wins

Skyhawk women give gift of wins

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 12:03 pm

It was seven days before Christmas, and the UT Martin women’s basketball team gave head coach Kevin McMillan a 91-70 victory over Southern Illinois University Sunday afternoon in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.
It was an impressive victory, one filled with a lot more color than the traditional red and green. This victory featured four players with double-digit scoring led by sophomore Heather Butler with 22 points. Perica Glenn, making her second consecutive start of the season, showed some consistency with 16 points, while Jasmine Newsome added 15 points and Jaclissa Haislip tossed in 11 points.
Haislip, just a sophomore, recorded her fifth career double-double with a team-high 10 rebounds.
“Jaclissa (Haislip) has turned it around and turned it on,” McMillan said. “She makes our defense so much better.”
The 91 points scored is the most in a game this season by the Skyhawks. The 47 percent shooting from beyond the arc also represents the best shooting performance of the season from 3-point land. In the first half alone, the Skyhawks shot 57 percent (8-of-14) from the arc.
In all, 11 out of 12 players scored at least a point and 11 out of 12 players had at least one rebound. The Skyhawks dominated the rebounding stat, snatching 10 more boards (43-33) than SIU.
Haislip’s 3-pointer with 15:53 to play in the first half gave the Skyhawks a 12-3 advantage and triggered a 15-3 run which gave the Skyhawks a 27-6 lead with 9:51 to play in the first half. Senior Taylor Hall closed out the first half with a 3-pointer and the Skyhawks enjoyed a 55-29 cushion at halftime.
SIU managed to cut the deficit to 21 points three times in the second half.
“He told us to believe in him (McMillan), because it would click soon and it (the offense) did,” Haislip said.
The offense wasn’t broke for nine games. However, it was relying on two guards, Butler and Newsome.
“I told them we had a lot of problems, and they were my fault,” McMillan said. “It took about five minutes before practice started and we had everything worked out. We were not sharing the basketball and trusting our teammates.”
Once the Skyhawks got that worked out, the production picked up.
“Ninety-nine percent of it is trusting one another,” McMillan said.
With the victory over SIU, the Skyhawks improve to 6-5 on the season. The team returns to action Dec. 28, when it plays at nationally-ranked Louisville.
“I think I would almost rather play them in three days instead of waiting until after Christmas,” McMillan said.
FRIDAY’S GAME
UTM 78, Evansville 69
The host Skyhawks ended a four-game slide with four of the five starters scoring in double figures.
“If you look at what we have done this year, then these numbers are a surprise,” McMillan said. “But the numbers, with the exception of (Jasmine) Newsome’s, are exactly what these players are capable of putting up.”
Butler led the way with 25 points, while Haislip and senior Taylor Hall scored 15 points each. Glenn, making her first start of the season, scored a dozen points and led the team with nine rebounds.
“This is what we saw last year,” McMillan said. “Look at Taylor’s 15 points and nine assists. Perica had 12 points and nine rebounds. Haislip had 15 points and eight rebounds.”
Hall’s 15 points are a career best and Glenn fell one rebound shy of her second career double-double. Haislip’s production was the best of the season. As for Butler, she finished with four points more than her average as she recorded her 41st consecutive double-digit scoring effort.
The Skyhawks opened up a five-point lead, 49-44, with 13:57 to play in the game when Hall drained one of her five 3-pointers. It was Newsome’s 3-pointer with 7:19 to go that blew the game open for the Skyhawks. The trey gave the Skyhawks an 11-point edge, 67-56.
However, Evansville cut the deficit to three points, 72-69, with 3:24 to play, but went scoreless for the rest of the game.
Evansville shot 55 percent from the field in the game as Samantha Heck led the way for the Purple Aces with 20 points. Published in The WCP 12.20.11

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