Half of Skyhawks too much for SEMO
Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 12:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
When UT Martin flipped the switch, it turned out the lights on Southeast Missouri.
Told simply to “do what we do,” by head coach Kevin McMillan after a first half that saw the Redhawks dictate tempo, the Skyhawks blew the doors off the Elam Center and SEMO out of the building in an 88-47 rout of the visitors Saturday night.
UTM shot a blistering 68 percent from the field in the second half while outscoring the Redhawks 55-22 and forced Southeast Missouri into 14 turnovers and just 28 percent shooting with a quickened pace that has become the Skyhawks’ calling card the past two seasons under McMillan.
“We didn’t necessarily want to speed them up, we just wanted to make them play our game,” insisted the UT Martin coach. “They controlled the game in the first half. In the second half, I thought (Heather) Butler and (Jasmine) Newsome had that ‘look’ in their eye. And when that happens, we’re pretty tough to deal with.”
The talented sophomore guard tandem was surely too much for SEMO (4-17, 1-7) which is next-to-last in the 11-team league standings.
Butler had 16 of her game-high 25 points during 13 minutes of second-half play, including 11 during a 15-0 UTM burst to open the second half. She also snatched three of the Skyhawks’ eight second-half steals.
Newsome, like Butler and teammate Jaclissa Haislip, made a trio of 3-pointers and had a dozen of her 19 markers in 15 minutes of time after the intermission. She had a two-minute spurt in which she scored nine consecutive points by herself and also ended up dishing out a game-best seven assists.
Haislip gave the Skyhawks three players in double digits with her 11 points.
UT Martin posted a season-highs in field goal percentage (58.2 percent) and steals (13), while limiting their opponents to a season-low 47 points — one point less than Belmont scored in the season-opener on Nov. 11.
SEMO indeed had a tempo to its liking over the first 20 minutes, pounding the ball inside for 20 of its 25 points while never allowing the Skyhawks to get into their wanted end-to-end-type game.
There were eight lead changes in the first eight minutes before Perica Glenn’s layup put UTM up for good, 15-14. Despite leading by as many as nine twice on buckets by Shelby Crawford and Rickiesha Bryant later in the half, the visitors were still well within striking distance at 33-25 at the break.
UTM used its uptempo philosophy to convert the Redhawks’ second-half floor mistakes into 22 points, though, and hit 12 of their first 15 shots — including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Published in The WCP 1.31.12