Just because the UT Martin women’s basketball team won its 11th consecutive Ohio Valley Conference game and its final home game of the 2012 season doesn’t mean the season is over.
Ask senior Taylor Hall or sophomore Jasmine Newsome.
The 86-62 victory over visiting Austin Peay in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center Thursday night was just another victory. However, combining the UT Martin victory with Eastern Illinois’ loss at Morehead State and Thursday’s victory over Austin Peay equates to an Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship for the Skyhawks.
“Just because we won tonight doesn’t mean vacation starts now,” Newsome said.
The Skyhawks will close out the regular season Saturday at Jacksonville State. Even though the Skyhawks have claimed the No. 1 seed in next week’s postseason tournament in Nashville, Hall said there is plenty of reason to play hard Saturday.
The Skyhawks forged to a 43-29 lead at halftime. Sophomore Jaclissa Haislip hit five field goal attempts, including a pair of 3-pointers, and two free throws for 14 first half points. Hall was 4-for-6 from behind the arc and had 12 points at the break, while Newsome had 11 points, five rebounds and five assists at halftime. Sophomore Heather Butler was 0-for-5 from the field and scoreless.
Newsome and Haislip finished the game with 20 points each, while Hall and Butler scored 18 points each. All 18 of Butler’s points came in the second half.
Both Haislip and Newsome recorded double-doubles. Newsome had 20 points and 11 assists, while Haislip netted the 20 points and led the Skyhawks with 12 rebounds.
Austin Peay 85, UTM 67
The Skyhawks received a career-high scoring effort from Mike Liabo and an inspired effort from senior Dane Smith in his final home game in a Skyhawk uniform, but the Skyhawks suffered their 26th loss in 30 games.
Liabo ended his evening with 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including a 4-for-6 effort from three-point range. His previous best scoring game came earlier this season against SIU Edwardsville, when he scored 26 points on Jan. 7.
The team’s only senior, Smith tossed in 16 points and added a game-high seven rebounds for the Skyhawks.
Corderio Maclin also cracked double-figures for the seventh time this season for UT Martin (4-26, 0-15 Ohio Valley Conference), while Omari Minor registered six assists and a career-high six rebounds.
UTM is without the services of post player Myles Taylor, who has been suspended by head coach Jason James for what has been termed as conduct detrimental to the team.
He will not play in Saturday’s season finale.
For Austin Peay (11-19, 7-8 OVC), Herdie Lawrence’s 19 points led the way, while John Fraley (16 points), Josh Terry (15), Justin Blake (11) and Chris Freeman (10) each cracked double-figures for the Governors.
Publlished in The Messenger 2.24.12