UTM women finish strong

UTM women finish strong

The UT Martin women’s basketball team put an exclamation mark on its 2012 Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship Saturday afternoon at Jacksonville State with an 87-62 victory.
The Skyhawks, now 21-8 overall and 15-1 in the OVC, will return to action Friday in the semifinals of the conference tournament at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. Tipoff is set for noon.
Sophomore Jaclissa Haislip recorded her second consecutive double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Heather Butler scored 29 points.
Jacksonville State opened the game with a 6-0 run, but struggled as UT Martin answered with a 24-5 run that was capped off by a Butler 3-pointer with 7:10 to play in the first half.
The Skyhawks cruised to a 47-25 lead at the half and made 9-of-15 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes of play. Butler had 19 of her game-high 29 points in the first half.
The Skyhawks opened the second half with another run, this time a 26-4 barrage and coasted to their 12th consecutive victory of the season.
The Skyhawks, ranked second in the nation in 3-pointers made per game, supported their own cause with 16 treys in the game. Butler knocked down seven, Haislip had four and senior Taylor Hall made three. Sophomore Megan White came off the bench and made one of her four attempts.
Jacksonville State had three players in double figures. Candace Morton and Destiny Lane scored 14 points each, while Briana Morrow tossed in 12 points.
JSU 77, UTM 46 (M)
Mike Liabo scored 20 points, but the Gamecocks shot 50 percent from the floor and dominated the boards in what turned out to be UT Martin’s final game of the 2011-12 season
The Skyhawks opened the game against Jacksonville State playing extremely well, building a quick 7-2 lead, but Jacksonville State responded with a 7-1 run and never looked back.
Jacksonville State shot 59 percent from the field and led 40-27 at the half.
The Skyhawks struggled in the second half, hitting only six field goals in the final 20 minutes of the game.
Liabo was 7-for-20 from the field and 3-for-7 from behind the 3-point arc.
In addition to shooting 50 percent from the field in the game, Jacksonville State dominated the boards, outrebounding UT Martin, 45-26.
“We have been consistent at not being very good on the defense side of the ball,” UTM head coach Jason James said. “We will be back.”

Published in The Messenger 2.27.12

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