UTM’s Newsome, Butler earn best player awards
Posted: Friday, March 2, 2012 12:00 pm
Jasmine Newsome and Heather Butler have spent most of the 2011-12 season sharing the spotlight.
Now, the UT Martin women’s basketball players are sharing the spoils of their success.
Each was named the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year — Newsome was named the 2011-12 Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year in voting by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, and Butler taking College Sports Madness’ 2012 OVC Player of the Year award.
A native of Millington, Newsome becomes the second Skyhawk to be named OVC Player of the Year after Zabrina Harris earned the honor in 1998-99.
The sophomore guard leads the league with 5.9 assists per game and dished out a season-best 11 assists against Austin Peay on Feb. 23.
Newsome, who was also selected to the All-OVC first team, ranks second in league and 18th in the nation with 19.7 points per outing. She has reached double digits in points in all but two games this season with a career-high of 39 coming against Southern Miss.
She is among the league leaders in field-goal percentage (4th, 44.5 percent), free-throw percentage (6th, 82.4 percent), steals (3rd, 2.0 per game), 3-point field goals made (9th, 1.9 per game) and 3-point field goal percentage (8th, 35.0 percent).
Earlier this season, Newsome had a streak of 36 straight free throws made that spanned over five games. The mark was eight shy of the OVC record of 44 held by former Murray State player Paige Guffey.
Newsome was OVC Player of the Week four times this season.
Butler, from Medina, is the OVC’s leading scorer and is fifth in the nation with 23.7 points per game.
The sophomore has scored double-digit points in 60 consecutive games and is third in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (43.8 percent); fourth in the nation in 3-point field goals per game (3.3); and 52nd in the nation in assist-turnover ratio (1.66).
Butler holds the UT Martin record for most points scored in a single game (42 points) and has two 40-point games as well as five 30-point or more games this season.
She has been named the College Sports Madness OVC Player of the Week four times this season.
Eastern Illinois’ Ta’Kenya Nixon was selected as the OVC Defensive Player of the Year, while SIUE’s Katie Hempen earned Freshman of the Year honors. The Cougars’ Amanda Levens was tabbed the Coach of the Year. Published in The WCP 3.1.12