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Butler shoots down NCAA mark on way to pacing Skyhawk win

Butler shoots down NCAA mark on way to pacing Skyhawk win
It took junior guard Heather Butler almost the entire first half to knock down a 3-pointer, but when she connected for the trey with 3:36 it did two things — it tied the game at 22-all and took the pressure off the Gibson County native who opened the game against Eastern Kentucky at the Elam Center 0-for-7 from behind the arc.
Butler finished the game with 24 points, hitting 2-for-11 from 3-point range, as UT Martin posted a 75-60 victory over Eastern Kentucky. With the victory, the Skyhawks improved to 11-13 overall and 6-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference West Division. Eastern Kentucky falls to 13-7 on the year and 7-3 in the OVC East.
That first 3-pointer of the game marked an end to Butler’s shooting woes. She was 0-for-11 from the field before the trey.
“We didn’t talk about the record at all,” UT Martin head coach Kevin McMillan said. “It must have got in her head.”
With that lone first-half 3-pointer, Butler set a new NCAA record for the most consecutive games scoring a trey (70).
She finished the game with 24 points, two 3-pointers and was 8-for-24 from the field.
“It put a little pressure on me, but I would rather win games in the NCAA Tournament,” Butler said. “We are basically concerned about playing 40 minutes with effort.”
Junior Jasmine New-some broke a record, too. She had nine assists in the game and led all scorers with 27 points, hitting 15-of-16 from the free-throw line.
With the nine assists, Newsome became UT Martin’s all-time assists leader. She has 464 career assists to pass UTM Hall of Famer Gwen Long’s total 458.
The Skyhawks led for most of the first half, but Eastern Kentucky would not go away.
Butler’s 3-pointer knotted the game at 22-all. However, the Skyhawks went on a 9-2 run to close out the first half.
Eastern Kentucky stayed close in the second half, but the combination of Butler and Newsome with some help from senior Rickiesha Bryant led to the Lady Colonels’ demise.
Marie Carpenter prolonged the defeat by making five 3-pointers. She finished the game with 17 points.
Bryant scored 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
“It was a fight of a game, Eastern (Kentucky) always plays us tough,” McMillan said. “They are a physical team that wears you out inside. Every game, every possession, every defensive possession is a fight.” Published in The Messenger 2.5.13