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Women’s basketball starts season off slow with 1-3 record

Skyhawks pick up home win against Kentucky Wesleyan, drop games to Evansville, Siena, and Rhode Island

Published (Volume 77, No. 13)

UTM @ Evansville

UTM Sports Information

The host Evansville Purple Aces opened the season with a 23-7 run against Tennessee-Martin Friday morning and never looked back en route to a 54-44 victory over the Skyhawks here at Roberts Stadium.

In the season opener for both teams, turnovers and sloppy play were to be expected by the Purple Aces and the Skyhawks. However, the Skyhawks committed 27 of the 46 turnovers in the game and struggled offensively throughout the contest. Evansville cruised to a 33-24 lead and managed to stymie Tennessee-Martin sophomore Andreika Jackson who went 0-2 from the field and seven-for-eight at the free throw line.

The Skyhawks cut Evansville’s lead to seven points three times in the second half, but the turnovers and offense continued to struggle.

“We have to learn to be more aggressive and take shots,” said Tara Tansil, the Skyhawks’ first-year head coach.

Senior Danielle Page led the Skyhawks with 11 points, while senior Chandra Carey netted 10 points. The two guards combined for all five of the Skyhawks’ three-pointers.
Evansville relied on 16 points from senior Alissa Kirby who went four-for-seven from the three-point arch.

If the game were a game of halves, the Skyhawks would have suffered a 21-20 loss in the second half. The Skyhawks out rebounded Evansville 33-32. Skyhawk freshman Crystal Fuller pulled down six caroms to lead all rebounders.

UTM vs. Kentucky Wesleyan

Brad Hurt
Staff Writer

The Skyhawks women’s basketball team used a sizeable free-throw advantage to earn its first victory of the season against Kentucky Wesleyan, 70-62.

The Skyhawks made 22 of 33 free throws in the game while the Panthers made only 9 of 15.

Although the game was reasonably close from start to finish, the Skyhawks never relinquished the lead after the first few minutes of action.

The teams traded baskets early on and were tied at 10 at the first timeout.

The Panthers were able to keep up with the Skyhawks thanks to their outside shooting. The Skyhawks, on the other hand, benefited from numerous Panther turnovers.

The Skyhawks played tenacious defense, forcing 11 Panther turnovers in the first half alone.

The Skyhawks also hit nearly 60 percent of their shot attempts while holding the Panthers to 42 percent shooting.

UTM held its largest lead of the half at 35-24 with 3:56 remaining until halftime. The score at the break was 39-30 in favor of UTM.

Early in the second half, the Skyhawks were able to stretch their lead to double-digits. The comfortable cushion was short-lived, however, as Kentucky Wesleyan turned up its defense.
The Skyhawks’ lead stabilized at around seven points for the remainder of the game. The Panthers were only able to get as close as four points in the second half.

The pace of the game was slowed by fouls and turnovers as a result of both teams’ aggressive approach to defense.

Due to their advantage on the free-throw line, the Skyhawks were able to stay out of the reach of the Panthers.

The lead grew to its final margin in the game’s final minute.
Skyhawk senior forward Jenny Lannom shared the honor of the game’s top scorer with Kentucky Wesleyan forward LaTasha Henry. Both players finished with 17 points.

Two other Skyhawks joined Lannom in double-figures as senior guard Danielle Page scored 16 points and sophomore forward Andreika Jackson scored 12 points. A total of ten Skyhawks scored in the game.

Lannom also set a new career high by pulling down eight rebounds in the game. Page shot with excellent accuracy at the line and from behind the arc as she was perfect on eight free throws and two three-pointers. She also grabbed six rebounds.


UTM vs. Siena

Siena’s Laura Menty posted a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Saints into the championship game of the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament with a 60-57 win over UTM.

With the Siena trailing 57-56 with 43 seconds remaining, Dooley connected on two free throws to put the Saints ahead, 58-57.

After UTM’s Chandra Carey and Danielle Page both missed jumpers, Dooley hit two more free throws with nine seconds left. Page missed a three-pointer at the buzzer as Siena held on for the win.

The Skyhawks overcame a 24-12 deficit with a 10-0 run in the first half. Deina Willingham made a free throw with 46 seconds remaining pulling UTM within, 24-22. Lauren Surber’s basket gave Siena a 26-22 halftime lead.

UTM’s Andreika Jackson scored 17 of her game-high 22 points in the second half to lead the Skyhawks.

Jackson’s two free throws with 10:11 left in the game gave the Skyhawks their first lead of the game, 42-40.

Siena battled back to take a 52-50 lead with 5:35 left. A jumper by Jackson gave the Skyhawks a 57-56 advantage with 1:11 left in the game, but Dooley’s free throws sealed the win for Siena.

Siena shot 39.2 percent from the field while UT Martin shot 37.7 percent.

UTM vs. Rhode Island

With the first round loss to Siena, the Skyhawks faced Rhode Island Saturday afternoon in the tournament’s consolation game.

Safi Mojidi and Peta Kneen each scored 18 points to lead Rhode Island past UT Martin 79-66 Saturday in the consolation game of the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament.

The Rams (2-2) rebounded from their loss to Vanderbilt. All five starters for the Rams scored in double figures. Justine Boisvert had 16 points while Chrys Washington added 14 points. Tanya Rhodes had 11 points.

Rhode Island finished the game shooting 55.4 percent and 57.1 percent from behind the arc. Keva Robinson led UT Martin with a game-high 23 points while Jackson added 13 points.
The Rams broke a 19-19 tie at 9:47 mark with a 15-9 run to take a 34-28 lead at halftime.

UTM came within 45-41 in the second half, but the Rams pulled away down the stretch with a 22-9 run which gave Rhode Island a 67-50 lead with 8:20 remaining.

UTM returns to action Thursday when it travels to nationally ranked North Carolina.

The game can be heard on the Skyhawk Radio Network’s flagship station WCMT-FM, 101.3 or on the Internet at www.utmsports.com.