Poor shooting keeps UT Martin women from stealing road win
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 1:13 pm
UT Martin falls to 2-15 on the year and remains winless in Ohio Valley Conference action at 0-7, while Jacksonville State snaps a six-game skid to improve its record to 4-13 on the year and 1-6 in conference play.
In the game UT Martin shot only 23 percent from the field on 13-56 shooting and fired well below its season average from the free-throw line, hitting only 21-of-33 attempts. Jacksonville State connected on 17 of 56 from the floor for a 30 percent shooting night but was 17 of 22 at the charity stripe, including seven straight to close out the game and seal a win.
“We can’t expect to win if we can’t hit shots from right under the basket,” Skyhawk head coach Tara Tansil-Gentry said. “We got off to a good start but you can’t win in this league going as long without a basket as we did.”
UT Martin set the tone early by snapping off a quick 7-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Allison Wright, forcing Gamecocks coach Becky Geyer to burn a timeout only 90 seconds into the game. Coming out of the break the Skyhawks continued where they left off, pushing their lead out to 12-5 with a pair of free throws from Davis and another Wright three.
The Skyhawks’ offensive output slowed, but the defense continued to deny Jacksonville State the opportunity to set up any consistency. The Skyhawks got a spark off the bench when Samantha Harper checked into the game with 13 minutes left in the half. Harper immediately took a charge on defense then earned a trip to the free-throw line where she converted a pair to help UT Martin hold at least a seven-point margin since the opening moments of the game.
UT Martin’s offensive touch again slowed during the first half, going without a basket for just under three and a half minutes. In the late moments of the half, Jacksonville State was able to cut the UTM lead to two on three occasions, including a late bucket from Cassi Stuart to set the score at 25-23 headed into the locker room for halftime.
In the first half UT Martin shot only 20.8 percent from the field but was able to force 11 Gamecock turnovers to hold on for the three-point advantage.
Jacksonville State knotted the game at 25 apiece with a second-half opening basket from Brittany Wiley but Glover had an answer for the Skyhawks, putting them pack on top by two. UT Martin again pushed its lead to five after a pair of free throws by Wright with 14:42 left. Cold shooting from the field though allowed Jacksonville State to continue hanging around and with 11:30 remaining take its first lead of the game at 39-38 on a layup from Destiny Lane.
The Skyhawks regained the lead when Hailey Purcell floated a pass down to Mitchell for a layin for her first field goal of the game. Mitchell continued to help UTM on the defensive end drawing a charge; then Davis cut through the lane to extend the lead to four with 8:34 left.
From that point on UT Martin went the remainder of the game without a field goal. In the process Jacksonville State the lead on a Wiley layup with 3:10 remaining. The Skyhawks kept the game within one possession until Lane hit two free throws with 25 seconds left to push it to a five-point advantage before settling the final margin at six on a Zenobia Pitts free throw.
In addition to Davis’ game-high 15 points, Wright and Glover each added eight and Sienna Forney chipped in seven. The Gamecocks were led by 12 points from Wiley.
UT Martin will now return home for a three-game home stand, beginning with Southeast Missouri Thursday night at 5:30 p.m., inside the Elam Center.