Women surrender 18 point lead in OVC home opener against UT Martin
The Southeast women’s basketball team allowed University of Tennessee - Martin to mount a 19-2 run in the final minutes of the Redhawks’ conference home-opener and ultimately lost 80-73 on Jan. 5.
The team played without sophomore guard Tesia Thompson, the team’s scorer on the season, who had a death in her family.
SEMO (6-7 overall, 1-1 Ohio Valley Conference) led the majority of the game and held its biggest lead, 60-42, after a layup by redshirt-sophomore forward Latrese Saine with 4:16 remaining in the third quarter.
The Skyhawks (9-4 overall, 1-1 OVC), who trailed 68-57 after three quarters, began their comeback early in the fourth quarter, and that’s when the players got aggressive. In the middle of what would be a five and a half minute scoring drought for Southeast, freshman guard Taelour Pruitt was hit with a technical foul after being whistled for a foul. UTM made all four free throws to move ahead 71-70, its first lead of the second half. The Redhawks would not see the lead for the remainder of the game.
The score started off tight for most of the first quarter until a 3-pointer by redshirt-senior guard Carrie Shepard put the Redhawks ahead 19-16 with 1:04 to go, which kickstarted their long-running lead.
UTM tried pulling all of the stops out of defense. It pressed the Redhawks in the full court much of the game, to no avail. SEMO’s press breaker proved effective as the Redhawks moved the ball from baseline to baseline effortlessly. SEMO responded by pressing the Skyhawks, disrupting the offensive flow that UTM had going.
Shepard made seven 3-pointers in scoring 28 points. Her seven 3-pointers were two shy of tying the single-game record set by Hannah Noe in 2017 against Eastern Illinois University.
Murphy, the reigning OVC Defensive Player of the Year, had two of the team’s six steals in the game. Offensively, she had 18 points, shooting 8-of-10 from the field and 2-of-2 from the 3-point line. She also had two assists and grabbed five rebounds.
Four players scored in the double digits for the Skyhawks. Sophomore forward Maddie Waldrop led the team with 20 points, shooting 6-of-7 from the field and 2-of-2 from the outside while also grabbing eight rebounds.
The Redhawks will host Austin Peay at 2 p.m. Jan. 10.