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UT-Martin Women Beat SIU-Carbondale

December 23rd, 2013 - By Charles Choate

Defense wins championships and the University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team made major strides towards continuing its championship pedigree in the 85-55 road victory at Southern Illinois.

The Skyhawks (7-5) snapped their two-game losing streak with a consistent effort at both ends of the court, forcing 36 turnovers while shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor.

Of the team’s 85 points scored, 48 points were scored off turnovers, including 16 points in transition.

The 36 forced turnovers marked a season high and the most in the Kevin McMillan era.

Offensively the Skyhawks placed four players in double figures while seven players scored seven points or more.

The Skyhawks were led in scoring by freshman Ashia Jones who tallied a career-high 17 points and game-high five steals.

Jones was joined in double figures by Heather Butler who tallied 15 points while Elizabeth Masengil and Jasmine Newsome each tallied 12 points on the afternoon.

Newsome’s 12 point performance moved the senior into ninth on the Ohio Valley Conference’s all-time scoring list with 2,181 career points.

Her performance jumped former Morehead State guard Chynna Bozeman (2,170) and Southeast Missouri’s Gray Harris (2,176) previous career marks.

“Our effort tonight was better tonight and if we can get some time to work on some things, I think that we are starting to turn a corner,” said McMillan. “When we press we play hard, and when we play hard we tend to get results we are looking for. You saw some glimpses of the type of team that we can be. We are just trying to find that consistency in effort and put together a solid string of games.”

The Salukis (2-8) were led by Azia Washington who tallied 21 points and six rebounds. Washington was joined in double figures by Mercedes Griffin, chipping in 11 points.