EKU Women's Bid for OVC Championship Ends in Semifinal Loss
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University's run in the Ohio Valley Conference women's basketball tournament came to a sudden end in the semifinals Friday afternoon. Regular season champion UT Martin picked up a 97-45 victory over the Lady Colonels, who were playing their third game in three days.
EKU (17-13) had won its first two games over Eastern Illinois and Tennessee State before bowing out. This was the first OVC tourney semifinal appearance for the Lady Colonels since 2005.
Freshman Mariah Massengill led Eastern with a personal-high 12 points. Meanwhile, sophomore Jasmine Henshaw equaled her career high with 10 tallies.
UT Martin's backcourt combination of Heather Butler, the OVC Player of the Year, and Jasmine Newsome combined for 44 points and 10 assists.
UT Martin blitzed Eastern right out of the gates as the Skyhawks scored the first 20 points and never looked back. UTM netted 55.6 percent (20-of-36) of its field goal attempts in the opening half, including 10 three-pointers, to take a 56-24 cushion into intermission. The Lady Colonels committed 12 turnovers and made just eight shots before halftime.
Things didn't improve for Eastern Kentucky in the second half as the Lady Colonels shot a season-low 28.6 percent (16-of-56) from the floor for the game.
UT Martin will be making its fourth consecutive appearance in the OVC championship game. The Skyhawks are the three-time defending tournament champs.