The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team struggled on both ends of the floor before eventually falling to mid-major power Dayton, 78-47, on the opening night of the Hawkeye Challenge.
The Skyhawks (1-3) shot just 23.3 percent from the floor as opposed to the Flyers’ offense which shot a sizzling 50.9 percent from the field. Jessy Ward led the Skyhawks in scoring with 16 points while Ashia Jones was the only other player to reach double figures with 10 points and a team high five rebounds.
Dayton (1-2) saw all 11 player score in the ballgame, led by the play of Andrea Hoover who tallied 14 points on the evening, including knocking down 4-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc. Ally Malott finished the contest with 13 points while Jodie Cornelie tallied four points along with 10 rebounds and four blocks.
The Flyers held a slim 8-5 advantage at the first break before padding their lead over the following four minutes with an 8-2 run. The Skyhawks would try to respond to the run as Ward would knock down a pair of three-pointers but the Flyers would still hold a 25-13 advantage with 7:51 to play in the first.
Both teams would remain competitive for the remainder of the half with Dayton narrowly outscoring UT Martin 18-14 in the final minutes of the first. Hoover would lead all scorers at the break with 12 while Ward nipped at her tail with 11 points of her own.
Dayton would storm out of the gates in the second half, posting a 15-0 run before a free throw by Jones scored the Skyhawks first point of the second period at the 11:57 mark. The Flyers would take a 22-4 run into the under-eight media timeout, possessing a 65-31 advantage.
The Skyhawks would outscore the Flyers 16-13 for the remained of the ball game but the damage had already become insurmountable. A three-pointer by Ward with 55 seconds remaining in the contest would put a cap on the game’s final score of 78-47.
UT Martin will return to action tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 22 when the Skyhawks take on the loser of tonight’s second matchup between No. 18 ranked Iowa and Pepperdine. Action from Carver-Hawkeye Arena is scheduled to get underway at 5 p.m.