The Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball team could not overcome the hot first half shooting of the University of Tennessee at Martin, falling to the Skyhawks, 77-49, Thursday night at the Elam Center.

The Skyhawks started the game on fire, rattling off a 16-0 run over the first 6:13 while converting eight of their first nine shots from the field. An Abby Wright jumper from just outside the paint halted the run. From there, EKU would outscore UT Martin 12-8 to claw their way back into the contest, 24-12.

The teams traded scores to begin the second quarter, but a Kendall Spray jumper helped the Skyhawks rattle off a quick 6-0 run to open the game up. In total, UT Martin finished the first half 19-of-30 (63 percent), compared to just 9-of-31 (29 percent) for the Colonels.

A’Queen Hayes led the way for EKU, scoring 18 points and pulling down a game-high eight rebounds. She also dished out five assists and was 4-of-5 from the foul line.

EKU won the battled on the boards, 41-37, but finished the game shooting just 29 percent, its second-lowest of the season.

The Colonels made a run at the UTM lead late in the third period, when Kenyia Johnson came away with a block and found Bria Bass sprinting to the other end of the court. She managed to fight through the contact and convert the tough layup. Then, to start the fourth, Johnson drove to the basket and converted a free throw. After a stop on the next possession, Abby Wright missed a jumper, but Hayes grabbed the offensive rebound and put the ball in the basket, making the score 57-43. It would be as close as the Colonels would come.

The Colonels return to action Saturday, when they travel to take on Southeast Missouri. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET.

— www.EKUSports.com —

Kevin Britton

Assistant Athletics Director for Communications & Branding