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Skyhawk women beat Ky. Wesleyan in first basketball exhibition of 2006-07

The UTM women’s basketball team opened play in the 2006-07 campaign with a 63-54 victory over the visiting Panthers of Kentucky Wesleyan.

Skyhawk forward Phyllisha Mitchell recorded a double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds to lead all in both categories.

The new look Skyhawks began the game with one starter from last season’s opening night lineup, preseason All-OVC First Team pick Andreika Jackson. With her new supporting cast, Jackson and the Skyhawks were able to use their size advantage and out rebound the Panthers 40-28. The Skyhawks also out shot the Panthers from the field and the line.

UTM jumped out to an early lead and pushed it to a nine point advantage at the break. The Skyhawk defense was able to corral Kentucky Wesleyan’s top offensive threats, LaTasha Henry and Laura McClintic limiting them to a combined 1-7 from the field in the first half. Jackson led the way with 11 points at the break, while Mitchell collected nine of her rebounds in the first half.

Kentucky Wesleyan began the second half making a run to pull the game close, taking a 42-41 lead with just under 13 minutes left in the game. Jackson answered back for the Skyhawks, draining a jumper to put UTM ahead for good. The Skyhawks added to their lead, in large part to Mitchell who continued to be a force on the boards. Behind her efforts the Skyhawks pushed the final margin of victory to nine.

Jackson, who faced double teams and hard fouls the entire game finished with 14 points and five rebounds. Point guard Jennifer Angler also contributed, pouring in 13 points with three from behind the arc.

The team returned to action Monday at 5:30 p.m. when it hosted Bethel College in an exhibition game at the Elam Center. The Skyhawks will open the regular season this Saturday when they travel to the University of Central Arkansas for an 8 p.m. game.