Jones paces Golden Eagles to 97-44 win over Bryan Lions

Jones paces Golden Eagles to 97-44 win over Bryan Lions

Golden Eagles established several personal career-highs

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – It was a night to sample lineups and work on execution, and everything seemed to work fine for Tennessee Tech which built an insurmountable 52-19 lead by halftime and coasted to 97-44 victory over NAIA foe Bryan College Saturday night in Eblen Center.

All 11 players on the roster saw action for coach Mike Sutton’s squad, and all 11 contributed to the scoring. Junior Alfred Jones led the way with a career-high 17 points on 8-for-9 shooting and also tied his career-high with nine rebounds. Named the Player of the Game, Jones also had three assists, two steals and a blocked shot.

Senior Frank Davis added 15 points, four assists and three steals, and Kevin Murphy contributed 13 points and five rebounds. Senior Elijah Muhammad narrowly missed his first career double-double, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds, in addition to three assists and two steals.

Charles Newton scored a career-high nine points while Terrell Barnes had seven points and a career-high eight rebounds. Riley Hunley and Byron Pickens (photo at left) also notched career-highs, getting four assists apiece.

Bryan’s Astral Guerrier was 8-for-10 from the field and finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. Keith Bauer added nine points.

While the offense came up just short in a bid to reach 100 points for the 12th time in eight seasons under Sutton, the defense was something special, holding the Lions to 28.8 percent shooting and a season-low 44 points. It was the fewest points allowed by the Golden Eagles since holding Union College to 40 last season in an 87-40 Tech win.

Tech (5-6) blistered the nets for 61.1 percent shooting in the first half, hitting 22-for-36 from the field. The Golden Eagles used a 28-10 rebound margin and also used their size advantage to outscore Bryan 28-6 in the paint in the first 20 minutes.

The Golden Eagles finished the game hitting 55.6 percent (40-for-72), including 9-for-19 from long range for 61.5 percent.

Tech raced out to a 6-0 lead before Desmond Craig hit a 3-pointer for the Lions to make it a 6-3 contest. From there, Tech went on a 21-4 stretch to open a 27-7 lead with 12:20 remaining in the half. Senior Frank Davis started the run with a 3-pointer and capped it with a lay up.

With Tech scoring 17 second-chance points in the opening period, the lead grew to 33 by half-time as Bassey Inameti scored on a putback with three seconds left.

Tech continued to do an outstanding job protecting the basketball, being charged with only nine turnovers in the game.

The Golden Eagles take a brief holiday break from action for the next 10 days. Tech will try to make it three wins in a row on Wednesday, Dec. 30, when it hosts Union College at 7:30 p.m. in the nightcap of a doubleheader in Eblen Center.

GOLDEN NUGGETS: Reserves Riley Hunley and Charles Newton each logged career-highs for minutes played, with Newton playing 16 minutes and Hunley 11…Tech is now 5-0 against Bryan College…