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January 2, 2010

Golden Eagles extend winning streak to four games with 82-73 win at SEMO

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Tennessee Tech men’s basketball team shot a red-hot 56.0 percent (28-of-50) from the field, and after building a comfortable halftime lead, held on to seal an 82-73 victory over Southeast Missouri in Ohio Valley Conference play Saturday night.

With the Golden Eagles leading 48-34 with about 15 minutes to play, SEMO went on a 16-5 run to make the score 53-50. But the Redhawks would never get closer, as Tech put the game away with solid free throw shooting and defense down the stretch.

The win is Tech’s fourth in a row, as the Golden Eagles improve to 7-6 overall, and 1-1 in OVC play. Southeast Missouri falls to 4-9 and 1-2 in the OVC.

“We’ve been working on staying resilient and keeping our heads up, so when things are going wrong we pick each other up and fight through it,” said Tech senior guard Elijah Muhammad. “This win really feels good going into conference play. We just have to keep it up.”

Muhammad finished the game with 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and five steals. Senior Frank Davis scored a game-high 20 points, his third 20-point outburst this season, and shot 6-of-10 from long range and 7-for-11 from the field. Bassey Inameti was perfect on the game, shooting 6-of-6 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line on his way to 14 points to go along with five rebounds. Kevin Murphy rounded out Tech’s double-figure scorers with 14 points.

“It’s a good win, the kids played hard,” Tennessee Tech head coach Mike Sutton said. “SEMO gave us a big battle and our guys really stepped it up. These OVC games are always going to be tight, it’s going to be tough.”

The Golden Eagles scored the games first point on a free throw from Muhammad, and would never trail. Tech built a lead as large as 18 points in the first half before SEMO made its push, aided by some Tech foul trouble that saw starters Muhammad and Alfred Jones miss substantial time in the second half with four fouls.

The Redhawks had four players finish with double-figure scoring totals, led by Anthony Allison’s 17. Sam Peasron finished with 15 points and five rebounds, while Cameron Butler and Jajuan Maxwell each had 10 points and five boards.

SEMO shot 38.2 percent (21-of-55) from the field for the game, and held a 39-36 rebounding advantage. SEMO turned the ball over 19 times, while Tech gave it up 20 times.

Tech will play the tail end of its two game road swing on Monday when it visits Eastern Illinois.

“Now we have to figure out a way to get ready for Eastern Illinois,” Sutton said. “Our game Monday night will be a tough game.”

The Golden Eagles return to Cookeville for a pair of OVC contests later on next week to host preseason favorite Morehead State on Jan. 7 and Eastern Kentucky on Jan. 9.

All season ticket holders can receive an additional four tickets to Tech’s game against Morehead State on Jan. 7, part of a double header with the Tennessee Tech men’s team, as a holiday bonus from the Tennessee Tech athletic department. To claim bonus tickets, or to purchase tickets, visit the Golden Eagle athletics ticket office located in Eblen Center. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone by calling (931) 372-3940 or by visiting TTUsports.com.