Golden Eagles trumped by Purple Aces in Eblen Center


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech’s unbeaten season came to a screeching halt Tuesday night in Eblen Center when the Evansville Purple Aces converted a 22-2 first half run into a 62-50 non-conference victory.

Tech (3-1) simply couldn’t match the Aces, whose defense limited the Golden Eagles to 38 percent shooting from the field (19-for-50). Tech was off-target from inside and outside, as well as at the free throw line where they made 50 percent (5-for-10).
 
Evansville (3-2), which has now won three straight, got a balanced effort with all nine players who saw action chipping in with points. Senior guard Ned Cox led the way with 15 points and six assists, while D.J. Balentine added 11 points. Jaylon Moore scored nine in the winning effort, while Ryan Sawvell added six points and eight assists.

The Purple Aces shot 48 percent from the field and held a 34-24 advantage on the glass.

Dennis Ogbe and Lanerryl Johnson let the Golden Eagles with 10 points each while Jud Dillard added nine points. Foul problems early limited Dillard’s playing time.

The Golden Eagles held a 15-11 lead midway through the half, but managed just two points over the final 10 minutes on a layup by Johnson.

Meanwhile, Evansville took advantage of every opportunity and put together a 22-2 run to build a 33-17 lead by halftime. Eight different players contributed points to the run, including 3-pointers from Ned Cox, Jordan Nelson, and D.J. Balentine.

Evansville outscored Tech 24-14 in the paint, and had a 14-3 advantage on second-chance points.

A well-deserved Thanksgiving break awaits coach Steve Payne’s team before the Golden Eagles head to the Windy City next week to face Loyola-Chicago on Wednesday night (Nov. 28).