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Balanced effort gives Tech 56-point win, most points in six years


By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Senior Dennis Ogbe was the top scorer in a balanced attack as Tennessee Tech scored its most points in six seasons with a 112-56 victory Thursday night over visiting Hillsdale (Okla.) College in Eblen Center.

Tech fans had plenty to cheer for in the team's final contest heading into a Christmas break. The victory left coach Steve Payne's team with a 7-7 overall record while Hillsdale fell to 4-5.

Ogbe had 22 points, on 8-for-10 shooting, and added eight rebounds, three blocked shots and four steals. His steal total was a career-high, and his seven offensive rebounds was also his personal best.

Altogether, Tech charted 11 individual career-best numbers across the box score, including nine points and four rebounds from sophomore Ammanuel Diressa, making his first career start. Redshirt freshman DeOndre Haynes, who saw the most minutes of his career wth 18, posted career-best numbers in points (15), rebounds (3) and assists (3).

Junior Ladon Carter finished with seven points and 11 rebounds, with a career-best seven offensive boards. Other career-best numbers were five assists for junior Jordan Johnson and four rebounds for freshman Shirmane Thomas. Johnson also finished with six points, four rebounds and four steals, while Thomas had nne points.

Senior point guard Jeremiah Samarrippas played just 18 minutes and chipped in with 11 points, four assists and three steals.

Hillsdale had two players reach double figures, led by Phil Carey with 15 points to go along with six rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Marquis Burden added 12 points. The Saints also got eight points and five rebounds from Chris Hobgood, and six points and five rebounds from Randall Henderson.

Hillsdale hung around for the first 12 minutes, keeping the margin under double figures until Samarrippas hit a 3-pointer with 7:43 remaining in the first half to make it a 32-19 Tech lead. The basket opened a 16-4 Tech run and the Golden Eagles were up by 31 points at halftime 58-27.

The 112 points was the most by a Golden Eagle squad since a 117-88 win over Bluefield College on Nov. 27, 2007.

With 14 games behind them, the Golden Eagles will take a well-deserved break for Christmas. Tech returns to action in nine days, with a rematch at Utah Valley in Orem, Utah. Earlier this year, Tech won a 74-71 decision in Eblen Center.