January 31, 2009

Golden Eagle women felled at Southeast Missouri, 61-55

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Southeast Missouri forced Tennessee Tech into seven consecutive missed shots late in the game and turned it into a decisive 11-2 run on the way to a 61-55 Ohio Valley Conference victory Saturday night in the Show Me Center.

Tech (4-18/2-9 OVC) had the edge in a variety of areas, including more field goals and more rebounds, but the host Redhawks (11-10/7-4 OVC) had a 32-10 edge in free throw attempts on the way to the win in front of 1,237 giddy SEMO Fans.

Tech led by two at halftime, 27-25, overcoming a nine-point deficit midway through the period with a 6-0 run followed shortly thereafter with a 10-1 stretch. Blair Bowens knocked down a 3-pointer put lift the Golden Eagles to a 24-22 lead with 2:16 to play, and followed with a three-point play with 1:51 remaining for a four-point Golden Eagles advantage.

The teams traded leads in the early going of the second half, with Tech’s final lead coming with 11:54 remaining. A layup by Meagan Lyons made it 38-37, but SEMO stole the lead back half-a-minute later on a jumper by Rachel Blunt.

Tech was within one point, 41-40, after a jumper by Vivian Nwosu with 8:12 to play, but the Tech offense suddenly misfired.

The Redhawk defense held Tech to two free throws over a five-minute span, building the lead from 41-40 to 10 points (52-42) with 2:18 to go. Bowens hit a 3-pointer with seven seconds to play, and Danielle Pointer added another 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final six-point margin.

Bowens had a solid line on the box score, leading Tech with 16 points along with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. She raised her career scoring total to 985 points, putting her just 15 shy of becoming Tech’s 25th members of the 1,000-Point Club.

Nwosu added 14 points and four rebounds, and sophomore Jasmine White contributed 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds. White also had three assists and three steals.

Three players scored in double figures for the Redhawks, with both Tarina Nixon and Tore Fite netting 14 each and going a combined 14-for-16 at the free throw line. Sonya Daugherty scored 13 points and Rachel Blunt had nine.

As a team, Tech shot 34.4 percent from the field (21-for-61) while hitting 80 percent (8-for-10) at the free throw line.

SEMO had a huge advantage in freebies, going to the line 32 times and hitting 23 for 71.9 percent. The Redhawks shot 18-for-45 (40 percent) from the field.

The Golden Eagles owned a 41-38 advantage in rebounds, including 15 on the offensive boards. Tech was whistled for 24 fouls in the game, while the aggressive Redhawks kept their fouls down to only 12 for the entire contest. White and Meagan Lyons both exited early with five fouls.

The Golden Eagles return home to Eblen Center for the first time in three weeks, hosting Eastern Kentucky on Thursday night (Feb. 5) at 5:30 p.m.