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Late run by Drake lifts Bulldogs over Tech by 11

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - A late run by Drake and cool shooting by Tennessee Tech added up to an 11-point win for the visiting Bulldogs Tuesday night, 69-58, in non-conference action in Eblen Center.

Down by one with five minutes to play, the Bulldogs went on a 9-0 run to grab control and held on to the finish line in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

Sophomore Kristen Turk, making her first career start, led Drake (2-2) with a career-high 18 points. Lauren Dybing (13) and Jordann Plummer (12) also scored in double figures for the Bulldogs.

Tech (1-3) was led Meagan Lyons with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Blair Bowens added 16 points and five boards.

Tech shot 36 percent in the first half and 39 percent in the second, for a game mark of 38 percent (19-for-50). The Golden Eagles were 13-for-25 at the free throw line for 52 percent.

Drake also missed the mark in the first half, hitting 39 percent, but the Bulldogs warmed up to 50 percent in the second half to shoot 44.1 percent for the game. They were 11-for-13 at the line for 85 percent.

The lead flipped from side-to-side throughout the first half, changing hands seven times in addition to being tied a couple of times.

Tech's largest margin was five points, early in the period, while the biggest edge held during the first 20 minutes by the visitors was the six-point halftime advantage.

Tied at 22 following a jumper by Brittnye McSparron with 2:17 remaining, the Bulldogs went on top 24-22 when Ashleigh Brady scored with 1:39 to play.

Up by three with time running out, Jordann Plummer launched a desperation shot from just past mid-court and the ball banked off the glass, landed on the rim and settled through for a 3-pointer and a 29-23 Drake lead.

In a preview of both team's long range accuracy after the intermission, Lyons opened the second half by hitting a 3-pointer to get started. Four minutes later her basket made it a two-point deficit and Bowens followed with a 3-pointer to push the Golden Eagles into the lead at 34-33.

Tech shot well from long range in the second half, hitting 5-for-8 for 62.5 percent. The Bulldogs hit 50 percent (5-for-10) from long range in the second half.

Once again, the lead couldn't decide where to settle and for the next 10 minutes it was a seesaw battle.

With five minutes to go, Drake surged ahead on the strength of a 9-0 run, with baskets by four different players to make it 61-53 with 2:53 remaining.

Tech had no choice but to foul, and the Bulldogs made all six free throws down the stretch to preserve their lead.

The Golden Eagles head to South Florida for the weekend, where they will play in the Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Tech faces FAU Saturday at 2 p.m. CST, then meets either Texas or Georgia Tech on Sunday. The consolation game is at 2 p.m. with the tournament championship at 4 p.m. CST.

Both games can be heard live on the Golden Eagle Sports Network, and via Free Teamline.