NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For the second time in three nights, the
Tennessee Tech women's basketball team put in overtime on the job,
and for the second time the Golden Eagles suffered a heart-breaking
Ohio Valley Conference road loss.
This time, Tennessee State claimed a 79-75 victory in the Genty Center Nashville in one overtime period. On Thursday night, Tech dropped a two-point, double-overtime contest at Austin Peay.
The Golden Eagles (4-16/2-7 OVC) held a three-point lead in the final minute of regulation, but Kendra Appling's 3-pointer as the shot clock wound to zero tied things with 24 seconds to go, forcing the overtime period.
It was a steal by Appling with 31 seconds to go in the overtime that might have been the decisive play of the night. Down 75-74, Tech called timeout to set up a play. Appling swiped the inbounds pass and the Tigers made just enough free throws to hold on for the win.
TSU (11-9/7-2 OVC) remained unbeaten on their home floor, and kept pace just off the lead in the OVC race.
Senior Blair Bowens led Tech with 18 points, including four of Tech's five points in overtime. She raised her career total to 955 as she aims to become the 25th player in the program's history to top the 1,000-point plateau.
Senior Meagan Lyons, who joined the 1,000-Point Club last week, scored 16 points and had seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. Also in double figures, freshman Tacarra Hayes scored 16 and grabbed seven boards.
Tiffany Jackson, who reached 1,000 in her career total in the game against the Golden Eagles, led TSU with 23 points and nine rebounds. Kendra Appling added 20 points and five steals, while Charisse Hicks chipped in with 12 points and six rebounds. Jasmine Smith, one of for post players to foul out in the contest (along with TSU's Kierra Goodwin and Tech's Jasmine White and Vivian Nwosu), had eight points and nine rebounds.
The Lady Tigers took advantage of their red-hot shooting in the first half to take the lead. TSU hit 70 percent from the field during the first 13 minutes, and pulled on top by as many as 10 points, 29-19, at the 7:50 mark.
Down 39-33 at the half, Tech scored the first six points and the game became a tight chase to the finish. Each team owned a five-point lead over the final 18 minutes.
In the final minutes of regulation, Lyons made two free throws to put the Golden Eagles on top 67-65, with 2:04 remaining. Appling made a layup to tie things, and Allison Price launched a 3-pointer with 1:15 to play to give the Golden Eagles their 70-67 lead.
Price also got a steal with one minute to go, giving Tech the ball, to set up their final play, but a turnover in the lane gave the ball to TSU and set up Appling's eventual tying 3-pointer.
Bowens gave Tech a 72-70 lead in overtime, but TSU scored the next two baskets for a 74-72 lead. Bowens tied the game with a jumper with 2:14 to play, and Jackson's free throw with 1:01 remaining made it a 75-74 contest.
Tech called timeout with 31 seconds left to set up a play, but Appling stole the inbounds pass and the Tigers grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds which eventually led to four free throws.
Tech returns to the highway next week with games at Eastern Illinois Thursday night and Southeast Missouri on Saturday. The next home game for the Golden Eagles is Thursday, Feb. 5, when Eastern Kentucky invades Eblen Center for a 5:30 p.m. contest.