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December 6, 2008

Golden Eagles roll to OVC win over Jacksonville State, 84-60

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --Adding points to her career-high against Jacksonville State is getting to be routine for Tennessee Tech guard Blair Bowens. For the third year in a row, the senior from Tuscumbia, Ala., established a new career-best scoring mark at the Gamecocks' expense as her 24 points led the Golden Eagles to a 84-60 victory Saturday in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both teams.

Bowens was one of four Golden Eagles to score in double figures for Tech (2-6/1-0 OVC). Jasmine White added 13, Meagan Lyons scored 12 and Krystal Stirrup notched 11.

As a sophomore, Bowens set a career-high with 21 against JSU. As a junior, she raised it to 22 points. Now it's up to two dozen.

Jacksonville State was led by Candice Carmine with 11 points, the lone Gamecock to reach double figures as Jacksonville State (1-7/0-1 OVC) was limited to 27 percent shooting accuracy. Jolie Efazokhae and Zonobia Pitts scored eight apiece.

Bowens scored nearly a point per minute in the first half, notching 13 while on the floor for 15 minutes, and Tech used a 11-1 run late in the period to build a lead into double digits.

After Pitts drained a 3-pointer for the Gamecocks to cut Tech's margin to two points, 20-18, with 7:49 to play, the Golden Eagles' run started with a 3-pointer by Bowens. Stirrup added a jumper, and a minute later Allison Price nailed another 3-pointer to make it 28-19. Bowens drained her second trey to finish the run, and with 4:57 remaining in the half Tech was on top 31-19.

The lead was trimmed to single digits once, when Efezokhae hit a layup with 3:08 to play to make it a 33-24 TTU lead, and Bowens hit her third straight 3-pointer to nudge the different back to 12. The largest lead of the first half was 13 points.

Tech had five steals in the first half and forced 10 JSU turnovers, and the Golden Eagles had a 10-1 edge in points off turnovers.

In the second half, Tech quickly took the lead to 23 points with a 13-2 run coming out of the dressing room. The largest lead of the night was 31 points, when Tech was up 76-45 with 7:09 remaining.

In addition to her 24 points, Bowens added seven rebounds, while White grabbed six boards. Stirrup was the top rebounder in the contest, narrowly missing a double-double with nine rebounds as Tech owned a 49-38 advantage.

Tacarra Hayes also scored a career-high for the Golden Eagles with nine points.

The Golden Eagles take a break from action for finals next week, and are off for 12 days before hosting Evansville on Dec. 18.