COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Blowout victories have a way of boosting a team's confidence. So the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team should be feeling poised going into its game on Saturday at Southeast Missouri following a 94-62 triumph against Bluefield College on Wednesday.
The Golden Eagles jumped all over Bluefield early and kept the heat on all game long during the 32-point win, forcing 24 turnovers that led to 31 TTU points. Tech also dominated the glass, holding a 52-30 rebounding advantage.
Sophomore Tacarra Hayes turned in her second consecutive standout performance as she recorded her first-ever double-double. The guard from Lebanon, Ky., poured in a game-high 18 points to go along with 10 assists, seven steals, four rebounds and a blocked shot in just 26 minutes of action. Hayes' seven steals were one shy of the Eblen Center record for steals in a game set by Sherry Batten during the 1991-92 season.
Not to be out-done, fellow-sophomore Krystal Stirrup came off the bench to post her second career double-double and first this season. Stirrup was 6-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, as she netted 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 22 minutes.
For the game, five Golden Eagles finished in double-figures in the scoring column. Freshman Tiara Hopper barely missed her third double-double of the season as she tallied eight points and 11 rebounds in her third career start.
Tech, winners of five of its last six games, will look to remain on the winning track against Southeast Missouri on Saturday, but recent history is not on the Golden Eagles' side. Despite TTU holding a 20-10 all-time record against the Redhawks, SEMO has won the last five match-ups between the two schools and seven of the last eight.
Southeast Missouri (3-9, 0-2 OVC) has struggled so far this season, losing eight of its last nine games after starting the campaign 2-1. On the other hand, Tech has found its groove of late and improved its record to 6-5 overall and 1-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference.
In the OVC preseason poll, SEMO was picked to finish seventh in the conference, one spot ahead of the Golden Eagles.
Game time on Saturday is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Fans can hear all the action for free on Teamline either online or on the phone. The broadcast can be accessed through Tennessee Tech's athletic Web site, TTUsports.com, or fans can call 1-800-846-4700 and enter the team code 0654 to catch all the action. Web streaming can also be accessed through ovcsports.tv.