January 25, 2010

Hayes voted OVC Player of the Week

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Tacarra Hayes lit up the scoreboard last Thursday against Austin Peay to the tune of 39 points and nearly recorded her second triple-double of the season as an encore two nights later. For her back-to-back standout performances, the sophomore was unanimously voted the OVC Player of the Week.

"I think that Tacarra has been our rock the last couple of games," said Golden Eagle head coach Sytia Messer. "She has been playing really hard."

Hayes, who earned the honor following the first week of the 2009-10 season as well, set the single-game scoring record for a guard in Tennessee Tech history against Austin Peay when she finished 13-for-23 from the field and 12-for-15 at the charity stripe for a career-high 39 points.

With just a one-point lead and 10:33 remaining in the game, Hayes put the Golden Eagles on her back and carried them to a 21-point win on Thursday, 77-56. In addition to her 39 points, Hayes added nine rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Lady Govs.

"Coming out of halftime, Tacarra just looked at me and said, "I got you, coach," Messer said. "Sometimes a player just gets in that zone, and she definitely was. She did a great job of challenging the defense and getting to the rim off the dribble.

"It was the best individual offensive performance I've seen since I started coaching," Messer added.

On Saturday, Hayes again filled the stat sheet and nearly posted a triple-double for the second time this season. The Lebanon, Ky., native finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Golden Eagles fell to visiting Tennessee State by three, 65-62.

For the week, Hayes averaged 28.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.

Hayes' versatility has been an asset for Tech all season long. A natural guard at 5-foot-7, Hayes has played point guard, shooting guard, small forward and power forward this season. Regardless of where she plays, she has produced and currently leads the team in scoring (16.5 ppg), rebounding (5.9 rpg), assists (4.3 apg) and steals (2.1 spg).

"Tacarra can play the one through the four for us," Messer said. "She posts up, plays outside and is our most aggressive player. Her ability to get to the rim is among the best at any level."

Hayes and the Golden Eagles return to action on Thursday evening at the Eblen Center when they attempt to avenge an early season loss against Eastern Illinois. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and can by purchased by visiting or calling the Tennessee Tech Ticket Office at 372-3940.