Tech now 6-1 at home this season
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tacarra Hayes poured through a career-best 39 points – the most ever by a Golden Eagle guard -- and grabbed nine rebounds and Krystal Stirrup matched her career-high with 21 points as Tennessee Tech rolled to a 77-56 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Austin Peay Thursday night in Eblen Center.
Hayes became the eighth player overall to score 39 points. It was the highest individual scoring effort by a Tech player since Emily Christian scored 40 against Eastern Illinois on January 24, 2004.
With the win, Tech (8-10 overall/3-5 OVC) improved to 6-1 at home in Eblen Center this season. Austin Peay slipped to 5-13 overall and 4-3 in the OVC .
The game was tight until the final 10 minutes before the Golden Eagles closed the contest by outscoring Austin Peay 20-4.
Two free throws by Ashley Herring brought the Lady Govs to within one points, 46-45, with 10:33 remaining before Tech used a 7-0 run to gain some distance. Hayes hit back-to-back jumpers and Stirrup added a 3-pointer to make it 53-45.
APSU was within five points, 57-52, with 5:34 to play after a 3-pointer by Whitney Hanley. Simone Rutledge scored a layup for Tech before Hayes and Stirrup knocked down consecutive 3-pointers and the lead was up to 13. Hayes followed with a three-point play and the Golden Eagles were 6-for-7 at the line down the stretch for the final margin.
It was a typical TTU-APSU battle for the entire 20 minutes of the first half. The game was tied eight times during the half and the largest lead for each team was four points.
Hayes was 13-for-23 from the field including one 3-pointer on her only try, and went 12-for-15 at the free throw line. In addition to her 39 points, the sophomore from Lebanon, Ky., added nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Stirrup was 6-for-8 from the field including 2-for-3 from long range, and went 7-for-7 at the line on the way to her 21 points. Kellie Cook quietly added six points and 10 rebounds and freshman guard Katherine Barker snapped down a career-best nine rebounds as the Golden Eagles finished with a 42-39 edge on the glass.
Jasmine Rayner led the Lady Govs with 17 points and seven rebounds, hitting 6-for-7 from the field. Ashley Herring added 14 points and Nicole Jamen had eight points and 15 rebounds.
Tech’s four-game homestand continues Saturday night when Tennessee State visits for an OVC doubleheader beginning at 5:30 p.m. It will be Basketball Alumni Night. Tickets are on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940. Tickets may also be purchased online at TTUsports.com.