Furious second-half rally comes up short for Golden Eagles at SEMO

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Down by 17 points late in the first half, the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team stormed all the way back to tie the game 54-54 with about five and a half minutes to play, but the Golden Eagles couldn’t pull off the victory, as Southeast Missouri closed the game with a 7-2 run to clinch a 61-56 victory in Ohio Valley Conference action.

Sophomore Krystal Stirrup led the rally, finishing with a game-high 21 points to go along with six rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Rachel Glidden also reached double figures for Tech, hitting a trio of 3-pointers in the second half as she finished with 10 points and three assists. Simone Rutledge had seven points and six rebounds for the Golden Eagles.

Freshman Katy Cooke came off the bench for Tacarra Hayes who found herself in foul trouble, and Cooke put together a nice game, finishing with two points, seven assists, three rebounds, three steals and a block in 27 minutes of action for Tech.

With the loss the Golden Eagles fall to 6-6 overall on the season and 1-1 in OVC play.

The game was a tale of two halves, as SEMO took a 40-27 advantage into the break, before Tech outscored the Redhawks 29-21 in the second half.

“We’ve been preaching to our team to come out strong, and we didn’t do that today,” Tech assistant coach Dee Bell said. “We weren’t able to score on the blocks, and when that happens it makes it tough to get our perimeter game going.”

The Golden Eagles were down 40-23 with under three minutes to play in the first half before a 25-9 extended run brought them within a point midway through the second half. Tech would tie the game 54-54 with 5:26 to play, but was never able to regain the lead.

Tech shot 37.7 percent (20-of-53) from the field for the game, while SEMO hit 42.3 percent (22-of-52) of its shots. Both teams turned the ball over more than they would have liked, as Tech had 24 turnovers in the contest, and SEMO finished with 23.

Stirrup, Rutledge and Kellie Cooke each finished with six rebounds for the Golden Eagles, but the Redhawks held a 41-32 advantage on the glass.

The Golden Eagles will return to action on Monday when they travel to Charleston, Ill., to face Eastern Illinois in OVC play. Tech will return home for a pair of games next week when Morehead State visits Eblen Center on Jan. 7, and Eastern Kentucky entertains the Golden Eagles on Jan. 9.

All season ticket holders can receive an additional four tickets to Tech’s game against Morehead State on Jan. 7, part of a double header with the Tennessee Tech men’s team, as a holiday bonus from the Tennessee Tech athletic department. To claim bonus tickets, or to purchase tickets, visit the Golden Eagle athletics ticket office located in Eblen Center. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone by calling (931) 372-3940 or by visiting TTUsports.com.