Kellie Cook, Tacarra Hayes each score 22 but Tech falls at EIU

Kellie Cook, Tacarra Hayes each score 22 but Tech falls at EIU

CHARLESTON, Ill – It was the Kellie Cook show in the first half, as she scored 17 of her 22 points in the first period, before Tacarra Hayes took over and scored 15 of her 22 points in the second half. But the scoring tandem wasn’t enough, as the Tennessee Tech women’s basketball team fell on the road to Eastern Illinois 79-68 in OVC play Monday night.

Eastern Illinois dominated the game at the free throw line, hitting 28-of-36 free throws while Tech hit 9-of-17 attempts from the charity stripe. The Golden Eagles held the advantage in shooting, hitting 48 percent of their shots, but the Panthers committed five fewer turnovers, and took a 43-31 rebounding advantage.

Cook hit 9-of-16 shots for the game, and 4-of-5 from long range, and added a rebound, an assist and two steals to her stat line. Hayes was 9-of-13 from the field and 4-of-8 from the free throw line, and also had eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in the game. Kylie Cook finished the game with nine points and five rebounds.

EIU’s TaKenya Nixon led all scorers with 25 points, and also collected nine rebounds. Maggie Kloak finished with 18 points and nine boards for EIU.

The Panthers jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the game, but the Golden Eagles bounced back to take a 10-9 lead in what would be a back-and-fourth first half. Tech would go into the locker room clinging to a 36-34 advantage.

EIU exploded in the second half, opening with a 13-2 run to take a 47-36 lead. But the Golden Eagles would respond, as they rallied back to tie the game at 54 with seven and a half minutes to play. The game was tied again at 56 before EIU went on a 5-0 spurt to take a lead they would not give up.

The loss drops Tech to 6-7 overall and 1-2 in OVC play, while EIU improves to 7-8 on the season and 3-1 in league play.

The Golden Eagles have a quick turnaround before hosting Morehead State in league play on Jan. 7 in Eblen Center before playing Eastern Kentucky at home two days later. Tip off for both games is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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