Sharpshooting Golden Eagles bounce back for win over Cougars

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Behind a solid 50.9 shooting percentage from the field, the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team got back on track Tuesday night as it downed SIU-Edwardsville 68-52 for its 21st victory of the season.

What began as a back and forth battle in the first half that saw Tech enter the locker room with a 25-24 lead, turned into a decisive TTU victory as the Golden Eagles managed 16 field goals in 26 attempts in the second half to break things open on the way to improving to 21-6 on the season.

Tech was paced by junior guard Tacarra Hayes as she tallied a game-high 24 points, including an 8-of-9 performance from the free throw line. Hayes, who posted just two points in the first half, exploded out of the gate in the second as she posted 15 of her 22 second-half points in the first 10 minutes as Tech was able to break away from the Cougars.

Tech's first double-digit advantage came at the 14:22 mark of the second half as Keisha Moore drained a 10-foot shot to put Tech up by 11 at 38-27.

SIUE managed to get back within seven at the 13:12 mark, but that was as close as the Cougars would get as TTU reasserted itself for the final 13 mniutes of the contest, eventually building a 19-point lead with 2:23 left in the game en route to the final score of 68-52.

Along with Hayes' 24-point game, the Golden Eagles were also bolstered by the return of junior guard Kellie Cook who recorded 11 points, including a 3-of-3 performance from the three-point line, and three rebounds. Kellie Cook missed the last three games due to injury.

Junior center Brittany Darling tallied a game-high nine rebounds, while freshman forward Molly Heady notched eight points and seven rebounds.

Jazmin Hill paced the Cougar offense with 19 points, while Sydney Stahlberg and Raven Berry added 10 points each.

Tech won the battle on the glass as it brought down 39 borads to SIUE's 25. TTU also dished out 18 assists and tallied eight steals.

The Golden Eagles (21-6, 14-3 OVC) wrap up their regular season Saturday as they host Jacksonville State. Opening tip is set for 5:30 p.m. The first 300 fans who visit Eblen Center wearing PURPLE will be admitted free. Please call the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center (931-372-3940) for more details.