Tech hosts Western Kentucky Wednesday to open doubleheader
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Stifling defense and an effective transition game helped Tennessee Tech roll to a first half lead, but Lipscomb burned the nets in the second half to claim a 66-61 non-conference victory over the Golden Eagles Monday night in the Eblen Center in women's college basketball action.
The Golden Eagle defense clamped down midway in the first half, delivering a 14-0 run while limiting Lipscomb without a basket for more than 13 minutes.
But Lipscomb found the range after the break, hitting 70 percent in the second period (14-for-20) including 6-for-9 from long distance.
Hannah Phillips, a junior guard from Brentwood, led Lipscomb (2-10) with 20 points. She was 5-for-5 from the field, including both of her 3-point tries, and 8-for-11 at the free throw line. Morgan Faulkner also scored in double figures with 13 points, going 4-for-6 outside the arc. Anna Bowers hit 2-for-4 long-range tries and added eight points. For the game, Lipscomb was 9-for-18 from long range.
Tech (2-6) also had two players in double figures, topped by senior guard Tacarra Hayes with 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior Brittany Darling reached a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Golden Eagles were 3-for-20 from long range (15 percent) and hit 32.3 percent (21-for-65) from the field overall.
The Lady Bisons enjoyed an early lead, vaulting on top by a 13-9 margin about six minutes into the fray. That's when the TTU defense asserted itself, forcing Lipscomb to miss 10 consecutive shots over the next eight minutes. Tech also pressured the Bisons into four turnovers and Darling blocked a couple of shots as the Golden Eagles reversed the score into a 23-13 lead.
Lipscomb caught fire in the second half, making eight of its first nine shots including all three 3-pointers to pull itself back into the game. A 10-2 run by the Bisons trimmed Tech's 11-point halftime lead down to two points, 38-36, with 15:41 remaining. Phillips and Faulkner each drained a trey in the stretch.
Tech maintained a lead for the next three minutes, and a 3-pointer by Rachel Glidden with 12:02 left made it 45-41 for the Golden Eagles.
Lipscomb answered with an 11-2 run to move on top by five, 52-47, with 8:34 to play as Bowers, Shanice Burnette and Phillips each canned 3-pointers. From there, it became a sprint to the finish and a shoot-out on both ends.
Kylie Cook hit a 3-pointer at the 5:52 mark to draw Tech within two, 54-52, and 30 seconds later, following a basket by O'Neisha Smith, Cook hit another basket to get Tech within a pair one more time at 56-54 with 5:32 to play.
A minute later, Phillips made two free throws and she added a jumper with 3:13 to go and the Bisons lead was back to six, 60-54. Lipscomb took advantage of lopsided numbers in the foul department – Tech was whistled for 26 fouls with two players drawing five and departing early, while Lipscomb had 16 fouls.
Briana Jordan's 3-pointer with 30 seconds left made it a one-possession game, 62-59, but Lipscomb made three of four free throws to regain control with a six-point edge.
Tech's busy week continues Wednesday night when the Golden Eagles welcome long-time rival Western Kentucky for a game that will kick off a doubleheader in Eblen Center. The women's game is at 5:30 p.m., followed by a men's contest between Tech and East Tennessee State.
Tickets are available at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940. Tickets may also be ordered online at TTUsports.com.