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January 4, 2013

For the first time, Tech hosts the Belmont Bruins as an OVC opponent

 

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team will play host to the Belmont Bruins Saturday evening in the first part of a doubleheader in the Eblen Center. It will be the first time that the Bruins play at Tech as an Ohio Valley Conference opponent. The Golden Eagles are 1-0 in conference action and tied with Belmont for first place in the East division. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.

Tennessee Tech (7-7, 1-0 OVC) vs. Belmont (7-7, 2-0 OVC)
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013
5:30 p.m. CT
Eblen Center - Cookeville, Tenn. 

The Broadcasts
TV: WCTE
Radio: Fox Sports Radio, 106.1 The Eagle (Roger Ealey)
Webcast: OVC Digital Network (Buddy Pearson)
Live Stats

Setting the Stage
Tech has finally migrated back to Cookeville, and plays Saturday in their second conference contest of the season against the latest addition to the OVC, Belmont University. Tech is looking to bounce back from a tough non-conference loss at Memphis and remain undefeated in the OVC.

The two teams each bring in a .500 record, with non-conference action mirroring each others play.

Belmont and Tech have played each other 30 times since their first meeting in 1970. The Golden Eagles hold a 20-10 advantage thanks to a 16-0 streak from 1975-2005. The Purple and Gold are currently on a 2-0 streak against Belmont, having defeated the Bruins in 2010-11 in Nashville 61-56.

A Glance at the 2012-13 Golden Eagles
The Golden Eagles have proved to be a threat behind the arc. In games that Tech has shot better than 40 percent, they have won, which has been five times this season. The Purple and Gold are currently ranked 19th in the nation with a 36.5 percent three-point field goal percentage. Tech's deep range has been thanks to four players shooting over 35 percent from three-point land. Seniors Kylie Cook, Kellie Cook, Jala Harris and Lashay Davis have all put up solid numbers this season, and Harris and Davis each average just under two three's per game.

Davis leads the Golden Eagles with 26 3-pointers this season, and averages 7.7 points per game. Diamond Henderson, who in the beginning of the season was reserved from the arc, has pulled the trigger, and shoots a team high 37.8 percent from behind the arc, making seven threes in the past six games.

Even more impressive than Tech's distance shooting is their ability to take care of the basketball. Tech is only averaging 13.5 turnovers per game, putting them 11th in Division I. Ball handling is a point of emphasis for every coach, but head coach Jim Davis will not tolerate turnovers.

So far this season, Henderson leads the Golden Eagles with 15.2 points per game. Harris is steadily increasing her contribution, averaging 11.8 points per game, but the non-scoring aspect of the game just glows. Harris averages 3.0 rebounds, 3.57 assists and 1.64 steals per game.

Joining Harris defensively is Davis, who leads Tech with 27 steals (1.9 per game). Tech's defense is holding opponents to 62.5 points per game, and has only allowed one team, Vanderbilt, to shoot better than 45 percent, holding opponents to an average of 40.5 percent field goal accuracy.

Anchoring the paint is T'Keyah Williams, Molly Heady and freshman Mariah Dean. The trio attacks the boards as Tech's best rebounders averaging 5.6, 4.6 and 2.1 rebounds per game.  Williams and Heady add six points per game, respectively.

A Look at the Bruins
Belmont enters the Eblen Center for the first time as an OVC opponent. The Bruins are also 7-7 on the season, and 2-0 in the conference. The Bruins are entering the contest with two OVC Players of the Week (1/3). Senior Katie Brooks was named Player of the Week and sophomore Jordyn Luffman was tabbed Newcomer of the Week. 

The Bruins are led by Jordan Coleman with 10.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Brooks averages 9.8 points per game with two other Bruins averaging over nine points per game.

Series History
This will be the 31st meeting between Belmont and Tech. The Golden Eagles hold a 20-10 advantage, with their last meeting occuring in the 2010-11 season. Tech defeated the Bruins at Belmont 61-56.

Kellie Cook, Kyllie Cook, Molly Heady and Candace Parson each saw a few minutes in the game, and Kellie Cook finished just shy of a double-double with 12 rebounds and eight points.

For complete game notes, please click here.