COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team returns to action Saturday to host Jacksonville State. The Golden Eagles have strung together back-to-back wins and are looking to extend their winning ways against a Gamecock squad that is winless this season. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
Tennessee Tech (13-10, 7-3 OVC) vs. Jacksonville State (0-23, 0-11 OVC)
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013
5:30 p.m. CT
Hooper Eblen Center- Cookeville, Tenn.
Setting the Stage
The Golden Eagles return to Cookeville after notching two tough road wins. Tech is looking to stretch its back-to-back wins into a streak with a win over Jacksonville State. The Golden Eagles have just six games remaining this season, and three home contests. With the season winding down, and OVC seedings within one game, every win is crucial for Tech.
The game tonight will be a part of several events for Tennessee Tech. The Golden Eagles will host Play 4 Kay, Communivertiy night and Youth Basketball night.
The team will be representing the Play 4 Kay initiative as well as raising overall awareness to breast cancer care and research by wearing pink flourishes during the game. The Golden Eagles will represent the thousands of breast cancer survivors in the Upper Cumberland area, as well as the fight for a cure.
The business community in Cookeville and Putnam County will play a major role Saturday night in helping Tennessee Tech enjoy a strong homecourt advantage. Every business in the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce has been invited to the game and has received an offer for eight free tickets.
Youth teams from all area Youth basketball organizations will be recognized at the game with a P.A. announcement, and will receive free admission just by wearing their game shirts.
A Glance at the Golden Eagles
With the buzz of an overtime victory still in the air, the Golden Eagles have had a solid week of practice. Tech will look to continue their winning ways thanks to two strong performances on the road.
Reigning adidas® OVC Player of the Week played a vital role into both of those wins scoring a game-high 21 points at Belmont Saturday and 19 in an overtime victory over Tennessee State Monday. Against TSU, Harris came alive in the second half, scoring 12 of her 19, and added two in overtime to tie the game. Three of Harris' six assists came in the final moments of the game as she created three-point opportunities that her teammates converted, including the game-winning shot.
The team will continue to look to its floor general to perform but sophomore Diamond Henderson continues to lead the Golden Eagles with 15.7 points per game. Henderson has scored double-figures in the past six competitions, 17 points in each of the past three.
Senior guard Lashay Davis will also be searching for the groove as she broke a three game dry spell scoring 11 points at TSU (2/4), eight of them in overtime. Senior guards Kellie Cook and Katherine Barker are playing key roles off the bench. Cook was responsible for the winning three-pointer at TSU.
Post play is starting to come alive thanks to red shirt sophomore Candace Parson. Parson recorded her first starts of the season, starting all four of Tech's last games. T'Keyah Williams, the Purple and Gold's leading reabounder has upped her average to 5.7 rebounds per game thanks to 10 rebounds at Belmont and 11 at TSU. Williams recorded the teams first double-double at Belmont with 10 rebounds and 11 points.
As a team, the Golden Eagles average 65.4 points, a .422 field goal percentage, 6.3 three-pointers, 34.7 rebounds, 12.3 assists, and 7.7 steals per game.
A Look at the Gamecocks
Jacksonville State has had a tough season, but has seen improvement as the season has progressed. In the past four games, the Gamecocks have only lost by an average of 9.25, compared to the 14.3 margin they are currently averaging.
Briana Morrow leads JSU with 9.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game with two other players, Miranda Cantrell and Marikate Gardler, adding 7.5 and 7.0 points respectively.
The Gamecocks are hitting the court after a week hiatus. Their last time out, they took on Morehead State and lost 70-59. Cantrell led all scorers with 16 points.
As a team, the Gamecocks average 56.3 points, a .368 field goal percentage, 3.7 three-pointers, 40.2 rebounds, 10.3 assists, and 6.4 steals per game.
The Golden Eagles and the Gamecocks have a brief history, meeting for just the first time in 2003-04 . The Golden Eagles hold a 16-3 edge, with a 9-1 advantage in their last 10 meetings. Tech's last loss came in 2008 when a Gamecock squad with only nine wins entered the Eblen Center and defeated the Golden Eagles 69-65.
Earlier this season Tech downed JSU 73-51. Eleven different Golden Eagles scored and Jala Harris came away with a game high 16 points and 4 assists. Tech shot 60 percent from behind the arc, making 9 of 15 three pointers.