MOREHEAD, Ky. – Tennessee Tech won its fourth consecutive game and climbed into a tie for first place in the Ohio Valley Conference East Division with an impressive 84-70 road victory Saturday evening at Morehead State.
The Golden Eagles (15-10 overall) left town tied with Eastern Kentucky for the lead in the East with identical 9-3 records in league play. Belmont lost at Tennessee State later in the evening, dropping the Bruins a half-game back.
Tech's next opponent is Eastern Kentucky on Monday in a showdown for sole possesion of first place in the division. The Golden Eagles visit the Lady Colonels for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff in Richmond.
Diamon Henderson scored 26 points to top Tech and lead four Golden Eagles in double digits, including sophomore T'Keyah Williams with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds. Jala Harris netted 13 points and Lashay Davis scored 10 as the Golden Eagles notched their highest total since an 86-47 win over Tennessee Wesleyan in the season opener.
Tech shot the ball well (50 percent from the field), had a commanding 43-25 edge in rebounds, stayed out of foul trouble and protected the basketball (10 turnovers). The Golden Eagles also got contributions from the length of the bench, owning a 21-7 margin in bench scoring.
Almesha Jones led Morehead State with 30 points, featuring a 6-for-10 effort from long distance. Terrice Robinson added 16 points and seven assists.
Candace Parson (in photo) lit the fuse on an 18-2 Golden Eagle first-half run that pried open a tight game and sent the Golden Eagles on their way to a large lead. Tied at 14-all after Jones hit a layup with 12:34 to play, Parson dropped in back-to-back floaters for an 18-14 lead.
Henderson and Harris added jumpers, and Williams kept the run going with two straight baskets. Kellie Cook's 3-pointer and a layup by Davis left the Golden Eagles holding a 32-16 advantage.
Morehead crept within 10 points, 38-28, with 2:11 to play on a pair of free throws, but Davis replied with two charity tosses followed by a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left. A Harris layup at the buzzer sent Tech to the break with a 45-31 lead.
Tech's margin grew to as many as 19 points early in the second half, 55-39, as Henderson scored seven straight points, before the MSU Eagles rallied once more. Jones hit a layup, sandwiched between a pair of 3-pointers, and her eight straight points made it 55-44 with 14:12 remaining.
Another Jones 3-pointer with 9:07 to go made it a 13-point Tech lead, before Williams sparked an 8-0 run and the difference was up to 21 points with 5:24 to play.
The closest Morehead came after that was 12 points in the final minute as coach Jim Davis used his entire bench.