COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team will bid farewell to five seniors Saturday night in the regular season finale against Morehead State. The seniors, Katherine Barker, Kellie Cook, Kylie Cook, Lashay Davis, and Jala Harris will sport purple and gold for the last time in the Eblen Center in a game that would clinch the top seed in the East Division and possibly grab a share of the OVC Regular Season Title. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. with senior recognition set for half-time.
Tennessee Tech (17-11, 11-4 OVC) vs. Morehead State (5-10, 9-20 OVC)
Saturday, March 2, 2013
5:30 p.m. CT
Hooper Eblen Center - Cookeville, Tenn.
Setting the Stage
The Ohio Valley Conference Tournament is within sight, but one final obstacle stands in the way the Golden Eagles and entering the tournament as the top seed in the East and a two-bye schedule.
Morehead State has been mathematically eliminated from the tournament after losing at Tennessee State Thursday, but enter the Eblen Center playing for pride. Tech is playing for much more. With the win, Tech will seal the top seed in the East, but could capture a share of the Regular Season Championship as well. A few other pieces must fall into place, but the Golden Eagles control their own destiny.
In their final outing, five seniors will be honored in a special senior recognition presentation. At half-time of the women's game Katherine Barker, Kellie Cook, Kylie Cook, Lashay Davis and Jala Harris will be honored for their time at Tech.
In a special promotion, prize packages for the women's OVC basketball tournament will be up for grabs.
A Glance at the Golden Eagles
The senior class has accumulated 71 wins over four years, while this is only the first year all five members have played together. The Golden Eagles can accredit the seniors 71 victories over the past four seasons and a 39-17 record at home in front of the Purple and Gold faithful.
Katherine Barker: Barker has played for Tech since joining the squad as a freshman in 2009. Daughter of hall of fame women's basketball player Anita Meyers Barker, Katherine has played in over 75 games as a vital role player for the Golden Eagles, and 22 starts. The guard had a career high 10 points this season verses Akron and is averaging 12 minutes per game. Barker was named the teams best defensive player her freshman season and given the Golden Eagle Award last season as a junior. Barker has been on the OVC Commissioner's and Tech Athletic Director's Honor Roll all three years and received the OVC Medal of Honor in 2011.
Kellie Cook: Cook has been in the forefront of Tech basketball for the past four seasons. Kellie became one of six guards in program history to record a 30 point game when she scored 36 points against East Tennessee State last season. Cook, a captain of this seasons squad, has played in over 100 games as a Golden Eagles, with a career 784 points. Kellie is a two time recipient of the OVC Medal of Honor, two time recipient of the Tennessee Tech JP Hendrix Leadership Award, and a consistent member of the OVC Commissioners and Tech Athletic Director's Honor Roll. During Cook's freshman season, Kellie has named Freshman of the Week.
Kylie Cook: Cook has played for the Golden Eagles with her twin sister Kellie for four years. The forward has averaged 3.4 points per game over the course of her career, recording 95 career starts. Cook lead the team in three-pointers her freshman season and finished two seasons with over 100 rebounds. Kylie has been on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll every year as well as the Tech Athletic Director's honor roll every semester.
Lashay Davis:Davis transfered from Western Kentucky after her freshman season, and was a member of the 2010-11 Tech squad. After taking a season off, Davis returned to the Golden Eagles for her final season and has played in all 28 games this season getting the starting nod 11 times. Lashay was named OVC Newcomer of the Week once this season and ranks fourth in the OVC in three-point field goal percentage.
Jala Harris: Harris transfered from the Univeristy of Alabama Birmingham after her freshman season to rejoin her former high school teammates Kellie and Kylie Cook. At UAB, Harris was named a Conference USA Freshman and Sixth Player of the Year. She was also second team All-Conference USA and Conference USA All Freshman Team. At Tech, Harris made an instant impact on the Golden Eagles as a junior. She finished last season as Tech's second lead scorer, and broke the 20-point plateau on four occasions. She was named to the all-OVC second team, the OVC Newcomer team and the OVC all-Tournament team. Harris was named OVC Newcomer of the week three times and was Tech's Newcomer of the Year. Jala was on the Tech Athletic Director's Honor Roll last season.
The Golden Eagles defeated Eastern Kentucky in their last outing 67-47. Only two players scored in double-figures, but Molly Heady had a season best 19 points after going 4-5 from behind the arc shooting 75 percent from the floor. Eight different Golden Eagles scored in the contest and Tech made eight threes.
As a team, the Golden Eagles average 66.2 points, 6.5 threes, 35.3 rebounds, 12.4 assists, 7.4 steals and 2.5 blocks per game.
A Look at the Eagles
Morehead State lost its last outing at Tennessee State 82-57. The Eagles have lost two in a row, but downed Jacksonville State at home after losing to Tech at home. Morehead is led by Terrice Robinson and Almesha Jones, who average 17.3 and 11.2 points per game respectively. The Eagles are led by Casey Ryans on the boards with 5.7 rebounds.
As a team, the Eagles average 56.1 points, 7.5 three-pointers, 29.1 rebounds, 11.6 assists, and 8.0 steals per game.
This will be the 75th meeting between the pair of eagles, and the Golden Eagles hold a 56-19 advantage. Tech has taken every meeting since Morehead State's Hodges took the helm.
Two weeks ago when the Golden Eagles traveled to Morehead, Ky., Tech defeated the Eagles 84-70, scoring the most points since defeating Tennessee Wesleyan in its first game of the season. Four different players scored in double figures including sophomore Diamond Henderson who tossed in a game high 26 points, shooting 62 percent from the floor. The Purple and Gold drained seven threes with Tech's bench outscored the Eagles 21-7.
Last season Tech swept the home and away series, defeating Morehead 68-50 at home and ran away with a slim 57-53 victory in Morehead. Seniors Jala Harris and Kellie Cook each had eight points in the win in Kentucky, while Harris had a breakout night when the Golden Eagles hosted scoring a game-high 18 points, earning her OVC Newcomer of the Week honors.