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Golden Eagles power past Tennessee State for nine-point OVC road victory


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech put together a sensational second half to storm past host Tennessee State Thursday night and a claim a 77-68 Ohio Valley Conference road victory in the Gentry Center. It was the third straight win for the Golden Eagles (7-11/4-1 OVC) this season and eighth in a row in the rivalry with TSU.

Junior guard Diamond Henderson shook off her first-half shooting woes to lead Tech with 21 points while freshman Hannah Goolsby drained 4-for-5 from long range and added 17 points. T'Keyah Williams powered up 15 points and grabbed six rebounds, while senior Kayla Brewer grabbed nine rebounds.

Brianna Lawrence went 6-for-10 from outside the arc and led all scorers with 25 to pace the Tigers (5-12/2-2 OVC). Chelsea Hudson had a double-double for the home team, posting 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Rachel Allen also scored 11. Alan Morris chipped in with five points and nine rebounds.

After shooting 39 percent (11-for-28) in the first half, the Golden Eagles scorched the nets in the second half, connecting on 59 percent (16-for-27) from the field in the second half including 4-for-6 from long distance.

The game was played 10 nights later than originally scheduled, when it was postponed on Jan. 6 due to dangerous weather conditions and cold in Nashville. It was the 59th meeting in the all-time series, and the Golden Eagles improved to 49-10 all-time against the Tigers.

Things started slowly for the Golden Eagles, who fell behind 6-0 out of the gate and trailed by as many as nine points, 24-14, with 8:34 to play in the opening stanza. A layup by Shunice Herron ignited an 11-4 run by Tech and the Golden Eagles closed the gap to two points, 27-25, on a jumper by Henderson with 4:33 before halftime.

Down again by seven with a minute to play in the half, Tech got a layup by Brewer, two free throws from Williams and a basket by Henderson to head to the break down by just 35-33.

Goolsby opened the second half with a 3-pointer to push the Golden Eagles on top, 36-35, for the first time in the contest, and Tech took control after that. TSU led only one time after that, 39-38, on a layup by Jayda Johnson at the 17:10 mark. A 3-pointer by Lawrence tied the game at 45-45 with 13:56 remaining, before Tech took a lead for good on another Goolsby 3-pointer.

Tech pulled ahead by 10 points with 10 minutes to play, and held on down the stretch by pounding the ball inside for points in the paint. When that didn't work, the Golden Eagles hit their free throws to maintain their margin and cruise to the win.

The game was the start of a four-game road trip for coach Jim Davis' team, which plays Monday night at UT Martin. Tipoff in that clash is at 7 p.m., and fans can listen to the action on the Golden Eagle Sports Network with Roger Ealey calling the play-by-play. Tennessee State will get a rematch with Tech on Monday, Feb. 3, in Eblen Center.