By Jocelyn VerVelde, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team could not overcome a hot-opening Jacksonville State on Saturday afternoon as the Golden Eagles dropped the Ohio Valley Conference match-up 74-69.
It was not for a lack of heart or drive that the Golden Eagles fell short, but an unconscious opening five minutes to the game from JSU seemed to foreshadow the competition.
Junior Diamond Henderson put on a show to help her team fight against JSU by dropping a career-high 37 points.
It looked to be a first half firestorm from the Gamecock, as they took an early 18-point lead by hitting 12 of their first 15 shots, and forced seven TTU turnovers just nine minutes into the game. However, Tech rallied through the first behind an impressive 18-point Henderson first half output. She connected on seven of her first ten shots, and registered three assists on her teammates' shots as well. The Golden Eagles entered the intermission with just a six-point deficient, 39-33.
The Golden Eagles continued to fight tooth and nail through the second half and at the 16:06 mark; a Candace Parson layup tied the game at 42.
The second half continued to be a battle as Henderson and the Golden Eagles kept reeling within one or two points the entire half. However, a 59-59 tie at the 8:29 mark was the closest Tech would get for the game as Jax State used the clock and the Golden Eagles were forced to stop the clock with fouls. Nine of the Gamecocks final 11 points came from the charity stripe.
Henderson added six rebound, four assists, and two steals along with her 37 points. Senior Molly Heady added 10 points and four boards, and Kayla Brewer added four points, six boards, and three blocks.
The Gamecocks were led by Candace Morton finished with a team-high 23 points and added seven board, Briana Benson added 21, while Destany McLin added 16, and Miranda Cantrell finished with 10 points and a game-high eight boards.
The Golden Eagles will be back in action next Saturday as they take on Morehead State at 5:30 p.m. CT. It will be senior night where the Golden Eagles will honor Molly Heady, Kayla Brewer, and Kayla Kimes.