Tech tops Lady Tigers 64-59 in Wednesday night OVC matchup

Tech tops Lady Tigers 64-59 in Wednesday night OVC matchup

By Holly Weber, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team (7-12, 4-2 OVC) extended their winning streak out to three games with a 64-59 victory over in-state OVC rival Tennessee State (7-9, 2-4 OVC) on Wednesday evening. The Golden Eagles moved to 54-13 in the series over the Lady Tigers and have now won the last three matchups between the two teams.

"We defended them extremely well in the first half," head coach Kim Rosamond remarked. "But then our intensity level dropped. However, rather than hanging our heads, we got back in the game and pulled it out."

The Golden Eagles opened game play with a 10-4 lead and a jumper from Yaktavia "Shug" Hickson at the 4:50 mark. After the first media timeout, the Lady Tigers pulled within three points of Tech at 10-7 with 2:57 remaining in the quarter. From there, Tech held on to its lead at 12-9 to close out first quarter play.

Into the second quarter, the Golden Eagles maintained a six-point lead at 19-15 with a jumper from Akia Harris at the 6:29 mark. Both Tech and TSU battled back and forth, remaining scoreless for over three minutes until a jumper from the Golden Eagle's Kandace "Tip" Newry silenced the drought and pushed the Tech lead to 21-15. The Purple and Gold squad continued to capitalize on their lead and a jumper from Hickson with 51 seconds to go in the quarter sealed the first half with a 28-19 lead for the Golden Eagles.

At the break, Tech was shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 50 percent from the free throw line to TSU's 34.6 percent from the floor and 25 percent from the charity stripe (neither team hitting a three in the first half). The Golden Eagles outrebounded the Lady Tigers by a 22-14 margin and forced 11 Tennessee State turnovers, while allowing only nine.

As third quarter play began, the Lady Tigers were persistent on making a comeback. TSU pulled within five points of Tech at 31-26 with a layup from I'mani Davis before tying up the contest at 31 with a three from Diamond Beatty and 5:17 on the clock. The Lady Tigers then went on to take their first lead of the game, pulling ahead by five points at 36-31 with a bucket from downtown by Beatty and 2:50 remaining in the quarter. Tech and TSU fought back and forth, with neither team scoring until the 1:08 mark when Beatty hit another three for the Lady Tigers and extend the TSU lead out to 39-31 over the Golden Eagles. However, Tech would not relent and two at the line from Hannah Goolsby followed by a layup from Harris closed out the third quarter with the Golden Eagles trailing by five at 39-35.

Tech came out hot in the fourth quarter, quickly tying the contest back up at 43 with a layup from Hickson and 7:17 on the clock. However, Tennessee State was determined to fight to the finish took a slight lead at 46-43 with 6:29 remaining in the contest. But Tech would not stand down. A three from Hickson with 5:30 on the clock once again tied the game, and from there the Golden Eagles took a lead at 53-48 with two at the line from Goolsby. With 1:08 remaining in the quarter, a Treyvonna "Trey" Brooks layup held Tech's lead at five (55-50). Numerous TSU fouls then sent the Golden Eagles to the line to pull ahead by ten at 62-52 before the Purple and Gold sealed a 64-59 victory over the Lady Tigers.   

Brooks led the Golden Eagles with 12 points and 10 rebounds, claiming her fourth career double-double. Hickson tallied a team-high 15 points for Tech, adding six boards and three steals to her performance. Teammates Akia Harris and Hannah Goolsby also scored in double-figures for the Golden Eagles; Harris totaling 11 points and Goolsby racking up 13. Beatty and Tia Wooten led the Lady Tigers, each totaling 15 points in the matchup. Wooten grabbed six off the glass for TSU, while Beatty hit 5-of-10 from downtown and added three steals to her performance.

As a team, Tech shot 41.1 percent from the field, 11.1 percent from the three-point range, and 76.2 percent from the free throw line while Tennessee State shot 40.7 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent from beyond the arc, and 50 percent from the charity stripe. The Golden Eagles outrebounded the Lady Tigers by a 38-35 margin and forced 20 TSU turnovers while allowing only 19.

Tech returns to action on Saturday when the Golden Eagles travel down I-40 to take on Belmont in a 1 p.m. contest at the Curb Event Center in Nashville, Tenn.

Photo by Thomas Corhern