Tech wins lone exhibition game against Tusculum College in final preseason tune-up

Tech wins lone exhibition game against Tusculum College in final preseason tune-up

By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tech fans got a glimpse of what's to come this season for Golden Eagle women's basketball, as the team defeated Tusculum College 79-51 in an exhibition game Sunday afternoon at the Hoop.

With Tech's first official tip-off coming this Friday afternoon, today's exhibition served as the team's first real game action of the season. Tech got off to a shaky start, trailing the Pioneers (who had played another exhibition earlier in the week at Appalachian State) 27-26 at the half.

The Golden Eagles shook out some nerves in the locker room and ended up outscoring the Pioneers in the third and fourth quarters 53-24.

Freshman Kesha Brady was selected as the First National Bank of Tennessee-Special Olympics Player of the Game, totaling 14 points and pulling down eight rebounds in 34 minutes on the floor.

"First half, I was nervous," said Brady. "After the first half, Coach said, calm down, it's okay, we're going to come back this second half and we're going to play our game. After that, I was confident in myself. I was excited, but then again, I just had to let go of the nervous part.

"We have so much to improve on, but I'm very confident in my team and in the coaching staff. We have a great coaching staff. If we listen to what they have to tell us, we're going to be really good."

Akia Harris (13 points), Yaktavia "Shug" Hickson (15 points) and Jordan Brock (14 points) also scored in double-digits for Tech.

"Credit our kids," said head coach Kim Rosamond. "We made adjustments and then they took those to the court and executed them and, I thought, played much better in the second half. A lot to work on and a lot to grow from but overall, I'm very proud of their efforts."

In the second half, Rosamond said the team decided to let go of their nerves and attack the Pioneers directly.

"That just kind of loosened us up," said Rosamond. "Jordan Brock came in and made some shots, and it's contagious. Once we started attacking them and breaking the press, we loosened up a little bit, relaxed and started knocking down some shots."

Brock knocked down two of her three 3-pointers in the third quarter. Her first, with 5:20 left in the quarter, was Tech's first of the game and helped spark the team's second-half offensive outburst. With her three-pointer, Tech led by five points at 37-32, which tied for the smallest lead they'd hold for the remainder of the game.

"Last year, we struggled so much offensively, and it looked a lot more like what we want it to look in the second half," said Rosamond. "I think this is a team that can be dangerous offensively once we've gained some confidence, continue to build trust and just continue to work and get better."

The Golden Eagles will officially open the season versus Tennessee Wesleyan on Friday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

Season tickets for Tennessee Tech basketball are on sale now. Call (931) 372-3940, visit the Hooper Eblen Center ticket office or log on to ttusports.com to order yours today.

Note: Tennessee Tech's statistics from tonight's exhibition will not count toward individual players' season or career stats, nor will the win be included in the team's record as it is an unofficial contest.

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Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information