By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – With nine days until its next game after fall semester finals are completed, the Golden Eagles have already pin-pointed what they need to work on in practice – themselves.
Tech fell to IUPUI 68-54 on Sunday afternoon in the Hooper Eblen Center, taking a step back after its win over Cumberland on Thursday had snapped a six-game losing streak.
Turnovers, an issue Tech (2-7) has dealt with in nearly all of its games so far, were the team's Achilles' heel once again against IUPUI (7-2). Tech totaled more turnovers (20) in the first half than points (19) and attempted shots (18), and the Golden Eagles headed into the locker room with a 20-point deficit at which to chip away.
Tech improved tremendously after halftime, turning over the ball just seven times and outscoring the Jaguars 35-29. But the hole the Golden Eagles dug themselves to start the game was too deep to overcome.
"It was a tale of two halves," said head coach Kim Rosamond. "IUPUI is a very good team. You can't dig yourself a hole like we did in the first half.
"A lot of (our turnovers) were just senseless. Our decision-making and just throwing the ball away was really difficult and hard to overcome. While they (IUPUI) were physical and did defend well, I don't feel like their defense changed drastically in the second half.
"It is absolutely deflating when you come down and literally just throw the ball to your opponent, and then you have to come down and defend for thirty seconds. That affects your defense when you're just constantly turning the ball over possession after possession, so I thought our kids made up their minds that they were going to continue fighting, that they were going to execute and make better decisions and take care of the ball in the second half."
Tech's only scorers on Sunday were its five starters, with two scoring in double-digits. Freshman MacKenzie Coleman was a bright spot for Tech throughout the game, collecting career-highs of 17 points and four blocks to pace the team in 37 minutes of play. She's scored in double-figures in two of Tech's last three games.
After six turnovers and no points in the first half, Kesha Brady collected herself at halftime to score 15 points with no turnovers in the remainder of the game.
The long gap between games comes at a perfect time for Tech to focus on Tech.
"You're working every day to get better, but you're also spending a lot of time with game prep and preparing for your opponent," said Rosamond. "We get to take the next seven, eight days to work on us, and we need it. It's going to be tremendous for us."
NOTE: Yaktavia "Shug" Hickson was honored prior to game time for reaching 1,000 career points in Tech's Thursday night game against Cumberland.