By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information
RICHMOND, Ky. – Although they tied the game with two seconds left in regulation, the Golden Eagles dropped a heartbreaker at Eastern Kentucky 55-53 on Thursday night.
EKU (6-10, 3-4 OVC) led by as many as nine points in the second half, but Tech fought its way back, keeping the Colonels close in the fourth quarter.
With 10 seconds left in the game, Eastern Kentucky made one free throw to push its lead to 53-50 but missed the second one, which Asia Harper rebounded. Tech needed a three fast and turned to freshman sharpshooter Jordan Brock, who received a pass from Akia Harris and sank the ball into the basket with just two seconds left.
After one last timeout and with the score tied at 53-all, Eastern Kentucky inbounded the ball in front of its bench, tossing it under the basket to redshirt junior transfer A'Queen Hayes. Hayes converted a last-second layup to give the Colonels the win at the buzzer.
Thursday also saw the return of Tech post Anacia Wilkinson, who last played on Feb. 25, 2017 at Eastern Kentucky. The redshirt sophomore had been recovering from knee surgery since May and came back tonight to total eight points, a career-high-tying four blocks and three rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.
"This is a kid that hasn't played since last February," said head coach Kim Rosamond. "That's (her performance tonight) exciting for us. She can give us a lot down the way."
Tech had two score in double-figures tonight, Harris and Brock. Harris collected 10 points and four rebounds, while Brock paced the team with 14 points, along with two rebounds. Yaktavia "Shug" Hickson led on the boards with six rebounds and also had nine points.
The game got off to a slow start for both teams. Eastern Kentucky led just 21-19 at halftime, but Tech stayed with it in the second half to take a 37-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Today's game definitely looked a lot different than the two teams' first meeting back in December, which EKU took 76-68 – Tech trailed 35-17 at halftime and was forced to make a furious 32-point comeback in the fourth quarter.
"Our effort has been good. I thought we played hard against Murray State, but it was a situation where we didn't finish enough plays on either end of the floor – Murray at home and again tonight," said Rosamond. "We didn't finish enough plays on the offensive end to win the game. We're right there, but in crunch time, you've got to step up and make plays on both ends of the floor. … We left a lot of points on the floor tonight."