By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Just flat out dominance. Not much more can be said of the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team's most recent match-up as the Golden Eagles took down UMKC in Kansas City Monday evening, 81-60.
The Golden Eagles (7-5) wasted no time jumping into the lead of their seventh win of the year, starting the contest on a 9-0 run while holding the Kangaroos (4-9) scoreless for the first six minutes and 53 seconds. UMKC never looked comfortable in the game, while Tech seemed almost like the home team in Municipal Auditorium.
High percentage shots were a key for most of the game for the Tech squad, which finished shooting 58.8 percent from the field for the game. The Golden Eagles also dominated the paint, out-rebounding the Roos by a whopping 23 boards, 45-23.
On a night where foul trouble spread across both lineups, the Golden Eagle bench stepped up in a big way, looking similar to the Chicago Bulls of the 1990's by extending and then holding a 20-point lead for the majority of the contest.
The Golden Eagles led wire-to-wire on the night, using distributed production to tame the Kangaroos. Ten Tech players scored in the contest, with five finishing in double-figures. The team also dished out 17 assists.
Leading Tech over UMKC was junior guard Josiah Moore, who finished with a team-high 14 points and tied a career-high with eight rebounds. He finished 6-of-9 from the field while hitting two treys in just 24 minutes of action.
Joining Moore off the bench to lead Tech was true freshman Aleksa Jugovic, who saw a career-best mark of 27 minutes. He tallied 11 points while recording a career-high six dimes, a total that could have been higher if not for some foul calls that were called on the floor.
Javon McKay got in on the rebounding action, totaling eight while also adding eight points on very efficient shooting. Double-double machine Charles Jackson was held to just 15 minutes of action due to early foul trouble in both halves, but still managed his 12th career double-figure scoring contest. He wrapped up play with 10 points and six rebounds.
Senior Dwan Caldwell managed 12 points and two blocks in 24 minutes, shooting an impressive 6-for-8 from the floor. Torrance Rowe looked well on his way to a career-high mark in points, scoring 11 in the first half alone while never missing a shot. He missed the final eight minutes of the first half and the entire second half after suffering a mild ankle injury.
The Golden Eagles will enjoy their Christmas break briefly before returning to the Eblen Center on Monday, Dec. 29 for a rematch against North Florida. The 6 p.m. contest will welcome the Ospreys to Cookeville after Tech narrowly edged UNF on the road, 82-80, one week ago.
Photo by Rich Schmitt