By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men's basketball team makes its return to the Hooper Eblen Center Monday evening, playing host to in-state foe Lipscomb in a 6:00 p.m. CT tilt.
The Golden Eagles enter the contest coming off their first road victory of the season Thursday evening, a 61-58 decision against a Winthrop squad that had defeated No. 18 St. Mary's earlier in the year. The purple and gold put in yet another stellar performance on defense, holding the Eagles to 14 points below their season scoring average and forcing 17 turnovers.
Tennessee Tech (2-5) vs. Lipscomb (2-4)
Monday, Nov. 25, 2019
6:00 p.m. CT
Eblen Center (7,500) – Cookeville, Tenn.
Radio: 106.1 The Eagle (Roger Ealey)
Webcast: ESPN+ (Dylan Vazzano & Frank Harrell)
Monday marks the 52nd meeting all-time between the two programs, with Tech owning a 42-9 lead in the series.
Tech is a commanding 24-3 when taking on the Bisons in Cookeville, which includes a victory over the squad from Nashville in the two teams' last match-up. The Golden Eagles edged Lipscomb in the Eblen Center back on Nov. 29, 2017 by a final score of 86-80.
In the contest, both offenses exploded for over 50 points apiece in the second half. Tech's Curtis Phillips Jr. led all scorers with 20 points. Mason Ramsey (15 pts), Stephaun Adams (15), Kajon Mack (12) and Aleksa Jugovic (10) joined him with double figures in the scoring column.
The Bisons are led offensively by Ahsan Asadullah, who is averaging 13.0 points per game in five of the team's six contests this season. He also paces Lipscomb on the glass with 11.8 boards per game. KJ Johnson enters the game averaging 12.5 points per game to round out the team's double-figure scorers.
In Tech's win at Winthrop, senior Darius Allen and sophomore Hunter Vick took their turns leading the Tech offense. Allen posted 11 of his 16 points in the first half of the game while Vick accounted for 11 of his 16 in the second half, including the team's final seven points.
Sophomore forward Amadou Sylla chipped in 13 points while securing a game-high nine rebounds. He also rejected a pair of shots. Sophomore Jr. Clay was a floor general on the night, dishing out a season-high nine assists. Allen and Tujautae Williams chipped in five rebounds each on the night as well.
The Tech defense continued to dominate against the Eagles, holding each of its last four opponents to under 70 points. In the four-game stretch, Tech has allowed UNCG, App State, Montana State and Winthrop to combine for just 243 points or 60.8 points per game.
The last time the Golden Eagles held their opponents to that low of production across a four-game stretch came back during the 2014-15 campaign. Over the first four games of the season, Tech held Piedmont International, USC, Chattanooga and Southeastern Louisiana to a combined 228 points or 57.0 points per game.
Tech started that season 3-1, with the lone loss over in Los Angeles to the Trojans. The Golden Eagles also held Piedmont International to an Eblen Center record-low 29 points in the season-opener. The 29 points were also the least allowed by a Tech squad since 1947-48.
The team's 243 points allowed represents the least by a Golden Eagle squad in four straight games away from the Eblen Center since at least 1955-56. Accurate schedule information prior to that time is not currently available.
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.
Photo by Thomas Corhern