By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team's fourth-quarter comeback bid came up short as the Golden Eagles (2-2) fell 64-58 against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (3-1) on Thursday evening at the Murphy Center.
Jordan Brock and Kesha Brady led the Golden Eagles in the contest, knocking down 16 points apiece. Brock shot an impressive 57.1 percent from 3-point range. Abby Buckner dished out a game-high five dimes. Defensively, Anacia Wilkinson pulled down a team-high nine boards and two blocks, while netting five points in the contest.
The Blue Raiders opened the game with a layup, however, the Golden Eagles responded with a long-range bucket from Brock to take the 3-2 lead after the first minute of play. Tech then went on a 4-2 run with a pair of jump shots from Mackenzie Coleman and Buckner to take a three-point advantage, 7-4, at the 7:06-mark of the first period. Middle Tennessee scored seven unanswered over the next three minutes of clock to retake the lead 11-7 with four minutes in the period. Taylor Lamb cut the Blue Raiders lead to two with a jump shot, 11-9, but the Blue Raiders produced a 7-0 run through the final two minutes of the period to take a nine-point lead after the first, 18-9.
Middle Tennessee scored a pair of buckets to open the second, but a 3-pointer from Akia Harris brought the game back within 10, 22-12. The Blue Raiders extended their lead to 14 at the 5:47 mark of the second period following a 5-1 run to make it 27-13. A pair of back-to-back layups from Brady and Brock sparked a 15-3 Golden Eagle run that was capped by a Harris buzzer-beating 3-pointer to cut Middle Tennessee's lead to only two heading into the locker room, 30-28.
Brock connected a 3-point jumper only 14 seconds into the third period to give the Golden Eagles their first lead since the 6:45-mark of the first quarter. However, Middle Tennessee quickly responded over the next minute and a half to score seven unanswered and retake a six-point advantage, 37-31.
The Blue Raiders outscored Tech 11-8 to take a nine-point advantage with slightly over a minute to play in the third stanza, 48-29. The Golden Eagles held the Blue Raiders scoreless through the final minute of the quarter, netting a pair of layups in the paint from Brady and Coleman to close the game back within five with 10 minutes to play, 48-43.
Middle Tennessee kicked the lead back out to nine through the 6:37-mark of the fourth quarter. The Golden Eagles locked in to hold the Blue Raiders scoreless over the next three minutes of clock on a 9-0 run to knot the game at 55 apiece. Middle Tennessee dashed Tech's hopes for the completed comeback as it closed out the game on a 9-3 run to bring the contest to its final, 64-58.
The Golden Eagles now set their sights on a road trip to Birmingham, Ala. as Tech visits Samford on Sunday, Nov. 24 at the Pete Hanna Center. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. CT.
Photo by Thomas Corhern