Golden Eagles claim Emerald Coast Classic title with 90-60 win over Maryland Eastern Shore

Golden Eagles claim Emerald Coast Classic title with 90-60 win over Maryland Eastern Shore

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

NICEVILLE, Fla. – Strong efforts on both offense and defense helped the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team cruise to a decisive, 90-60 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore Saturday afternoon. The Golden Eagles (6-1) clinched the Emerald Coast Classic championship while picking up their fifth consecutive win in convincing fashion.

A career performance by graduate guard Kajon Mack, as well as clutch showings off the bench by graduate transfer Shaq Calhoun and sophomore guard Cade Crosland, sparked the Golden Eagles to the huge victory.

Calhoun scored eight points during a 15-4 run midway through the first half, helping Tech open a 30-15 lead with just over six minutes to play. Crosland helped extend that lead to a 20-point halftime edge with a couple of huge 3-pointers right before the break while Mack hit 3-of-4 attempts from deep in the first half.

Mack led Tech to a huge day from beyond arc, knocking down a career-high 6-of-7 attempts from downtown while tying his career-high of 24 points on 9-for-10 shooting from the field. Crosland buried two more triples in the second half on his way to career-best 12 points while Calhoun finished the game 3-of-6 from deep and with 15 points.

Both Curtis Phillips Jr. and Aleksa Jugovic scored in double figures as well, each recording 10 points apiece. Courtney Alexander II led Tech in rebounding yet again, hauling in nine boards while chipping in seven points.

Junior guard Stephaun Adams, who made his season debut Friday morning, dished out a career-high 10 assist in the victory while adding six rebounds.

For the game, Tech hit 15-of-30 attempts from 3-point range and a total of 50.8 percent from the field. The Golden Eagles were also an impressive 13-for-15 from the charity stripe.

Jugovic was named to the Emerald Coast Classic All-Tournament Team, an honor that looks at the performances from all four contests associated with the event. Tech finished 3-1 overall in the Emerald Coast Classic, with Jugovic leading the way with 17.5 points per game. He hit 15-of-23 attempts from downtown and all nine of his free throws while dishing out 14 assists.

The Golden Eagles move to 6-1 overall for the first time since the 2005-06 season. That year's team also won a regular-season tournament, taking home the Las Vegas Classic crown.

Tech will return to Cookeville and the comfort of the Eblen Center Wednesday, Nov. 29, hitting the hardwood for a match-up with in-state rival Lipscomb at 6:00 p.m. CT.

Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information