By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
EDWARDSVILLE, Tenn. – Tied throughout the first half, the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team couldn't hold off a strong second-half surge by SIUE Thursday evening, eventually falling to the Cougars in Edwardsville, 76-68.
The contest featured five lead changes, with the Golden Eagles falling behind as much as 11-2 six minutes into the ball game. Tech fought back, however, using the next eight minutes to erase the deficit and square the ball game at 21 apiece.
The two Ohio Valley Conference foes traded the lead four times in the first half alone, with each squad sporting 30 points on the scoreboard at the break. Tech shot 40 percent from the field, but was forced into 10 turnovers. The Golden Eagles did force eight turnovers off the Cougars in the first half, but the home team connected on 44 percent of its shots.
In the second half, SIUE converted at an even higher rate, sinking nearly 50 percent of its tries from the floor. The Cougars used the new offensive prowess, as well as a cold half from the Golden Eagle offense, to lead by as much as 15 in the second half.
Tech never gave in, fighting back into single digits, eventually trimming the deficit to eight with seven seconds to play.
Leading the Golden Eagles offensively on the night was junior Micaiah Henry, who scored 15 points in just 24 minutes before fouling out. He also snagged six rebounds and two blocks.
Corey Tillery enjoyed a bounce-back evening, finding his shoot touch for a 3-for-6 showing beyond the arc. The junior guard finished with 13 points and a season-high seven rebounds.
Senior Courtney Alexander II collected a game-high 11 rebounds while tallying eight points, four assists and three steals.
The Golden Eagles wrap up the 2018-19 regular season on Saturday, Mar. 2, concluding their trip in Illinois with a visit to Charleston and match-up with Eastern Illinois. Tip is scheduled for a 3:15 p.m. CT start.
Photo by Tony Marable