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Six Golden Eagles drop double-figures to roll past Kentucky Christian

Six Golden Eagles drop double-figures to roll past Kentucky Christian

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men's basketball team cruised to a monster victory over Kentucky Christian Tuesday evening in the Hooper Eblen Center, picking up a 104-72 win in the team's final non-conference action of the season.

Despite a sluggish start, the short-handed Golden Eagles locked in down the stretch of the first half, closing the opening stanza on a whopping 26-7 run for a 60-41 lead at the break. The purple and gold saw five of its 16 student-athletes out of action for the night, including four of the season opener's five starters, but the 11 who played all contributed to the team win.

Tech scored 100 or more points for the first time since defeating Montreat College, 117-60, last December and hauled in 55 rebounds, the most for a TTU squad since snagging 57 earlier this season against Tennessee Wesleyan.

For the first time since defeating Southeast Missouri, 98-94, last February, Tech saw six players score in double figures, led by local Celina native Grant Strong and his career-high 22 points. The freshman guard was extremely efficient across the board, finishing 9-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the charity stripe while accounting for career-best six assists, as well as five rebounds and two steals.

Joining the double-digit action with his team-leading third double-double of the season was graduate forward Jaylen Sebree. The Hopkinsville, Ky. native stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and three steals in just over 23 minutes of action.

Combining with Sebree to become the first Tech teammates with a double-double in the same game since Nov. 10, 2019 against Martin Methodist was sophomore guard Grant Slatten. Picking up the first double-double of his career, the local Sparta native posted 10 points and five assists to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds. He also became the first Golden Eagle to haul in at least 15 boards since Courtney Alexander II snagged 16 against ULM on Nov. 23, 2018.

Junior guard Erik Oliver chipped in 13 points with four boards and three assists while junior center Nolan Causwell tied his career-high scoring output with 12 points and five rebounds. Rounding out the double-digit club for the purple and gold was sophomore guard Walter Peggs Jr. The former Tech manager and current walk-on set a new career-high with 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting.

Narrowly missing out on the group, graduate guard Ty Perry chimed in with nine points while battling first-half foul trouble. Sophomore guard Bogdan Zimonjic tacked on seven points, including a massive dunk that also drew a foul, and three steals.

The Golden Eagles are set to return to action and kick off Ohio Valley Conference play Thursday, Dec. 29 with a trip to Edwardsville, Ill. Tech will square off with SIUE in a 7:30 p.m. CT affair as part of a doubleheader with the women's squad. A Saturday showdown at Lindenwood follows on Dec. 31, featuring a 3:30 p.m. tip.

Photo by Jim Dillon

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