By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Four Golden Eagles notched double-figure performances as Tech women's basketball earned a decisive 20-point victory, 78-58, against the Lipscomb Lady Bisons in their first contest in the Hoop since Nov. 12 on Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Eagles (6-4) earn their second back-to-back victories of the season with their win over Lipscomb (2-10), the other time being against Cumberland (Tenn.) and ULM to open the season.
"It was really nice to be back at the Hoop and in front of our home crowd," expressed head coach Kim Rosamond. "A five-week road stretch is definitely not ideal, but I am really proud of our players and how they handled the past five weeks. I have seen a lot of growth in our players and this was one of our better games on both ends of the floor. I really liked the balance offensively. We had a lot of players step up and score the basketball for us today. It was a good win over a very tough and competitive Lipscomb squad."
"We shot the ball well from three in spurts today, shooting 80 percent in the first quarter and 43 percent in the third, so whenever you make shots, it always takes pressure off the defensive end," said Rosamond. "I was pleased with our second and third effort on the boards, especially the offensive end. Anytime we get 17 offensive boards, that's being relentless. In the second half, we also got more aggressive attacking the rim and finally started getting to the free throw line, and that is a huge part of our formula for success."
Senior Anacia Wilkinson, who was named the Special Olympics Player of the Game, highlighted the day as she posted her second double-double and third contest with double-figure scoring of the season. Her state line read 16 points, on 7-of-15 from the floor and a perfect 2-of-2 from the line, while adding 11 boards, three blocks, and an assist.
Joining her in double-figures was junior Jordan Brock with 13 points, on 4-of-9 from the field, 3-of-7 from 3-point range, and a perfect 2-of-2 from the free throw line, in addition to a board and an assist. Senior Akia Harris and junior Mackenzie Coleman both tallied 11 points apiece, both of which narrowly missed double-doubles of their own. Harris dished out nine assists, pulled down five rebounds, and grabbed a pair of steals, while Coleman grabbed eight boards and blocked a shot. Junior Kesha Brady also had a fantastic day pulling down 10 rebounds, and coming slightly short of a double-double with eight points and two assists.
Lipscomb also had four in double-figures with Taylor Clark leading the way with 14 points, followed by Keeley Morrow and Carleigh Short with 11 points apiece, and Jalyn Holcomb with 10 points.
Tech jumped out to a 7-4 lead before the Lady Bisons would respond on a 7-2 run to take an 11-9 lead at the first media timeout of the contest. The Golden Eagles traded baskets with the Lady Bisons through a 13-11 Lipscomb lead. However, back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers from Megan Clark, Abby Buckner, and Maaliya Owens capped off an 11-2 run over the final two and a half minutes to give Tech a 20-13 lead, one the Golden Eagles would not relinquish for the remaining 30 minutes of play.
Tech broke a third-quarter trend that saw the Golden Eagles trail their opponent over the past two contests as the Golden Eagles outscored Lipscomb 18-12 in the third frame to take a 54-42 into the final 10 minutes of play. Wilkinson and Harris opened the final quarter with a layup in the paint and a 3-point jumper to push Tech's lead to 17-point advantage, 59-42, at the final media timeout of the game. The Golden Eagles outscored the Lady Bisons 19-16 over the final nine minutes of play to seal the 78-58 win.
The Golden Eagles shot 41.5 percent (27-of-65) from the field, 33.3 percent (10-of-29) from 3-point range, and 87.5 percent (14-of-16) from the free throw line for the game.
"I really liked our approach to this game today. None of us were satisfied, including our players, with how we played against Western Carolina," said Rosamond. "Our team definitely focused this week on today's game and wanted to head into the Christmas break on a positive note."
Tech takes a break for the Christmas holiday before returning to the Hoop on Dec. 29 for its final non-conference contest of the season as the Golden Eagles host Tennessee Wesleyan at 2 p.m. CT.
Photo by Thomas Corhern