By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech's entire roster netted a basket on Sunday as the Golden Eagles (7-4) produced an impressive 94-45 rout of the Tennessee Wesleyan Bulldogs (5-8) at the Hooper Eblen Center to close out their non-conference schedule and their 2019 slate.
The win extends Tech's win streak to three-straight contests, it's longest streak since January 19, 2019.
"I thought we started strong, and I thought we finished strong," said head coach Kim Rosamond. "That has been our emphasis coming back from the break, making sure we finished our non-conference schedule strong to propel us into our OVC opener against EKU on Thursday."
A pair of Golden Eagles tallied double-figure totals in the win, led by junior Kesha Brady netting a game-high 17 points on 6-of-11 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Freshman Maaliya Owens also had a stellar showing against the Bulldogs as she joined Brady in double-digits with a career night, scoring a career-high 16 points, shooting 4-of-10 from 3-point range and earning Special Olympics Player of the Game honors. Freshman Jada Guinn dished out a team-high seven assists. Defensively, Abby Buckner led the team with a game-high and season-high nine rebounds, while also recording her first-ever trio of blocked shots with a career-high three in the win.
"We have a lot of weapons and a lot of balance on our basketball team," said Rosamond. "Kesha and Maaliya played extremely well, but everyone who stepped on the court today did a really good job of playing to their strengths, doing their job, and playing their role. To have everyone score today was huge."
As a team, Tech shot an impressive 52.2 percent from the field, 42.4 percent from 3-point range, and 71.4 percent from the free throw line. Tech shared the ball well in the contest, dishing out 29 assists from 10 different players in the contest. The Golden Eagles also dominated the glass, outrebounded the Bulldogs 49-24, including 17 offensive boards, which led to a huge 29-0 Tech advantage in second chance points. Tech's reserves also played a huge role as Tech produced a 56-19 advantage off the bench.
"I liked our mentality today," said Rosamond. "It's the next step in our process, getting to a championship mentality. It doesn't matter who your opponent is, it doesn't matter where you play, whether you are home or way, it doesn't matter if it's practice or a shoot around, every day you have to be intentional and approach each practice, every opportunity, and every game with a championship mentality."
The Golden Eagles never trailed on Sunday afternoon, leading for 39:17 of the game's 40 minutes. Following a 5-4 Tech lead to open the contest, the Golden Eagles produced a dominant 29-3 run over an eight-minute stretch to produce Tech's highest-scoring quarter this season, 34-7.
Tech continued to pour it on in the second quarter as Tech outscored Tennessee Wesleyan 22-14 during the second period to break things out to a 56-21 lead into the break.
The third period opened on an 8-0 Tech run to extend Tech's lead to 40 for the first time of the contest, 61-21. Tennessee Wesleyan continued to struggle offensively as Tech outscored the Bulldogs 16-8 over the final eight minutes of the period to take a 48-point lead into the final period.
Tech maintained their impressive advantage as they close out the contest on a 17-16 final period to close out the game, 94-45.
The Golden Eagles will hit the road to open OVC play as Tech will visit the Eastern Kentucky Colonels on Jan. 2 at McBrayer Arena. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m.