Golden Eagles open OVC play with trip to Eastern Kentucky

Golden Eagles open OVC play with trip to Eastern Kentucky

By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information

Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (7-4, 0-0 OVC) at Eastern Kentucky Colonels (6-5, 0-0 OVC)
Game 12 • Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020 • 4 p.m. (CT)
Richmond, Ky. • McBrayer Arena
Video Stream: ESPN+
Listen: 106.1 The Eagle (Roger Ealey)
Live Stats: SideArm
Twitter Updates: @TTUWBB
Series Record: Tech leads, 68-28 (Last: Tech W 77-57, 2/21/19)

RICHMOND, Ky. – The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles open up Ohio Valley Conference play this week as they hit the road to take on the Eastern Kentucky Colonels on Thursday, Jan. 2 at 4 p.m. CT inside McBrayer Arena.

About the Golden Eagles

The Golden Eagles are coming off a 94-45 win over Tennessee Wesleyan to cap off their 2019-20 non-conference schedule. Tech finished their non-conference slate 7-4, marking the second-straight season in which the Golden Eagles won at least seven non-conference games under head coach Kim Rosamond. Tech earned victories over Cumberland Tenn. (88-51), ULM (75-68), Samford (72-57), Detroit Mercy (69-47), Western Carolina (62-58), Lipscomb (78-58), and Tennessee Wesleyan (94-45).

Tech's offensive attack is led by Kesha Brady, averaging 15.8 points per contest, while Tech's other double-digit scorer this season being Mackenzie Coleman, who is averaging 10.7 points per game. Akia Harris has helped lead the Golden Eagles ball sharing this season, averaging 4.7 assists per game. Anacia Wilkinson has been a solid defensive presence for Tech all season long. She has dominated the glass, recording 7.2 rebounds per game, while also leading the team with 2.27 blocks per game. Jada Guinn leads the team in steals having averaged a steal per contest this season.

About the Colonels

Eastern Kentucky enters Thursday's contest with a 6-5 record in non-conference play, including a 3-2 mark at McBrayer Arena, and are currently on a two-game skid with losses to Vanderbilt (75-69) and IUPUI (72-42).

Bria Bass is the only Colonel to average double-figure scoring this season, tallying 10.5 points per contest this season. Qay Stanton has been EKU's leader in assists this season, averaging a team-leading 3.6 assists per game. Stanton has also collected a team-high 1.7 steals per game this season. On the defensive side, I'Liyah Green has pulled down a team-leading 7.2 rebounds per game, in addition to averaging 1.1 blocks per game.

Tech vs. Eastern Kentucky

The Golden Eagles are 68-28 all-time against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Tech leads the series 33-8 in Cookeville, 26-17 in Richmond, and 8-3 at neutral locations. The last matchup between the two programs saw Tech claim a 77-57 victory over the Colonels on Feb. 21, 2019. The Golden Eagles are on a two-game winning streak over the Colonels.

Last Time Out

The Golden Eagles closed out their non-conference schedule in winning style, defeating the Tennessee Wesleyan Bulldogs 94-45 this past weekend at the Hooper Eblen Center.

The win was a full team effort as every single Golden Eagle on the 2019-20 roster recorded points on the scoreboard in the win. Kesha Brady and Maaliya Owens led the way for Tech, scoring a game-high 17 points and 16 points, respectively. Jada Guinn dished out a team-high seven assists. Abby Buckner matched a career-high nine rebounds in the win, while also recording her first-ever blocked shots with three blocks in the win.

Career Performance

Freshman guard Maaliya Owens had an impressive showing last weekend against the Tennessee Wesleyan Bulldogs, earning her first-ever OVC weekly honor as Co-Freshman of the Week.

Owens produced a stellar performance as she dropped a career-high 16 points over just 20 minutes of play on Sunday. She connected on 6-of-13 field goals, including 4-of-10 from beyond the arc, all of which were career-high marks. Owens also dished out four assists, pulled down three boards, and recorded her first career block in the rout.

Hot Starts

The Golden Eagles have opened the scoring in seven of their 11 contests this season, with the only three games proving differently being against Southern Illinois, Middle Tennessee, and Western Carolina. Tech has also outscored its opponents 213-148 in the first quarter and 378-288 over the first 20 minutes so far this season, leading to an average halftime score of 34-26.

Approaching Milestones

Anacia Wilkinson set the school record last season for blocked shots in a season with a dominant 92 blocked shots. She has collected 161 blocks throughout her career as a Golden Eagle, sitting just 34 blocks away from breaking the school record of 194 career blocks, set by Melinda Clayton during her four-year Golden Eagle career from 1986-90. On a per game basis, Wilkinson's 1.9 blocks per contest average currently leads the Tech record books.

Akia Harris has collected 832 points throughout her career at Tech and is just 168 points shy of becoming the 31st player in Tech history to surpass the 1,000-points mark during their career as a Golden Eagle.

Jordan Brock has been a dominant long-range threat for the Golden Eagles ever since arriving in Cookeville. Brock currently sits 5th all-time at Tech in made 3-pointers with 172 through 73 contests and 54 away from breaking the school record, held by current assistant coach Allison Clark. Brock has also netted 810 career points as a Golden Eagle, putting her 190 points away from breaking the 1,000-point mark and becoming the 31st Golden Eagle in school history to achieve the feat.

A Look Ahead

The Golden Eagles continue their weekend road trip as they travel to Morehead, Ky. to take on the Morehead State Eagles on Saturday, Jan. 4. Tipoff is slated for 12 p.m. from Johnson Arena on ESPN+ and 106.1 The Eagle.

Photo by Thomas Corhern