OVC-leading Golden Eagles host Eastern Kentucky on Saturday

OVC-leading Golden Eagles host Eastern Kentucky on Saturday

Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (14-4, 7-0 OVC) vs. Eastern Kentucky Colonels (8-10, 2-5 OVC)
Game 19 • Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020 • 5:30 p.m. (CT)
Cookeville, Tenn. • Hooper Eblen Center
Television: WCTE (Mark & Mindy Odom)
Video Stream: ESPN+ (Dylan Vazzano & Rob Schabert)
Listen: 106.1 The Eagle (Roger Ealey)
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
Twitter Updates: @TTUWBB
Series Record: Tech leads, 69-28 (Last: Tech W 60-42, 1/2/20)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The OVC-leading Golden Eagles will look to remain unbeaten in league play on Saturday as they host the Eastern Kentucky Colonels for a 5:30 p.m. matchup inside the Hooper Eblen Center.

About the Golden Eagles

The Golden Eagles are currently on a 10-game winning streak, Tech's longest streak since the 2000-01 season. Tech's seven-game winning streak in conference play marks the first time since the same season that the team has opened OVC play unbeaten through seven games. Junior Kesha Brady continues to be the Golden Eagles most explosive offensive weapon, averaging 15.9 points per game. Fellow juniors Mackenzie Coleman and Jordan Brock also average double-figures so far this season, pulling in 10.9 and 10.7 points per contest. Senior Anacia Wilkinson has been the leading defender for Tech this season, pulling down a team-high 6.7 rebounds per game and 2.4 blocks per contest.

About Eastern Kentucky

The Colonels are 8-10 on the season, including a 2-5 in OVC play, and enter Saturday's contest on a one-game losing streak. Eastern Kentucky earned conference victories against SIUE (49-46) and Tennessee State (61-55). EKU is led in scoring by Bria Bass with 8.5 points per game this season, while Qay Stanton has dished out a team-leading 3.4 assists per game. Defensively, I'Liyah Green has led the team on the glass with 7.3 rebounds per contest, as well as in blocks with 1.7 per game through 18 contests.

Tech vs. EKU

The Golden Eagles are 69-28 all-time against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Tech leads the series 33-8 in Cookeville, 27-17 in Richmond, and 8-3 at neutral locations. The last matchup between the two programs saw Tech claim a 60-42 victory over the Colonels to open conference play this season on Jan. 2, 2020. The Golden Eagles are on a three-game winning streak over the Colonels.

Last Time Out

Tech extended its win streak to 10-straight contests, marking the longest streak since the 2000-01 season, as the Golden Eagles handed Morehead State an 82-75 defeat on Thursday evening.

Tennessee Tech's starting lineup combined for 72 of the Golden Eagles 82 points as four Golden Eagles tallied double-digit performances. Junior Brock, the Golden Eagles Special Olympics Player of the Game, led the way with a season-high 21 points, shooting 70 percent (7-of-10) from the field, 57 percent (4-of-7) from 3-point range, and 60 percent (3-of-5) from the line. She added four assists, and a season-high two blocks, in addition to a rebound.

Juniors Brady and Coleman followed closely behind with 19 and 16 points respectively. Coleman picked up her first double-double of the season as she cleaned up the glass for the Golden Eagles with 11 rebounds. Senior Akia Harris rounded out Tech's double-digit scorers with a season-high 13 points in the win, adding a game-high seven assists and a team-high two steals in the win. 

Stingy Defense

The Golden Eagles have held 15 of their 18 opponents this season below 70 points, 11 of which were held below 60 points. Through 18 games, the Golden Eagles have surrendered just 60.3 points per game. 

Hot Starts

The Golden Eagles have opened the scoring in 13 of their 18 contests this season, with the only five games proving differently being against Southern Illinois, Middle Tennessee, Western Carolina, Morehead State, and Austin Peay. Tech has also outscored its opponents 315-243 in the first quarter and 624-484 over the first 20 minutes so far this season, leading to an average halftime score of 35-27.

Back-to-back Freshman of the Week

Freshman guard Maaliya Owens stepped up in a big way in her first-ever weekend of OVC play, garnering the second Freshman of the Week nod of her young career. Owens scored nine points, shooting 38 percent (3-of-8) from the field and 43 percent (3-of-7) from beyond the arc, in addition to adding three rebounds against the Colonels. Owens finished the weekend with a team second-best 14 points, shooting 50 percent (5-of-10) from the field and a perfect 100 percent (4-of-4) from 3-point range, while adding two steals and a board during the Golden Eagles impressive 20-point victory over the Morehead State Eagles.

The honor marks the second of her career and the third for the Golden Eagles this season. Owens also becomes the first Golden Eagle to win multiple weekly honors during the same season since teammate Akia Harris, who was a three-time Freshman of the Week recipient during the 2016-17 season. She also becomes the first Golden Eagle to earn back-to-back OVC weekly honors since Brittany Darling received Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 7 and Feb. 14. during the 2010-11 season.

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 176 blocks throughout her career as a Golden Eagle, sitting just 19 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 currently ranks No. 7 all-time in assists at Tech with 452 in her career. She currently sits 46 assists away from becoming No. 6 all-time at Tech. She has also collected 884 points throughout her career at Tech and is just 116 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 No. 2 all-time at Tech in made 3-pointers with 192 through 80 contests and 34 away from breaking the school record, held by current assistant coach Allison Clark. Brock has also netted 901 career points as a Golden Eagle, putting her 99 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 remain at home as they prepare to host Belmont on Thursday, January 30. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.