Women's basketball closes out homestand against Tennessee State Saturday

Women's basketball closes out homestand against Tennessee State Saturday

Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (15-5, 8-1 OVC) vs. Tennessee State Tigers (2-17, 0-9 OVC)
Game 21 • Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 • 5:30 p.m. (CT)
Cookeville, Tenn. • Hooper Eblen Center
Television: WCTE (Mindy Odom & Mark Odom)
Video Stream: ESPN+ (Dylan Vazzano & Frank Harrell)
Listen: 106.1 The Eagle (Roger Ealey)
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
Twitter Updates: @TTUWBB
Series Record: Tech leads, 58-14 (Last: Tech W 76-65, 1/16/19)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech women's basketball will look to bounce back from its first conference defeat of the season as it hosts Tennessee State on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. inside the Hooper Eblen Center.

About the Golden Eagles

Tech enters Saturday's game against the Tennessee Tigers with a 15-5 conference record and an 8-1 mark in OVC play. The Golden Eagles are coming off their first conference loss of the season and their first loss in over a month, a winning streak that dated back to Dec. 17. Junior Kesha Brady leads the Golden Eagles, averaging 15.8 points per game, while fellow juniors Jordan Brock and Mackenzie Coleman are knocking down 11.2 and 10.8 points per game this season.

About the Tigers

Tennessee State comes to Cookeville on a 10-game losing streak. The Tigers currently hold a 2-17 record on the season and have gone 0-9 in conference play. On Thursday, TSU fell to the Jacksonville Gamecocks in a 70-48 defeat on the road. Tennessee State is lead in scoring by Taylor Roberts and Jazmine Young, who are averaging 12.8 and 11.1 points per game. As a team, the Tigers are averaging just 59 points per contest and, while allowing 76.4 points per game.

Tech vs. Tennessee State

The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series against the Tigers, 58-14. Tech holds the advantage in Cookeville, 27-5, in Nashville, 26-6, and at unknown locations, 2-0. The series is tied 3-3 at neutral locations. Tech is 7-1 in their last eight meetings with the Tigers, including a sweep over TSU last season. Their last meeting on Jan. 16, 2019 Tech claimed a 76-65 victory over TSU in Cookeville.

Last Time Out

Tech came up short in its first conference loss of the season, falling against Belmont 59-47. Juniors Jordan Brock and Kesha Brady led the way for Tech, tallying double-digit performances with a team-high 13 and 11 points, respectively. Brock went 36 percent (4-of-11) from the field, 43 percent (3-of-7) from 3-point range, and a perfect 100 percent (2-of-2) from the free throw line. She also tied for a team-high five rebounds, along with fellow junior Abby Buckner and senior Anacia Wilkinson. Wilkinson also led the Golden Eagles in blocks, tallying five against the Bruins.

Cracking the Top 25

After riding an impressive 15-4 overall and 8-0 OVC record, the Golden Eagles best start to conference play since the 2000-01 season, Tech received national attention this week as the Golden Eagles were slotted in at No. 23 in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

Stingy Defense

The Golden Eagles have held 16 of their 20 opponents below 70 points this season, 12 of which were held below 60 points. Through 20 games, the Golden Eagles have surrendered just 61.3 points per game.

Hot Starts

The Golden Eagles have opened the scoring in 14 of their 20 contests this season, with the only six games proving differently being against Southern Illinois, Middle Tennessee, Western Carolina, Morehead State, Austin Peay, and Eastern Kentucky. Tech has also outscored its opponents 347-280 in the first quarter and 680-552 over the first 20 minutes so far this season, leading to an average halftime score of 34-27.

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 181 blocks throughout her career as a Golden Eagle, sitting just 14 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 2.0 blocks per contest average currently leads the Tech record books.

Akia Harris has collected 910 points throughout her career at Tech and is just 90 points shy of becoming the 31st player in Tech history to surpass the 1,000-point mark during their career as a Golden Eagle. She also ranks No. 7 all-time in assists and needs just 40 to surpass No. 6 all-time.

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 199 through 82 contests and 27 away from breaking the school record, held by current assistant coach Allison Clark. Brock has also netted 931 career points as a Golden Eagle, putting her 69 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 will hit the road next weekend as they travel to take on UT Martin on Thursday, Feb. 6. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.