Golden Eagles set to clash for conference lead against UT Martin on Thursday

Golden Eagles set to clash for conference lead against UT Martin on Thursday

Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (16-5, 9-1 OVC) vs. UT Martin Skyhawks (13-8, 9-1 OVC)
Game 22 • Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 • 5:30 p.m. (CT)
Martin, Tenn. • Kathleen and Tom Elam Center
Video Stream: ESPN+
Listen: 106.1 The Eagle (Roger Ealey)
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
Twitter Updates: @TTUWBB
Series Record: Tech leads, 46-23 (Last: Tech W 80-76, 2/9/19)

MARTIN, Tenn. – Tech hits the road for the first time in three weeks as they travel west to battle for sole possession of first place in the OVC against in-state rival UT Martin. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. inside the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.

About the Golden Eagles

The Golden Eagles split this past weekend's games as Tech received its first conference loss of the season against the Belmont Bruins, 59-47. Tech then bounced back in a big way, securing an impressive 41-point victory over the Tennessee State Tigers, 88-47. Tech's offensive leader this season has been junior Kesha Brady, who is averaging 15.6 points per game. Fellow juniors Mackenzie Coleman and Jordan Brock have also tallied double-digit performances through the season, collecting 11.1 and 10.7 points per game for the Golden Eagles. As a team, Tech is tied for the OVC lead in scoring margin, averaging 71.9 points per game, while holding its opponents to 60.7 points per contest this season.

About the Skyhawks

UT Martin enters Thursday's contest on a three-game winning streak after earning victories over SIUE (79-39), Eastern Kentucky (65-50), and Morehead State (82-64). The Skyhawks carry a 13-8 overall and 9-1 conference record. UT Martin's Chelsey Perry leads the OVC in scoring, averaging 21.6 points per game. She also leads the Skyhawks on the glass, pulling down 8.3 rebounds per game. Teammates Damiah Griffin and Maddie Waldrop also average double-figures this season, collecting 12 and 10.9 points per contest. As a team, UT Martin averages 68.7 points per game, while allowing 65 points per contest this season.

Tech vs. UT Martin

All-time, Tech leads the series against the Skyhawks, 46-23. The Golden Eagles hold the advantage in Cookeville, 21-5, Martin, 17-10, and at unknown locations, 1-0. UT Martin holds an 8-7 lead at neutral sites. In their last meeting, Tech earned an 80-76 road victory over the Skyhawks on Feb. 9, 2019.

Last Time Out

Tech bounced back from its first conference defeat of the season in impressive fashion as the Golden Eagles earned a 41-point victory, 88-47, over the Tennessee State Tigers.

Four Golden Eagles posted double-digit performances in the contest. Junior Mackenzie Coleman, the Special Olympics Player of the Game, led the way with a game-high 18 points, shooting 56 percent (5-of-9) from the field, 50 percent (1-of-2) from 3-point range, and a team-leading 88 percent (7-of-8) from the line.

Joining Coleman in double-figures were freshman Maaliya Owens, in addition to juniors Megan Clark and Kesha Brady. Owens scored a career second-best 15 points, shooting 60 percent (6-of-10) from the floor, 50 percent (2-of-4) from 3-point range, and sinking her sole free throw.

Clark scored a career-high 12 points, netting 80 percent (4-of-5) from the floor and a perfect 100 percent (4-of-4) from long-range. Lastly, Brady finished the game with 11 points on 44 percent (4-of-9) from the field, 33 percent (1-of-3) from long-range, and a perfect 100 percent (2-of-2) from the free throw line in the win.

OVC Road Dominance

Since beginning conference play, the Golden Eagles have won all four of their road contests by double-digits. Tech opened conference play with a pair of victories over Eastern Kentucky (60-42) and Morehead State (75-55), before heading to Illinois to defeat SIUE (65-50) and Eastern Illinois (75-62).

Stingy Defense

The Golden Eagles have held 17 of their 21 opponents below 70 points this season, 13 of which were held below 60 points. Through 21 games, the Golden Eagles have surrendered just 60.7 points per game.

Hot Starts

The Golden Eagles have opened the scoring in 14 of their 21 contests this season, with the only seven games proving differently being against Southern Illinois, Middle Tennessee, Western Carolina, Morehead State, Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, and Tennessee State. Tech has also outscored its opponents 362-293 in the first quarter and 717-573 over the first 20 minutes so far this season, leading to an average halftime score of 34-27.

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 183 blocks throughout her career as a Golden Eagle, sitting just 12 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 916 points throughout her career at Tech and is just 84 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 with 465 and needs just 33 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 83 contests and 27 away from breaking the school record, held by current assistant coach Allison Clark. Brock has also netted 933 career points as a Golden Eagle, putting her 67 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

Tech will continue its road trip as it visits the Southeast Missouri Redhawks on Saturday, Feb. 8. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. CT.