By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – An off-shooting performance and turnovers were the difference on Thursday as Tech women's basketball fell in 66-50 contest against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks inside the Hoop on Education Day.
Tech moved to 16-8 on the season and 9-4 in OVC play, while Jacksonville State improves to 11-13 and 7-6 in conference play.
Three Golden Eagles recorded double-digit performances in the contest, with junior Jordan Brock, the Special Olympics Player of the Game, leading the way with 13 points. She shot 5-of-8 from the field, 1-of-3 from 3-point range, and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. Juniors Kesha Brady and Abby Buckner joined Brock in double-figures. Brady tallied 11 points in the contest, while Buckner added a season-high 11 points as well. Brady and Buckner grabbed a team-high six rebounds, while Buckner added a team-high three steals. Akia Harris dished out a team-high six assists in the contest.
JSU opened the contest scoring eight unanswered to take an 8-0 lead through the 6:24 mark of the first. The Golden Eagles cut the lead back down to five over the next two minutes of clock, 10-5, but a 5-0 Gamecock run closed out the first to give Jacksonville the 10-point lead after the opening frame, 15-5.
The Golden Eagles rallied in the second to bring the game back within single-digits. Tech outscored the Gamecocks 8-2 over the first five minutes of the second to cut the deficit down to four at the final media timeout of the opening half, 17-13. Jacksonville State responded to score seven unanswered over the following two minutes of clock to extend its lead back out to 11, but Tech locked in to hold the Gamecocks scoreless over the last three minutes of play to score seven unanswered of its own and head into the locker room only down by four, 24-20.
Jacksonville State outshot the Golden Eagles in the first half, shooting 32 percent, while Tech only netted 23 percent of its shots from the field. The Gamecocks also caused 11 Tech turnovers, while only giving it up six times themselves, and outscored the Golden Eagles 10-4 off those takeaways in the opening half.
JSU opened the second half on a 9-3 run to push its lead back out to 10 at the third-quarter media timeout, 33-30. Jacksonville State continued to pressure the Golden Eagles defensively, holding tech to only seven more points to close out the period on a 12-7 run to take a 15-point lead, 45-30, into the final 10 minutes of play.
The Gamecocks produced a 15-10 run over the first five minutes of the fourth to take their largest lead of the contest, 60-40. Tech battled back but it wasn't enough as the Golden Eagles closed the contest on a 10-6 run and receive its fourth conference loss of the season, 66-50.
The Golden Eagles struggled to knock down shots in the game, shooting 28 percent, while Jacksonville State knocked down 46 percent of its shots. The shooting difference also contributed to a 36-10 Jacksonville State advantage in the paint. JSU caused 16 Tech turnovers in the contest, while the Golden Eagles only caused 11.
The Golden Eagles finish the week heading to Nashville on Saturday, February 13 to take on the Tennessee State Tigers inside the Gentry Center. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.