Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (17-9, 10-5 OVC) vs. Southeast Missouri Redhawks (20-6, 12-3 OVC)
Game 27 • Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 • 2 p.m. (CT)
Cookeville, Tenn. • Hooper Eblen Center
Video Stream: ESPN+ (Dylan Vazzano & Steve Smith)
Listen: 106.1 The Eagle (Roger Ealey)
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
Twitter Updates: @TTUWBB
Series Record: Tech leads, 32-23 (Last: Tech L 87-72, 2/8/20)
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tech women's basketball will close out its 2019-20 home slate as it hosts the Southeast Missouri Redhawks for its annual Play4Kay game, as well as Senior Day. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT.
About the Golden Eagles
Tech is still looking to hit its stride as the regular season continues to wind down. The Golden Eagles currently sit tied for fourth in the OVC standings and are coming off an 86-65 loss against UT Martin.
Junior Kesha Brady has produced a team-leading 15 points per game, while fellow juniors Mackenzie Coleman and Jordan Brock have also averaged double-figures with 11.2 and 10.4 points per game this season.
Tech leads the OVC in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc, assists with 15.5 per game, and assist/turnover ratio averaging 1.1. The Golden Eagles also rank runner-up in scoring margin with a positive 7.2 and 3-point field goals made, averaging 8.3 long-balls per contest.
About the Redhawks
Southeast Missouri is coming off its first loss over the past 12 contests in a 72-51 loss on the road against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. The Redhawks are in third place in the OVC standings, sitting just a game behind UT Martin and Belmont.
The duo of Tesia Thompson and Carrie Shephard continue to lead the Redhawks with 18.2 and 16.6 points per game, respectively. Thompson also leads SEMO on the glass, pulling down a team-high 7.5 rebounds per game, while Shephard has averaged 3.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game. SEMO's assist leader has been Taelour Pruitt, who has dished out a team-high 3.5 assists per contest this season.
As a team, Southeast Missouri leads the conference in scoring offense (73.3 ppg), scoring margin (+10.8), rebounding offense (44 rpg), rebounding defense (35 rpg), rebounding margin (+9.1), offensive rebounds (16.3), and offensive rebounding percentage (.406).
Tech vs. Southeast Missouri
Tech owns the all-time series lead over the Southeast Missouri Redhawks, 32-23, but SEMO is currently riding a three-game winning streak against the Golden Eagles. Tech holds an impressive 17-7 record over SEMO in Cookeville, the Redhawks lead 13-12 in Cape Girardeau, and the series is tied 3-3 at neutral locations. During their last matchup on Feb. 8, the Redhawks earned an 87-72 win over the Golden Eagles in Cape Girardeau.
Tech will be wearing pink jerseys to promote the awareness for all forms of cancer, including breast cancer, through the Play4Kay initiative. Supporters can help in the fight against cancer by making a pledge based on how many free throws the Golden Eagles net during the month of February or make a one-time donation to the Kay Yow Cancer foundation here.
Celebrating Our Seniors
Akia Harris, a 5-foot-7 guard from Chattanooga, Tenn., came to the Golden Eagles from Hamilton Heights Christian Academy. In her four seasons at Tech, she has played 117 games with 115 starts, recording 962 points, 388 rebounds, 494 assists, and 141 steals. Her assists rank her seventh all-time in program history. During her rookie campaign, she became just the fifth player and second freshman in school history to record a triple-double, registering 19 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds against Murray State. Harris will graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in exercise science, physical education, and wellness major with a concentration in fitness and wellness.
Anacia Wilkinson, a 6-foot-2 forward from Houston, Texas, came to Tech from Atascocita High School. She is a fifth-year senior after missing all but one game as a true freshman due to injury. She has played 99 games with 23 starts, while recording 572 points, 487 rebounds, and 190 blocks. Her 190 blocks rank her second all-time in program history, just five blocks away from the career record. Last season, she shattered the school's single-season record with 92 rejections during Tech's 33-game campaign. She has twice tied the program's single-game blocks record of nine, including earlier this season at Morehead State. Wilkinson graduated with her bachelor's degree in biology with a concentration in microbiology in May 2019 and is currently pursuing her master's in professional studies.
Last Time Out
The Golden Eagles are coming off an 86-65 loss against UT Martin, who sits tied for first in the OVC. Tech remained within two points after the opening period, 15-13, but a lackluster second quarter in which the Skyhawks outscored Tech 20-7 would eventually prove to be a deeper hole than Tech could find its way out of en route to the 21-point defeat on Thursday.
Three Golden Eagles recorded double-figure performances with freshman Maaliya Owens leading the way with a team-high 15 points, shooting 5-of-11 from the field, 3-of-7 from 3-point range, and a perfect 2-of-2 from the line. She added four rebounds and dished out three assists. Juniors Mackenzie Coleman and Abby Buckner, the Golden Eagles' Special Olympics Player of the Game, joined Owens in double-figures, netting 14 points and 11 points, respectively. Buckner added a team-high five rebounds, while senior Anacia Wilkinson blocked a game-high three shots in the contest.
The Golden Eagles have held 19 of their 26 opponents below 70 points this season, 13 of which were held below 60 points. Through 26 games, the Golden Eagles have surrendered just 63.6 points per game. Since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, the Golden Eagles hold a 29-6 advantage when holding opponents to 65 points or less.
The Golden Eagles have opened the scoring in 15 of their 26 contests this season, with the 11 games proving differently being against Southern Illinois, Middle Tennessee, Western Carolina, Morehead State, Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee State, Southeast Missouri, Jacksonville State, and twice against UT Martin. Tech has also outscored its opponents 450-391 in the first quarter and 870-750 over the first 20 minutes so far this season, leading to an average halftime score of 33-29.
Anacia Wilkinson set the school record last season for blocked shots in a season with a dominant 92 blocked shots. She has collected 190 blocks throughout her career as a Golden Eagle, sitting just five 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 962 points throughout her career at Tech and is just 38 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 494 and needs just four 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 209 through 88 contests and 17 away from breaking the school record, held by current assistant coach Allison Clark. Brock has also netted 978 career points as a Golden Eagle, putting her 22 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 close out the regular season on the road, beginning with a trip to Music City to take on the Belmont Bruins on Thursday, Feb. 27. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.