By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – All the prep work is done, now it's time for the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team to hit the court for real as Bethel comes to town Tuesday night to take on the Golden Eagles.
While Tuesday's game will count for the Golden Eagles, the contest will be an exhibition game for the Lady Wildcats, who enter Tuesday with a 3-1 record.
Tuesday's game will be broadcast on ESPN+ (subscription required).
Bethel, an NAIA program out of the Mid-South Conference, had two contests over the weekend, sweeping John Brown 64-55 and Brescia 84-38 in the Chamber of Commerce Classic at Crisp Arena. The team currently has three players averaging double-digit scoring with junior Ryann Roberts leading the way at 13.8 points, senior Millie Bryant at 12.0 and junior Keeley Morrow at 11.5.
Bryant is hitting a hot 52.4 percent from the field, while also leading the team in rebounds per game (6.3) and tied for the lead in assists per game (2.8) with senior Mickey Head (2.8). Head leads Bethel in blocks per game with a 2.3 rate.
As a team, Bethel is averaging 68.5 points and shooting 43 percent from the field, 35.3 from 3-point range and 64.7 from the line. The Lady Wildcats are averaging 36.0 rebounds and 10.8 assists.
BU opened the season with a 70-56 win over the St. Louis University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy, then took its lone loss against Talladega, 59-56. Tuesday's game will be the Lady Wildcats' first game away from home and won't play another road contest until December 2.
The Golden Eagles hosted Christian Brothers in their lone exhibition on Oct. 28, cruising to an 86-56 victory over the Division II squad. Junior Maaliya Owens led Tech in scoring with 16 points on a 5-for-9 night from the field and 3-for-4 from the charity stripe, while Mackenzie Coleman also chipped in with double figures with 11 points. Four players – Coleman, Jada Guinn, Anna Walker and Grace Pelphrey – each had five rebounds out of Tech's total of 51.
Tech ended the game shooting 32-for-79 from the field for a 40.5-percent rate, while knocking down seven of 23 3-point attempts. The Golden Eagles were 15-for-26 from the free-throw line.
TTU cruised to the victory, converting 26 CBU turnovers into 32 points, while dominating in the paint with 42 points in the lane.
The Golden Eagles, picked to finish second in the Ohio Valley Conference in the league's preseason poll, return a core veteran group with a tremendous amount of depth and an exciting group of newcomers as they enter the 2021-22 campaign.
Tech reached the OVC Tournament semifinals for two out of the last three seasons and finished 15-10 last year, 12 wins in league play to tie for the most in the Kim Rosamond era and collect the team's third-straight winning season – the first since 2010-11 to 2012-13.
Tuesday's opener is just the first act of a tough non-conference slate for the Golden Eagles, which includes Chattanooga, Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee, Florida Gulf Coast, New Mexico State, Tennessee, Western Kentucky, Western Carolina, Tennessee Wesleyan and Samford before OVC play begins on December 30.
Season tickets for Tennessee Tech basketball are on sale. Call (931) 372-3940, visit the Hooper Eblen Center ticket office or visit TTUsports.com.
Photo | Jim Dillon