By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
CULLOWHEE, N.C. – The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team made a statement in the second quarter Thursday night, building a lead it never relinquished, taking a 67-50 victory over Western Carolina.
It's back-to-back wins for the Golden Eagles (4-5), who have also won four straight against the Catamounts.
Mackenzie Coleman started 7-for-7 from the field, finishing with 21 points as she was 3-for-3 on 3-pointers and 2-for-2 at the free-throw line on a pair of technical free throws. Coleman also pulled down eight rebounds to lead the way for the Golden Eagles.
The two Annas – Jones and Walker – had good days from the field as Jones was 4-for-5 for eight points and Walker was 3-for-4, including 2-for-3 from beyond-the-arc and 3-for-4 at the line.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth battle, both teams scoring 14 points and shooting nearly identical percentages – Tech 6-for-11 standing just a shade better than WCU's 7-for-13.
Early fouls called against Jones and Jada Guinn took the two briefly out of the game, but the Golden Eagles found ways to work without two important weapons and shot a blistering 69.2 percent from the floor, knocking down nine of 13 shots, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range.
Tech closed out the second quarter on a 7-0 run to lead 37-26, outscoring the Catamounts 23-12 in the stanza.
The second half was just maintaining the distance. The Golden Eagles outscored WCU in both the third and fourth quarters, but not before the Catamounts chipped away and chipped away. But once the advantage slipped into double-digits, it never came back within singles.
The Catamounts did force the Golden Eagles into 21 total turnovers, converting those into 17 points, but Tech earned 20 points off 16 WCU giveaways.
The Golden Eagles also took advantage by moving the ball, collecting 14 assists to Western's seven, led by Guinn and Ansley Hall with three.
On the boards, Tech had the slim advantage at 28-26, led by Coleman's eight, while Endia Holliday had nine and Nadia Marshall had eight.
Marshall, WCU's leading scorer entering the game, was held to single-digit scoring as she scored eight points on 4-of-10 shooting. Zanoria Cruz led WCU (4-6) with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Holliday and Vanessa Oduah each had 10 points on a combined 9-for-23.
The Golden Eagles wrap up the road trip and will return home Thursday for a morning matinee for Education Day as Tech hosts Tennessee Wesleyan, tipoff scheduled for 11 a.m.
Tickets for that game and the rest of the Tennessee Tech home schedule are on sale now. Call (931) 372-3940, visit the Hooper Eblen Center ticket office or visit TTUsports.com.
Photo | Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information