By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – When the Tennessee Tech women's basketball coaches added Anna Walker to the program last spring, they knew the Chattanooga transfer was going to be a special player.
The Cleveland, Tenn., native showed exactly why she is, propelling the Golden Eagles to a big win over Morehead State on Thursday afternoon, a 78-48 victory over the visiting Eagles.
Tech improves to 7-6 on the season, 2-1 in the Ohio Valley. The Golden Eagles, with postponements around the conference this weekend, will now host Murray State on Saturday at 1 p.m. That game will replace the originally scheduled matchup for January 27.
Walker led the way with 21 points – one shy of tying her career-high of 22, set against Bethel in the season opener – as she was 9-for-15 on the floor, including 1-for-3 from long-range, with a 2-for-3 effort from the free-throw line. Walker also had six rebounds and four assists in the contest.
Walker wasn't the only double-digit scorer for the Golden Eagles as Anna Jones, who missed the last two games to illness, returned to tab in with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and Maaliya Owens chipped in with 11 points.
Morehead State (1-12, 0-3 OVC) had 15-point efforts from Jada Claude and Terri Smith, while Alana Denson finished with nine. The visitors were held one point below their season scoring average and shot 36.5 percent from the field, hitting 19 of 52 shots.
The Eagles, however, kept it close in the first quarter. MSU had a 6-0 run and led by as many as five points at the 3:32 mark in the opening stanza, taking an 18-17 lead over Tech after the quarter came to a close.
But the second and third quarters provided the separation the Golden Eagles needed. Tech outscored Morehead 21-9 in the second, then a 17-2 run in the third led to a 25-4 third-quarter run, making it a 63-31 lead going into the final period of play.
Walker scored eight points in the second quarter, going 4-for-5 from the field, then eight more in the third on three buckets and two free throws. Tech was also able to work its way into the paint in the second quarter, outscoring Morehead 12-4 under the rim, then finishing the game with a 38-20 advantage.
Tech also controlled the boards with the Annas each collecting a team-best six rebounds out of the total of 39 – 10 more than the visitors – while Mackenzie Coleman pulled down five, and Peyton Carter and Jada Guinn collecting four each.
Ball movement was also Tech's friend as the Golden Eagles dished out 21 assists, led by Carter's five. Morehead State had nine total assists.
Tech protected the basketball, turning the ball over just 10 times in the contest – five times in the opening period, three in the second, none in the third and twice in the fourth.
Photo | Jim Dillon