By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – For the second time in a week's span, the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team will face off with Murray State. It's as familiar with a foe as one can get with just one contest between the two meetings in Thursday's win over Morehead State.
The Golden Eagles (7-6, 2-1 OVC) were originally scheduled to take on Eastern Illinois on Saturday, but the Panthers entered COVID protocols, rescheduling the game to Monday, Jan. 24.
Instead, Tech will take on Murray State, who had its Thursday contest against the Panthers postponed as well, meaning the last game for the Racers is Tech's 65-62 victory a week ago in the CFSB Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Needless to say, not much has changed in the week between the two contests other than the Golden Eagles adding a 78-48 victory to its win column on Thursday afternoon. Anna Walker led Tech with 21 points in the game, one point shy of tying her career-high, while Anna Jones, in her first game back from a two-game absence, and Maaliya Owens each added 11 points.
Walker and Jones each had six rebounds, while the team limited its turnovers to 10. The Golden Eagles outscored Morehead State 46-13 in the second and third quarters.
Tech leads the all-time series 68-19, winning seven of the last 11 and four of the last five games. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles have won five of the last six games – the overtime loss to Tennessee State standing as the only blemish in that span.
Meanwhile, Murray State had won three of its last five games, the loss to the Golden Eagles on New Year's Day and a pre-Christmas battle at Florida standing as the two defeats in the series.
Katelyn Young leads the Racers – and the OVC -- in scoring with a 20.9-point average, while also leading the team in rebounds with an 8.5-board clip. Alexis Burpo is also among the team's leaders in rebounding with an 8.2 average.
Macey Turley (15.3 points) and Hannah McKay (11.2 points) are also averaging double-digit scoring.
As a team, Murray State is averaging 73.5 points per game, while allowing 59.2. The Racers are shooting .461 from the field, .335 from 3-point range and .777 from the free-throw line.
Murray is also the conference leader in assists (202, 15.5 avg.), rebounds (563, 43.1 per game), fewest fouls (158), field goal percentage (.359), free throws made and percentage (195, 77.7), scoring margin (14.3), scoring offense (73.5) and 3-point defense (26.4).
Mackenzie Coleman leads Tech in scoring with 11.9 points a game, while Jones averages 10.9 points and 6.1 rebounds. Jada Guinn is averaging 10.0 points and, like Coleman, is averaging 5.5 rebounds a game.
Tech is averaging 69.7 points per game and allowing 63.8 points, while shooting .450 from the field, .317 from 3-point range and .724 from the free-throw line. The Golden Eagles are outrebounding opponents 36.2 to 30.4.
During the game, the team will celebrate the program's 50-plus seasons as part of its alumni weekend, culminating in an anniversary event Saturday evening at the Saltbox Inn.
The game will be the final regular-season meeting between the two teams as the Racers announced on Friday that they will be departing for the Missouri Valley Conference at the end of the academic year.
Roger Ealey and Frank Harrell will provide the call for 106.1 The Eagle, while Dylan Vazzano and Michael Cooper will handle broadcast duties on ESPN+ (subscription required).
Tickets are available by calling (931) 372-3940, visiting the Hooper Eblen Center ticket office or at TTUsports.com.