By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team will get an opportunity to showcase its talents on a national stage on Thursday as the Golden Eagles will entertain SIUE in a nationally televised contest on ESPNU.
Tipoff for the game is scheduled for 4 p.m. John Brickley and Holly Warlick will handle the broadcast duties for ESPNU with the game also available online to stream to users with ESPNU in their cable subscriptions. The game is also part of ESPN's celebration of the "We Back Pat" initiative honoring Tennessee women's basketball coaching legend Pat Summitt and bring awareness to the fight against Alzheimer's.
Roger Ealey and Frank Harrell will broadcast the game for 106.1 The Eagle, while campus radio station WTTU will begin their broadcasts this season with that contest with Carson Crouch and Franklin McCarthy handling the call for 88.5 FM.
SIUE, 6-9 overall on the season and 2-2 in the Ohio Valley, has won two of its last three games. The Cougars opened the New Year with a 62-58 win at UT Martin, but then missed the next two weeks. SIUE came back from the break with a 73-66 win over Southeast Missouri on Saturday, then fell in a makeup game at Austin Peay on Monday night, dropping a 76-55 decision.
The Cougars opened OVC play back on December 30, taking a home loss to OVC leader Belmont 87-49.
SIUE's four non-conference wins this season have been against some larger names as the Cougars topped Illinois and Butler on the road, then topped Purdue Fort Wayne and Saint Louis at home.
Leading the charge for the Cougars is graduate transfer Gabby Nikitinaite. The George Washington and Northern Illinois transfer is averaging 12.7 points per game as well as 4.5 rebounds. She has led the team in scoring in five games this season, earning OVC Player of the Week honors on Dec. 14, as well as Newcomer of the Week honors on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14.
Mikayla Kinnard is averaging 10.6 points a game and also leads the Cougars in assists with 42. Allie Troeckler, back for her fifth season with SIUE in the extended COVID eligibility, has a team-high 79 rebounds to average 5.3 per game.
As a team, SIUE is shooting .376, including .289 from 3-point range, while hitting .704 from the free-throw line. The Cougars are averaging 65.7 points per night, while allowing 74.5. The numbers shift slightly in conference play, scoring 59.8 points and allowing 71.8, while shooting .364 from the field, .313 from beyond the arc and .672 from the stripe.
The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, are home after an idle date Saturday with its contest against UT Martin rescheduled for January 31 with the Skyhawks in COVID protocols. Tech broke a seven-game losing streak against Southeast Missouri with 75-58 victory over the Redhawks, giving Tech six wins in its last eight games.
Tech enters the contest with an 8-7 record, 3-2 in OVC play.
Mackenzie Coleman finished the game against the Redhawks with a season-high 24 points, four shy of tying her career-best of 28. The graduate leads the team with a 12.1-point average and stands as the OVC's blocks leader with 19 on the season. She also averages 5.3 rebounds per game.
Anna Jones is averaging 10.5 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds, while Jada Guinn (9.4 ppg) and Anna Walker (8.9 ppg) are both hovering just outside double-digit scoring. Guinn leads the team in assists with 53 and steals with 23, while also averaging 5.2 rebounds.
As a team, Tech is averaging 68.4 points, while allowing 63.8. From the floor, the Golden Eagles are shooting .444, .318 from beyond the arc and .728 at the free-throw line. In conference play only, Tech is outscoring its opponents 71.2 to 66.8, while shooting .453, .360 from 3 and .780 at the line. The Golden Eagles are also outrebounding their foes 33.4 to 28.2.
Thursday's doubleheader will also be a Gold Rush game with fans wearing gold will receive admission for $5, while T-shirts will be given out while supplies last. There will be the opportunity to win an assortment of prizes, including Roku streaming devices, smart TVs, VISA giftcards and a mini fridge. Students are admitted free to all Tech sporting events.
Tickets for Thursday's game are on sale now. Call (931) 372-3940, visit the Hooper Eblen Center ticket office or visit TTUsports.com to order.
Photo | Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information