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Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

Tech women claim big win over SIUE

Tech women claim big win over SIUE

By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – After a 15-2 run late in the third quarter, the Tennessee Tech women were able to go into cruise control on Thursday night, taking a 75-60 victory over SIUE in the Eblen Center in a nationally televised contest.

With the victory, the Golden Eagles improve to 9-7 overall, 4-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Tech returns to action on Saturday as it travels to Nashville to take on Belmont in a 2 p.m. contest.

"That's a much improved SIUE team," said Tech head coach Kim Rosamond. "I really want to credit the job Coach (Samantha) Smith is doing. I thought their kids played with a ton of energy and ton of effort. Sixteen of their 32 points at halftime came from our turnovers. We knew we were going to have to turn our effort up – it wasn't that we weren't playing hard, they were playing harder – and they did that in the second half. Overall, it was a solid effort and a solid win and a great way to go into Saturday."

Jada Guinn led Tech with 15 points, drawing seven fouls and going 9-for-9 at the charity stripe. Guinn also had four rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block in the contest.

Kesha Brady had 13 points, including 4-for-5 at the line, with three rebounds and two assists. Mackenzie Coleman narrowly missed a double-double, scoring 12 points and pulling down nine rebounds. Coleman also recorded two assists, four steals and two blocks.

Gabby Nikitinaite led the Cougars (6-10, 2-3 OVC) with 20 points, including four 3-pointers, while pulling down five boards with four assists and four steals. Mikayla Kinnard was SIUE's other double-digit scorer, tabbing 12 points, while collecting three rebounds and three assists.

SIUE pressured the Golden Eagles, but Tech found ways to overcome that, finding an opening for plays and using the aggressive play to their advantage. It came through at the charity stripe as Tech was 18-for-21 from the line off of 17 total fouls. In contrast, SIUE drew 14 fouls and went 8-for-8 at the line.

"We knew coming in they were going to press us," Rosamond said. "We did a great job not only handling their press but also scoring on the press. We did a great job of attacking on the backside and creating numbers out of it. We had to handle the backcourt pressure and the kids did that. We scored anywhere between 12 to 18 points just on attacking their press. The turnovers weren't coming from the press, they were coming from not being strong in the paint, letting them tie us up and really taking the basketball away.

"Our players handled it well and did a good job of attacking pressure with pressure, then turning that into points."

The Cougars led most of the first quarter, ending the opening stanza with a 16-15 advantage. Tech took its first lead at 24-22 midway through the second, then the Golden Eagles outscored SIUE 13-6 over the final 3:49 of the half to take a 39-32 lead into the intermission. Across the second quarter, Tech outscored the Cougars 24-16, buoyed by an 8-for-9 effort at the line.

SIUE came out furiously in the second half, going on a 7-2 run to cut the deficit down to a 41-39 Tech advantage. Then in the next five minutes, Tech outscored the Cougars 15-2 to take a 15-point, 56-41 lead. Another run gave the Golden Eagles a 22-point lead with 4:56 remaining in the contest, then again with 2:10 remaining. Tech did not score in the final 2:10, SIUE closing out the game with seven unanswered points.

Photo | Jim Dillon

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