By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, Ill. – Just like the first meeting between the two teams, Thursday's tilt between the Tennessee Tech and Eastern Illinois women was a battle. Both teams went back and forth with eight ties and six lead changes, and while the Golden Eagles were on top for 29 of the 40 minutes, it took a 10-1 run midway through the fourth quarter to finally create some separation between the two teams as Tech took a 65-56 victory at Lantz Arena.
The Golden Eagles improve to 15-8 overall, 10-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference.
The battle between Mackenzie Coleman and EIU's Abby Wahl was a good one as both players led their team in the fray. Coleman was 8-for-14 from the field, including two 3-pointers, and 5-for-7 from the free-throw line to finish the contest with 23 points. On the other end, Wahl was 7-for-10 from the field and 3-for-5 at the stripe for 17 points.
Coleman also won the rebound battle, pulling down a game-high 12 caroms, while Wahl finished the game with five rebounds. Jordyn Hughes and Lariah Washington led the Panthers (13-11, 8-5 OVC) in rebounds with six each.
Washington also scored in double-figures with 14 points, shooting 6-for-19 from the field, including 1-for-4 from 3-point range and 1-for-2 at the line.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles also had double-digit production from Anna Jones and Jada Guinn. Jones ended the game with 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting and 3-for-4 at the line, draining a trey along the way while also pulling down seven rebounds. Guinn had 10 points, six assists and four boards as she was 3-for-7 from the field and 4-for-6 from the line.
Both teams were hovering around 50-percent shooting in the first quarter as Tech escaped with a 15-12 lead after the opening period. EIU outscored the Golden Eagles 14-11 in the second as the two teams went to the locker room knotted at 26-all.
Eastern took a four-point lead near the eight-minute mark in the third quarter, but the Golden Eagles were able to regroup and reclaim the advantage. Tech outscored EIU 17-14 in the third to close the quarter with a 43-40 lead.
In the fourth, Tech used a 10-1 lead to surge out by 11 as Coleman knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to lead the assault. The Golden Eagles outscored EIU 22-16 in the final period but was able to keep the Panthers at arm's length in the waning moments.
Tech ended the game 5-for-21 from 3-point range and 16-of-24 from the free-throw line.
The Golden Eagles return to action on Saturday as they take on SIUE at 1 p.m.