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Golden Eagles close out regular season with Senior Night win

Golden Eagles close out regular season with Senior Night win

By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Night was a good one for the Tennessee Tech women on Saturday night as the Golden Eagles were able to hold off UT Martin, claiming a 61-51 victory to close out the regular season.

With the win, Tech improves to 19-9, 14-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference. The 14 league wins is the most since the Golden Eagles won 15 in 2010-11 and the team's highest regular-season finish since Tech tied for the regular-season championship in 2012-13. It is the first time the team had four straight winning seasons since 2005-06 and the first time the team has had double-digit OVC wins for four straight seasons since 2001-02.

The Golden Eagles, by virtue of finishing second in the regular season, will earn two byes in next week's OVC Basketball Championships in Evansville, Ind. Tech will be idle until Friday as they await the winner of UT Martin/SIUE vs. Murray State. On the other side of the bracket, top-seeded Belmont will take on the winner of Eastern Illinois/Tennessee State vs. Austin Peay.

As the senior and graduate class was honored, they started Tech off on a bang as Grace Pelphrey set the tone, draining a 3-pointer, then Megan Clark followed suit, going 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. The Golden Eagles led by five points in the opening quarter, then the two teams swapped the lead. After trailing 17-15, Maaliya Owens knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer from a feed from Anna Jones.

Tech never trailed after that. The Golden Eagles led by as many as eight points with six minutes left in the second quarter and led 36-30 at the half. The advantage extended to 11 points in the third quarter. Seygan Robins cut Tech's lead to five – 56-51 – with 2:41 remaining in the contest, but a 3-pointer by Owens and a layup from Jones put Tech back out by 10 with what eventually became the final margin of the contest.

Owens ended the game with a team-best 15 points, shooting 6-for-13 from the field and 3-for-8 from 3-point range. Jada Guinn had a double-double – her second of the season and third of her career – as she scored 11 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Seniors Clark and Jones ended the game with double-digit scoring as Clark had 12 points and Jones 10 to extend her double-digit scoring streak to 12 games. Jones also had 10 rebounds to collect her fifth double-double of the season, the sixth of her career.

The Golden Eagles controlled the boards, outrebounding the Skyhawks 40-19.

Robins led UT Martin with 15 points on 4-of-10 shooting with three 3-pointers, while Shae Littleford had 13 on a 5-for-9 night.

Photo | Jim Dillon

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