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Golden Eagles traveling to Houston for WNIT Round 2

Golden Eagles traveling to Houston for WNIT Round 2


By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information

HOUSTON, Texas – With their first win in the WNIT under their belts, the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team has loaded up the bus and made the transition from Dallas to Houston.

The Golden Eagles (21-14) will go from one American Athletic Conference opponent in SMU to another in Houston facing the sorority chapter of Phi Slama Jama in the postseason tournament's second round.

Tipoff on Sunday is scheduled for 2 p.m. There will be no video broadcast from Houston, but Dylan Vazzano will be live on the call on 106.1 The Eagle and on TTUsports.com.

The Golden Eagles were the aggressor for nearly the entire game against the Mustangs as Anna Jones led the way with 19 points, while Anna Walker and Mackenzie Coleman each had 13, Coleman also pulling down 11 rebounds for her 12th career double-double.

Tech shot a solid 41.9 percent from the field and knocked down 16 of its 23 free-throw tries en route to the victory.

Houston (17-15), however, has an interesting resume. The Cougars have victories over New Mexico, Arizona State, Florida State and Jacksonville State, but have also seen losses to Baylor and Alabama. UH fell in the AAC semifinals to South Florida, dropping a 58-50 decision after topping Cincinnati and Tulane.

In the opening round of the WNIT, Houston held to a 63-52 victory on the road at Louisiana Tech. Bria Patterson was 8-for-12 from the field for a game-high 18 points, while Tiara Young scored 17 and Laila Blair scored 12. The Cougars controlled the boards 40-31, creating 18 second-chance points, and forced 17 LaTech turnovers, converting those into 20 points. Young had five of those steals, while Julia Blackshell-Fair was 4-for-5 from the floor for eight points, with team-highs in assists (four) and rebounds (nine).

For the season, Blair is averaging 13.0 points to lead the Cougars, shooting .336 from the floor, .323 from 3-point range and .828 from the free-throw line. Britney Onyeje (9.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg), Young (8.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg), and Patterson (8.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg) are hovering close to double-digit scoring.

Houston is averaging 63.2 points per game, while allowing 60.8. The team is shooting .384 as a whole, .301 from long-range and .649 from the stripe. The Cougars outrebound their opponents by a slim 37.2-37.0 margin, while forcing 100 more turnovers than they've given up, blocked 149 shots and stolen the ball 326 times.

Houston will push the tempo and press, making speed a key factor in the game.

In contrast, the Golden Eagles are averaging 66.1 points per game, allowing 61.0. Tech is shooting .425 from the floor, .316 from 3 and .703 at the line. Tech is outrebounding opponents 36.6 to 30.6, while having blocked 111 shots and collected 207 steals.

The Golden Eagles have seen teams like Houston this season, preparing them for the next phase in the survive-and-advance cycle.

Jones leads Tech in scoring and rebounds with 13.5 points and 7.3 rebounds respectively. Coleman averages 11.2 points and 5.7 boards, while also blocking 38 shots. Jada Guinn is averaging 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds, while leading the team with 120 assists and 42 steals. Walker is averaging 8.7 points and 4.0 rebounds, collecting 25 blocks.

The winner of Sunday's contest will take on the winner of Monday's Alabama vs. Tulane affair, held in New Orleans.

Photo | Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information

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