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Tech women shake off rust with win over Alabama A&M

Tech women shake off rust with win over Alabama A&M

 

By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – After a slow start spurred on by Alabama A&M's stifling defense, the Tennessee Tech women used a 10-2 run in the second quarter to take the lead, then held on to take a 78-68 victory on Saturday in the Eblen Center.

Tech (4-3) inches closer to a program milestone with its 997th win, while head coach Kim Rosamond collected her 96th victory. The Golden Eagles will close out the home portion of their non-conference slate on Tuesday morning as Tech hosts Tennessee Wesleyan for an 11 a.m. game as its annual Education Day contest.

Saturday's game gave the Golden Eagles an interesting test against the press as the fast and aggressive Alabama A&M squad challenged Tech for much of the contest, even cutting a 12-point Golden Eagle lead in the third quarter back down to two with 4:53 remaining in the game before Tech was able to surge back to a double-digit advantage.

The visiting Bulldogs (0-7) went on a tear early on, shooting at a 58.3-percent clip in the first quarter and taking a seven-point advantage. AAMU's advantage faded in the second quarter as the Golden Eagles knocked down four 3-pointers and went 6-for-6 at the line for the stanza to outscore the Bulldogs 22-13 for a 35-29 advantage at the intermission.

Tech outscored the visitors 19-17 in the third and 24-22 in the fourth to stay on the winning side.

It was just Tech's second game since November 20 and while the rust showed early, the Golden Eagles were able to find their groove with a 53.8-percent effort from the floor, including 80.0-percent in the fourth quarter and 8-for-9 at the free-throw line.

The Golden Eagles excelled at the charity stripe, ending the day 16-for-17 as the lone miss came late in the contest.

Senior Jada Guinn also had an excellent outing, hitting her first seven shots on the day before a last-second layup rolled off to spoil her perfect shooting day. She ended the game with 14 points.

Meanwhile, Maaliya Owens, who missed the last game against Middle Tennessee on December 1, returned and led the Golden Eagles in scoring and assists with 16 points and a career-high six dimes.

With as aggressive of a defense Alabama A&M employed with its press, the Golden Eagles earned all 16 assists in the contest as Guinn also dished out five, while Anna Walker, Reagan Hurst, Reghan Grimes and Jordan Brock also collected dimes.

Brock and Peyton Carter also scored in double figures for the Golden Eagles as Brock was 3-for-8 from the field and 5-for-5 at the line for 12 points, while Carter was perfect on the day as she hit 4-for-4 from the field, 2-for-2 beyond the arc and 1-for-1 at the stripe for 11 points.

Tech also dominated the glass 32-21 as Walker and Grimes led all players with six caroms each. Kiera Hill also pulled down five rebounds with Guinn and Carter adding three each. AAMU, who had been excelling in collecting offensive rebounds with an average of 15.2 per game entering Saturday, was held to six second-chance boards, converting into nine points.

While the Bulldogs were able to force Tech into 18 turnovers – and 15 points off of those – it was the Golden Eagles who were able to convert on the giveaways, turning 16 AAMU turnovers into 26 points.

Alabama A&M ended the game with three scorers in double figures as Amani Free and Toni Grace each scored 19, while Taylor Smith added 13. Free was 7-for-12 from the field with three 3-pointers, while Grace was 8-for-12 from the floor.

Photo | Jim Dillon

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