By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Saturday's contest between the Tennessee Tech and Southeast Missouri women felt like a tournament contest. While the Golden Eagles lead for nearly the entire game, the Redhawks never stayed too far away, even after Tech took a 10-point lead midway through the opening stanza.
While SEMO kept it close by outscoring Tech 43-37 in the second half, the Golden Eagles were able to leave the Show Me Center with a 76-72 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Tech improved to 12-6, 6-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference, while the Redhawks fell to 8-11, 3-5 in the league. The OVC standings remained relatively unchanged as Eastern Illinois (8-0) and Little Rock (7-1) remained in the top two spots ahead of the Golden Eagles, with SIUE standing a game back at 5-3. The Cougars and the Golden Eagles will meet again on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. for Tech's We Back Pat game as well as Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night.
Jada Guinn led the Golden Eagles with 20 points, eight rebounds, an assist and four steals, proving to be a Jill-of-all-trades in the contest and a big spark plug for Tech, bouncing back from a tough loss at Little Rock on Thursday. Guinn finished the game 7-for-10 from the field and 6-for-8 from the free-throw line.
Reghan Grimes also had a great game, piling on 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting and 4-for-6 from the line, while also dishing out three of Tech's 16 assists, pulling down three boards, collecting a steal and blocking three of Tech's four deflected shots. Grimes also proved to be a hard body in the contest, drawing a game-high eight fouls.
After Little Rock was able to slow the Golden Eagles down in the paint, Tech was having none of that on Saturday, pressing into the lane and collecting 38 points under the basket. SEMO wasn't ineffective in the paint though, scoring 36 points there as well as the game was hard-fought inside.
The Redhawks had to go inside though – SEMO went 0-for-16 from beyond the arc as Tech's 3-point defense continued to shine. Kiyley Flowers went 0-for-5, while Kori Tinlin and Jaliyah Green were both 0-for-4.
Green led all of SEMO's scorers with 21 points, including 7-for-8 shooting at the stripe. Kennedi Watkins, the Redhawks' season leader, ended the game with 16 points, six of them at the line. Alecia Doyle also had 11 points to round out SEMO's double-digit producers.
Watkins missed a double-double by one board as she pulled down nine caroms, while Flowers had five assists and three steals.
SEMO was able to coax Tech into 17 turnovers, converting those into 22 points. While Tech won the rebound battle by a slim 34-32 margin, the Redhawks controlled the offensive glass with 13 caroms – turning those into 24 second-chance points.
The Redhawks' biggest lead of the game was the first basket and kept the advantage for 1:07. The rest was all Golden Eagles. Neither team had a stellar shooting percentage early, but Tech went 7-for-8 at the line in the first quarter.
The free throw line was a common sight in the game as the Golden Eagles knocked down 26 of 35 shots, SEMO 24 of 31.
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Photo | Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports information