January 24, 2009

Tech shoots well, downs TSU 86-78 as Alex Davis drains 21

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Sophomore Alex Davis scored a career-high 21 points and 10 different players were in on the scoring as the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles shot their way to an 86-78 Ohio Valley Conference victory at Tennessee State Saturday night in the Gentry Center.
The Golden Eagles shot 55.9 percent for the game, including 11-for-20 (55 percent) from long range. In addition to Davis, Tech also got double-digit points from Daniel Northern with 16 and Frank Davis with 11.

With the win, the Golden Eagles (10-9/5-4 OVC) moved into a three-way tie for sixth place in the league, just one game out of fourth place in a tight race. Tech is tied with Tennessee State (6-13/4-5 OVC) and Eastern Kentucky.

The Golden Eagles play at Eastern Illinois next Thursday night, one of the two teams tied for fourth place, followed by a game Saturday night at Southeast Missouri.

Gerald Robinson paced TSU with 21 points and eight assists, while Parker Smith hit 6-for-9 from 3-point range on his way to 19 points. Jerrell Houston had 14 points and eight rebounds.

Tech rebounded from a tough loss Thursday at Austin Peay to control the game nearly wire-to-wire. The host Tigers held a two-point lead at 4-2, and again at 8-6, but that was all. The game was tied five times in the first half, the last coming at 20-20 at the 7:37 mark.

Davis hit a 3-pointer, and DJ Lindsay followed with a layup and the Golden Eagles grabbed a five-point lead. Tech was on top by three, 37-34, at halftime.

The Golden Eagles shot 62 percent in the second half and pushed their lead into double figures four times, with the largest margin midway through the half being 12 points. Tech led by 10 points, 64-54, with 7:13 to play when the Tigers made things interesting with a 6-0 run. A layup by Robinson with 6:16 to go pulled TSU to within four, 64-60, but Alex Davis hit another 3-pointer for some breathing room.

Down by nine, 71-66 the Tigers scored another 6-0 run to make it a three-point game, 71-68, with 2:46 remaining on a 3-pointer by Smith. With 2:08 remaining, Will Barnes fired up a 3-pointer before the shot clock expired and it rattled around and went through for a 74-68 lead.

That was the basket that allowed Tech to shake away and the Golden Eagles rebuilt a double-digit lead. The largest margin of the game came in the final half minute when Tech went up by 14 points before settling for the final eight-point win.

Senior Zac Walker didn't score a point, but he played a key role in the win. Making only the second start of his career, Walker had two rebounds, two assists and a steal, and played solid in-your-face defense. While he was on the floor for a career-high 16 minutes, he held Smith, TSU's long distance shooter, scoreless.