Golden Eagles improve to 6-2 with lopsided win over Union Bulldogs

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - All 13 players on the bench put points on the board as Tennessee Tech returned from an eight-day layoff with an 87-40 non-conference victory over Union (Ky.) College Sunday afternoon in Eblen Center.

Three players were in double figures, while Elijah Cunningham-Muhammad posted career-best numbers with nine points, nine rebounds and five assists as Tech improved its overall record to 6-2.

Coach Mike Sutton's team finishes the 2008 portion of the schedule on the road, starting Tuesday night with a 6 p.m. CST contest at Florida State. Tech plays at Vanderbilt Saturday at 5 p.m. CST, and wraps up the road stretch with a game at Louisiana-Monroe on Dec. 29.

The Golden Eagles had 18 steals, the fourth-highest single-game total in school history, and forced 30 Bulldog turnovers. Tech also limited Union to 28.8 percent shooting accuracy, including 2-for-15 from long range.

The Golden Eagles, who enjoyed a 49-34 advantage in rebounds, shot 50 percent (10-for-20) from 3-point range.

Freshman Kevin Murphy led all scorers with 12 points, while junior Frank Davis added 11 points, five rebounds and three steals, and redshirt freshman Bassey Inameti had 10 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.

Union battled for the first five minutes, and trailed by just one point, 8-7, after Beau Brown scored a layup at the 14:47 mark.

Murphy hit the first of his three 3-pointers and Zach Bailey and Ra'Shun Bryant followed with layups to give Tech a 10-point lead, 17-7, over the next two minutes.

Neither team could find the range for about two minutes, before senior Zac Walker buries a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 20-7. Just 30 second later, Walker hit another trey, this one from the right wing, for a 23-7 lead and the Golden Eagles were off and running.

Those two 3-pointers by Walker were part of a 23-0 run by the Golden Eagles as Tech went on top by 24 points, 41-7 following a layup by Bailey with 6:34 to go in the half. The largest Tech lead of the first half was 28 points, after Murphy hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, and Kearney Demus answered with a 3-pointer with four seconds left to make it 42-17 at halftime.

The Golden Eagles maintained control throughout the second half, pushing the difference to 30 points midway through the period. With 4:37 to play, Muhammad made a couple free throws and the lead grew to 41. The largest margin came with 2:26 to play, when Inameti's dunk made it 49 points, at 85-36.

Among the 13 players who scored, walk-on Riley Hunley contributed four points, five rebounds, an assist and a steal in seven minutes of action. Every other player saw at least 10 minutes of playing time.

For Union, the top scorer was Kearney Demus with nine points. Beau Brown scored six and Antonio Murray had five points and five rebounds. James Johnson had four points and led the Bulldogs on the boards with six rebounds.