Davis, Muhammad pace Tech to year-ending win over Union, 95-46

Davis, Muhammad pace Tech to year-ending win over Union, 95-46

Seniors set tone for coach Mike Sutton's squad to cap 2009 on high note

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men’s basketball team has won three games in a row following a 95-46 triumph Wednesday night over Union College in Eblen Center. Coming up Saturday, coach Mike Sutton’s squad looks to make it four straight when it returns to Ohio Valley Conference play with a visit to Southeast Missouri.

On Wednesday night, Union took an early seven-point lead but once the Golden Eagles got untracked it quickly turned into a lopsided contest. With 95 points against the Bulldogs, Tech (6-6) has averaged nearly 92 points in its last four home contests.

Senior Frank Davis led Tech in scoring with 23 points, just one short of his career-high, and also added five rebounds and three assists. He went 5-for-9 from long range.

Several other Golden Eagles did record career-high numbers in the game. Senior point guard Elijah Muhammad scored 17 points for a career-high effort, and added six assists and three steals. Sophomore Bassey Inameti’s (photo below) 14 points and four blocked shots were both career-bests numbers, and freshman Terrell Barnes had career-highs of 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. Sophomore walk-on Riley Hunley had career numbers in points (4), rebounds (7), assists (5) and steals (2).

In addition to Davis, Muhammad and Inameti, sophomore Kevin Murphy also scored in double digits with 15 points and snatched a career-best three steals.

Tech shot 50.7 percent for the game and 43.5 percent (10-for-23) from long distance. The Golden Eagles also owned a 50-28 rebound advantage.

Union had balanced scoring, getting eight points from five different players and six from a sixth. Dan Penick led the way with eight points and five rebounds, while Darrel Jackson, Payton Ponzer, Beau Brown and Shawn Hadley also scored eight.

The Bulldogs shot 30.9 percent from the field.

Ponzer hit a 3-pointer for a 7-0 Bluefield lead, and Jackson’s 3-pointer a few seconds later made it a 10-3 Bulldog edge. That set the stage for the Golden Eagles to run through a 23-2 stretch to take control.

Muhammad scored five straight points and Jud Dillard hit a lay up with 13:43 on the clock to tie the contest at 12-12. Davis broke the tie and both Inameti and Murphy converted three-point plays.

Up by 13 with 7:26 remaining, the Golden Eagles had a 16-0 run eight consecutive from Davis and 3-pointers by Murphy and Muhammad, making it a 44-15 Tech lead. The Golden Eagles were up 46-21 at the intermission.

Tech’s lead grew to 30 in the first two minutes of the second half and the Golden Eagles were on top by 41 points with 11:12 remaining. The final 49-point margin was the largest lead of the contest.

Following their swing to Southeast Missouri and Eastern Illinois this weekend, the Golden Eagles get back to Eblen Center next Thursday to host Morehead State in an OVC contest at 7:30 p.m., the second game of a doubleheader.

Tickets for Tech’s game against Morehead State, and all remaining contests in 2009-2010, are available at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940. The ticket office remains closed through Sunday for the holidays, and will reopen Monday at 8 a.m.