Students invited to "Welcome Back Bash" in Eblen Center Thursday

Cash and prizes awarded to” most spirited” student groups

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech’s basketball teams are hoping to do some “Peay Picking” on Thursday night, Jan. 21, and the Golden Eagles will host a Welcome Back Bash for TTU students when they host the Austin Peay Governors in a doubleheader in Eblen Center.

To welcome students back to campus for their first home games following the long holiday break, Tech is giving free Tech Attack t-shirts to the first 1,000 students into the arena. In addition, each student will also receive a coupon for a free popcorn and Pepsi product at the game.

Students must enter through the north entrance and show a valid Tech ID. The gates will open at 4:30 p.m., and the women’s game tips off at 5:30 p.m.

As another special event at the games – and at all remaining home games in 2010 -- prizes will be given to the student group showing the most spirit and enthusiasm throughout the night, including a first place cash prize of $250. Students should bring a sign or banner or some other means of identifying their group.

“These are important games for both of our basketball teams, and we hope to give our coaches and players every advantage we can with enthusiastic support in the stands,” said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics.

“The atmosphere for OVC games can be amazing when we have a large, enthusiastic and noisy student crowd,” Wilson said. “We want to give a special invitation to each and every TTU student to attend this doubleheader and make a difference, especially our freshmen who may have never been to a Golden Eagle basketball game.

“We have seen and heard what a difference our student crowd can make, and we want to do whatever we can to develop that for the remainder of this season,” Wilson said.

Throughout the game, a variety of games and contests will also take place that will feature Tech students competing against one another for fun and prizes. The “Are You A Rock Star?” contest will give one fan the chance to qualify to compete in the season finale featuring $1,000 in prizes.

The basketball games between Tech and Austin Peay have become the Golden Eagles most heated rivalries throughout the years, and Thursday’s games promise to add to the tradition.

A year ago, the Tech women beat Austin Peay by 16 points in Eblen Center just one week before the Lady Govs captured the OVC Tournament and advanced to the NCAAs. In the men’s game last year, the Golden Eagles dropped an 86-80 nail-biter to the Govs in a series that has been nearly dead-even through 130 contests since 1941.

To add to the festivities, fans and students are reminded that the doubleheader against Austin Peay will be televised by WCTE TV. Fans are encouraged to bring signs appropriate to be shown on television.