January 27, 2010

Golden Eagles look for redemption against Eastern Illinois

$250 cash prize to most spirited TTU student group!

Game Notes (PDF)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men’s basketball team will go for its third consecutive win on Thursday night as they host Eastern Illinois at 7:30 p.m. The Golden Eagles got back-to-back wins last week against OVC rivals Austin Peay and Tennessee State behind two rowdy crowds in the Eblen Center.

The Golden Eagles will be looking for redemption against EIU after the Panthers topped Tech 97-93 in overtime in Charleston, Ill., earlier this month. Tech is 10-10 on the season, and enters the contest at 4-5 in the OVC. Eastern Illinois enters the contest at 5-5 in the OVC and 11-9 overall.

Tech is shooting the ball exceptionally well from all over the court. The Golden Eagles rank second in the OVC in both field goal percentage (48.3) and 3-point field goal percentage (40.5). Tech also ranks second in the league in scoring offense, averaging 76.2 points per game.

Two big reasons why the Golden Eagles have had so much success shooting the ball are junior Alfred Jones and freshman Jud Dillard. Jones is leading the league shooting 69.5 percent from the field, and is coming off a 5-for-5 shooting performance in Tech’s win over Tennessee State. Jones is averaging 8.6 points to go along with a team-leading 5.6 rebounds per game.

Dillard is fourth in the OVC, shooting 59.8 from the field, and was just named the OVC’s Freshman of the Week after hitting 16-of-18 field goals in Tech’s two wins, averaging 17.0 points per game for the week. Dillard went 11-of-12 from the field against Austin Peay, scoring a career-high 23 points. His 11-for-12 shooting performance was the third best of any NCAA player in a game this season.

“We’re just trying to get good shots within the framework of what we do,” TTU head coach Mike Sutton said. “We like to play fast, and I’ve been happy that we’ve been able to shoot the ball well.”

Despite the production from Dillard and Jones, Tech’s two most lethal scorers are senior Frank Davis and sophomore Kevin Murphy. Davis is currently fifth in the OVC in scoring, averaging 15.1 points per game. He needs just nine more points to reach the 1,000 point mark for his career. Davis would become just the seventh active player in the OVC to reach that mark. Frank is also currently ranked fifth in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, hitting 46.7 of his shots from beyond the arc. Murphy is averaging 15.0 points per game for Tech, and has reached double-figures in scoring in 13 straight games.

The Panthers are just a half-game ahead of Tech in the OVC standings. Tyler Laser leads the team in scoring with 14.3 points per game, while Cisse Ousmane is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.6 boards per game. Tech and EIU combine to have the four best free throw shooters in the OVC. Elijah Muhammad is tops in the league at 86.2 percent while Frank Davis is third at 84.1 percent for Tech. EIU has Jeremy Granger who is hitting 84.8 percent of his free throws, second best in the OVC, and Tyler Laser, who is fourth in the OVC at 83.6 percent from the line.

Tech owns an 18-12 advantage in the all-time series. The Golden Eagles won four straight games against EIU before dropping the last two.

The most spirited Tennessee Tech student group represented at the game will receive a $250 cash prize. Groups should bring an identifying banner or sign in order to be eligible.

For ticket information please contact the Golden Eagle athletics ticket office at (931) 372-3940 or visit TTUsports.com.