LIVINGSTON, Tenn. -- The fight in the Tigers was ferocious for the first six minutes Thursday night, but Tennessee Tech took the bite out of Hiwassee with a 15-2 first-half run that began converting a close game into a rout as the Golden Eagles notched a 113-42 victory in a game played at Livingston Academy.
Tech set a school record by forcing 38 Tiger turnovers. The
Golden Eagles tied a second school record with 26 steals.
On Sunday, the Golden Eagles (3-5 overall) will put their unbeaten (1-0) Ohio Valley Conference record on the line when they host Eastern Illinois in a regionally televised game. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m. in Eblen Center.
Six Golden Eagles reached double figures in the scoring column, headed by Jud Dillard's 19 points. He also had seven rebounds and four steals.
Liam McMorrow recorded his first double-double as Golden Eagle, posting a pair of career-highs with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Kevin Murphy also scored 15, followed by Chase Dunn (14), and both Dennis Ogbe and Alfred Jones (11 each).
Point guard Zac Swansey had a solid floor game with six points, seven assists and five steals. Zach Bailey (photo above right) had opposite numbers with five assists and seven steals, finishing one shy of the school mark for steals in a game.
The Golden Eagles had a 51-25 advantage in rebounds. Tech shot 59.5 percent (44-for-74) from the field.
Hiwassee had a pair of double-digit scorers. Zack Williams hit 15 and Adrian McClaurin added 11.
Hiwassee scored the first basket and was on top 4-1 a little over a minute into the contest. After knotting the game at 5-5 with a free throw by Alfred Jones, the Golden Eagles grabbed the lead for good on a basket by Dennis Ogbe with 17:41 to play in the period.
A jumper by Zack Williams pulled the Tigers within five, 14-9, with 13:45 to go before Tech's decisive run. It began with back-to-back 3-pointers by Kevin Murphy and ended when Liam McMorrow's jumper with 8:32 remaining made it 29-11.
Tech continued to add to the margin, heading to halftime up by 28 points, 47-19.
The largest lead of the night was 75 points following a Dunn
jumper with 56 seconds remaining, putting Tech on top 113-38. The
Tigers connected on the final two baskets for the final 71-point
margin, avoiding being tagged with the largest margin of victory by
the Golden Eagles (74).
The Golden Eagles were close to the most points scored under coach Mike Sutton, and the least points allowed under the ninth-year skipper. The 113 points scored was within four of the most by a Sutton-coached Tech squad, while the 42 was within two of the fewest allowed in his tenure.