Golden Eagles cruise to road win at East Division foe Jacksonville State
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Just one week after upsetting the top team in the Ohio Valley Conference behind arguably its most complete game of the season, the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team (12-13, 5-5) put together another contest that could bear the same title, using an all-around group effort to knock off East Division foe Jacksonville State (10-16, 4-7) on the road Saturday morning, 72-60.
Four Golden Eagles scored in double figures and five more contributed offensively to the 12-point victory over the Gamecocks. Leading the way for Tech was senior Dennis Ogbe, who put up 15 points and eight rebounds. Ladon Carter enjoyed a great game across the board, scoring 12 points, pulling down eight boards, and blocking a career-high four shots.
Helping Ogbe and Carter dominate the post was junior big man Dwan Caldwell, who chipped in 11 points to give Tech an impressive 44-24 advantage in the paint.
The Gamecocks opened the game with a 3-pointer from the corner by Avery Moore, but the 3-0 lead would prove to be short lived as Tech used consistent play inside to grab a 35-28 lead heading into the half.
Tech extended that lead to as much as 19 points in the second half behind the brilliance of Alabama native DeOndre Haynes, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half. The redshirt freshman guard provided a noticeable spark off the bench for the second straight game, energizing the Golden Eagles on both sides of the ball.
Nearly half of the Gamecocks' 60 points came from the charity stripe as the Jacksonville State squad converted 26 of its 33 attempts. Sinking 10 of those free throws was Darion Rackley, who led JSU with 16 points. Also contributing to the Jax State offense were Brian Williams with 14 points, D.J. Felder with 13, and Avery Moore with 10.
Senior Jeremiah Samarrippas put together a solid night, scoring nine points while dishing out a game-high five assists. The Bartow, Fla. native sank a 3-pointer mid-way through the first half, giving him 13 consecutive contests with a made trey.
The Golden Eagles will return to action next Thursday, Feb. 13 when they host Eastern Kentucky (17-8, 7-4) in another crucial OVC East Division battle. The Colonels lost its Saturday showdown with Morehead State, falling 86-79 at home.