COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Meagan Lyons was recognized
during pregame ceremonies for reaching 1,000 career points. Early
in the second half, senior Blair Bowens joined Lyons in the
1,000-Point Club, and the flashy pair helped Tennessee Tech claim
an exciting 82-64 come-from-behind victory over Eastern Kentucky
Thursday night in Eblen Center in Ohiol Valley Conference
women’s basketball action.
Down by 12 in the first half, Tech stormed back to grab the lead before halftime, then expanded it to double digits in the second half with a balanced scoring attack and some timely rebounding.
Four players scored in double figures for Tech, led by Bowens, who tied her career-high with 27 points, and Lyons with 15. Freshman Tacarra Hayes added 14 points and Vivian Nwosu scored 12 important points to help Tech snap a five-game losing streak.
The Golden Eagles, 5-18 overall, improved to 3-9 in the Ohio Valley Conference and climbed into a tie in the standings with Eastern Kentucky. The Lady Colonels left town with a 6-15 overall mark and a 3-9 record in the league.
Freshman Kayla Drake led EKU with 23 points, while sophomore Nadia Mossong added 18 points.
The first 10 minutes of the game were pretty forgettable for the Golden Eagles, who fell behind by a dozen points under an onslaught of EKU 3-pointers and a complete domination on the boards by the visitors.
But the next 10 minutes were more than memorable for the Golden Eagles, who completed their amazing comeback with a 3-pointer by Bowens with 1:13 remaining in the half to put Tech on top 30-29.
After trailing for nearly 19 minutes, Tech took a 32-31 lead into halftime.
EKU was on target to open the game – that is, Drake and Mossong were on target. Drake hit three of her first four 3-point attempts to score nine points and Mossong was 2-for-3 from outside the arc to account for six points as the Lady Colonels raced out to a 15-5 lead in the first five minutes.
The lead hit 12 points with 10 minutes left in the half, 23-11, and EKU owned a 12-4 advantage in rebounds during that span. The Lady Colonels were 8-for-14 in the first 10 minutes and Tech was 4-for-14.
But Tech battled back. The Golden Eagle defense forced four missed EKU shots in a row and held the Lady Colonels without a basket for more than five minutes. At the same time, Tech went 3-for-4, cutting the gap to 24-17.
Following a layup by Mossong with 3:34 to play to give EKU a 28-21 lead, Hayes started a 9-1 run with a layup. Hayes and Bowens each made two free throws, then Bowens nailed the 3-pointer to put Tech ahead.
“We did get down in the first half, but we kept our composure, and were able to get back in the game,” Bowens said. “We did a real good job of taking care of the basketball.”
Tech built its lead to a dozen (48-36), and the nearest EKU would get after that was seven points (53-47) with 9:29 to go. The Golden Eagles kept their lead in double digits, with the largest margin being 19 a couple times late in the contest.
One key stat in the game – Tech had 18 points points off of 22 EKU turnovers, while the Lady Colonels managed just one point off 14 Tech turnovers.
Bowens finished the game 6-for-11 from the field, including 5-for-8 from long range. She was 10-for-10 at the free throw line. She will receive a commemorative ball Saturday prior to the introduction of starting lineups.
The Golden Eagles remain at home for their next game, hosting Morehead State Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Morehead dropped an OVC game at Jacksonville State Thursday night.