Golden Eagles earn program’s 799th win and clinch No. 7 seed in OVC Tourney

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Allison Price saved her best for last.

The senior point guard, one of four Golden Eagles playing in their final home game in Eblen Center, pumped in a career-high 17 points to go with six rebounds and five assists to lead Tennessee Tech to a 69-53 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Austin Peay Saturday night.

The victory was No. 799 in the program’s history, and also clinched the seventh seed in the upcoming OVC Tournament. Tech improved to 8-20 overall and 6-11 in the league, while APSU slipped to sixth place with a 13-14 overall record and 9-7 mark in the conference.

An 8-0 Tech run to close the first half pushed Tech into the lead, and set the stage for the Golden Eagle victory. Tech held a double-digit lead for most of the second half on their way to winning for the fourth time in the last six games in a late-season surge.

Senior Blair Bowens also reached double figures with 15 points, along with six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Tech got its trademark balanced scoring in the box score as Jasmine White netted nine, Vivian Nwosu scored eight, Meagan Lyons and Tacarra Hayes had seven and Simone Rutledge chipped in with six.

Hayes and Rutledge, both freshmen, provided critical play in the post when both White and Nwosu fell into foul trouble. Each finished with four, along with Rutledge.

The Lady Govs were paced by Ashley Herring with 20 points and eight rebounds, along with two steals, while April Thomas had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Nicole Jamen added eight points.

APSU also needed contributions from the bench, as Herring and Emily Pollock each fouled out and Jamen and Whitney Hanley had four fouls apiece.

Austin Peay overcame an early Tech lead and pulled on top at the 13:26 mark of the first half, 12-9, when Herring knocked down her first 3-pointer. The Lady Govs controlled the lead, going up by six for their largest margin, 23-17, when Hanley drained a trey with 8:34 to go.

The Golden Eagles came back to tie the contest at 25-25 on a layup by Price. APSU went up one, before the Golden Eagles scored the final eight points of the period to take a 33-26 lead into halftime.

Tech did a great job protecting the basketball, committing only six turnovers in the first half. That helped to overcome an 18-14 rebounding edge by the Lady Govs.

A 3-pointer by Blair Bowens allowed Tech to grow its lead to 11 points at 39-28. Four times after that, Austin Peay cut the lead to nine, but the best the Lady Govs could do was get within eight, 54-46, with 7:21 to go, on a 3-pointer by Herring.

An 8-2 Tech run, capped by a 3-pointer from the corner by Price, made it a 14-point game with 3:09 to play. Tech went 4-for-5 at the free throw line to maintain its margin, and White canned a 25-foot 3-pointer with 12 seconds to play for the final 16-point margin.

Tech forced 23 APSU turnovers while committing just 13 in the game. Rebounds were dead-even at 34 apiece.

The Golden Eagles have one game remaining in the regular season, a 2 p.m contest at Jacksonville State next Saturday (Feb. 28), as the Golden Eagles bid for their milestone 800th win.