January 13, 2009

Golden Eagle women look to continue trend against UTM

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Recent history is on the side of the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team Thursday night when the Golden Eagles host UT Martin in Eblen Center. Tech has won 10 out of its last 11 games against the Skyhawks, including a two-game sweep a season ago.

Tipoff is at 5 p.m., followed by the men's game on national TV at 8 p.m.

The last time UT Martin came to Cookeville, Tech point guard Allison Price set a career high with 15 points and also led the team with seven assists and added six rebounds in the Golden Eagles' 66-47 victory. Tech also beat the Skyhawks in their own gym last season, taking a 73-64 win in Martin, when Kristina Tyler aided the Golden Eagles with 21 points and nine rebounds.

The Golden Eagles hold a 40-12 all-time advantage over Martin. UTM's last win over Tech came when the Skyhawks squeaked past Tech in 2007 in Martin, taking a 56-55 victory on a buzzer-beater, snapping Tech's eight-game win streak against Martin.

Both teams will be looking to climb the Ohio Valley Conference standings, as Tech has a 1-4 OVC record, and UT Martin is tied with Jacksonville State at the bottom of the league, at 0-5.

Tech is led this year by senior guard Blair Bowens, who is averaging 13.4 points per game, and has topped the 20-point plateau twice. Junior center Vivian Nwosu, a transfer from McLennan Community College in Texas, has come on strong lately, notching her first career double-double as a Golden Eagle last week with 10 points and 12 rebounds against Morehead State.

Senior guard Meagan Lyons is on the hunt for her 1,000th career point for the Golden Eagles. She has 971 points in her career, and is averaging 8.6 per game this season to go along with 1.9 steals and five rebounds. Price is fifth in the conference is assists, with 3.4 per game.

UT Martin will counter Tech with a couple of weapons of its own. Senior center Phyllisha Mitchell leads the league in rebounding with 13.3 boards per game, and is eighth in scoring, putting up 14.2 points per game. Yalonda Davis, a freshman guard from Biggersville, Miss., is averaging 8.3 points in her rookie campaign for the Skyhawks.

The Golden Eagles are looking to end a seven-game skid which has included two losses by four points or less. After opening up OVC play with an impressive 84-60 victory over Jacksonville State, Tech dropped its next four conference games. The Golden Eagles have been victims of late comebacks and cold shooting performances. Tech had late leads against both Memphis and Eastern Illinois before falling by slim margins.

The Skyhawks come into the game having dropped three straight, including a 64-62 loss to conference leader Murray State. UTM is looking for its first win on OVC play, having fallen to Eastern Kentucky, Austin Peay, Morehead State and Tennessee State in addition to Murray.

Tickets for Thursday's games are on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940. Tickets may also be purchased online by clicking here.