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November 18, 2008

Golden Eagles top Lipscomb women with balanced scoring and defense

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Balanced scoring with four players in double figures, a huge command on the glass and aggressive defense helped the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team claim a satisfying 72-55 non-conference victory at Lipscomb University Tuesday night.

Senior Blair Bowens led the Golden Eagles (1-1) to their first win of the season with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

"This was a very good team effort," said third-year head coach Amy Brown. "We had a lot of people step up, not only in scoring but our defense was very good.

"Our pressure defense out of our guards right now is phenomenal, and we're pushing the ball up the floor," she added.

Freshman Krystal Stirrup earned her first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, helping Tech to a 48-37 edge on the boards.

"Krystal Stirrup is going to be an unbelievable player," said Brown. "She's such an awesome talent."

Sophomore Jasmine White added 10 points and eight of those rebounds. Vivian Nwosu was the fourth Golden Eagle in twin digits with 10.

In addition to that foursome, Tech also got eight points off the bench by freshman Tacarra Hayes, seven points and four assists from senior Allison Price, and six points and four assists from senior Meagan Lyons.

"We're really displaying a team concept right now, and it's because we have some depth on the bench," Brown said.

Tech led from start to finish, building an early double-digit lead. Tech didn't allow a Bison field goal for nearly five minutes and raced out to a 14-3 advantage.

After Lipscomb trimmed the difference to four points, 16-12, the Golden Eagles went on an 11-2 run to make it 27-14. At that point, Tech also owned a 21-13 advantage in rebounds.

With 10 seconds to play in the half and Tech's lead down to six, White drove through the lane, took a pass from Price, drew a foul and hit a layup and free throw. That three-point play sent Tech to the break with a 36-27 advantage. The nine-point scoring margin was mirrored by Tech's nine-rebound lead at halftime, 26-17.

Jenna Bartsokas, who led Lipscomb with 20 points, converted a three-point play early in the second half to make it a seven-point difference, 37-30, but the Bisons would never get any closer.

In fact, Tech scored the next six points to regain a double-digit margin and the lead never shrunk below 10. The largest Tech margin was 19 points, 65-46, with 5:40 to play following a layup by Lyons.

In addition to Bartsokas, Miriam McAlister also scored in double figures for Lipsomb (0-2) with 10 points. Tech's defense limited Lipscomb to 32.8 percent shooting (19-for-58) from the field, including 2-for-12 from long range.

The Golden Eagles pay a return visit to Nashville for their next game, facing Belmont University Saturday night at the Curb Events Center at 7 p.m.

? The game featured two women's basketball programs that are each sneaking up on milestones - Lipscomb is 12 victories from achieving their 600th all-time win, while Tech needs eight more to hit the 800-win plateau.
? It was an historic night for Tech basketball, as the two teams were playing the first road non-conference doubleheader in 26 years. The last time occurred on Dec. 4, 1982, when both teams played in a twinbill at Auburn.