Golden Eagles set to take on in-state opponent Belmont
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Three consecutive wins have the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team back at .500, and the Golden Eagles will look to move one game above that mark when they take on the Belmont Bruins this Saturday at 6 p.m.
TTU is coming off of a 59-56 victory over Southern Illinois last Saturday when freshman Kellie Cook had a career night for the Golden Eagles. The Madison, Ala., native posted personal bests of 23 points and nine rebounds and hit crucial buckets down the stretch to help Tech to its first three-game winning streak since the 2007-08 season.
The Golden Eagle bench also came up big against the Salukis, out-scoring SIU 20-5. Rachel Glidden poured in a trio of 3-pointers and Tiara Hopper added eight points and four rebounds off the bench.
The two teams in Saturday's contest are polar opposites in terms of returning players from a season ago when the Bruins handed Tech a 68-62 loss in Nashville. Belmont (6-2, 1-1 Atlantic Sun) returns four of its five starters and 11 of its 12 players from a team that finished 18-13 a season ago, while Tech (4-4, 1-0 Ohio Valley) returns none of its starters and just four players from the 2008-09 season.
Tech holds the upper-hand in the all-time series between the two squads, winning 18 of the 28 meetings since they first met in the 1970-71 season. At one point, the Golden Eagles rattled off 16 consecutive victories over the Bruins before Belmont halted that streak in 2007.
The Bruins come into Saturday's match-up winners of three of their last four, including a 73-64 win over Southern Mississippi on Wednesday. Belmont boasts a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging double figures in scoring. Haley Nelson is averaging a double-double through eight games, posting 13.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per contest.
Leading the way for Tennessee Tech is the duo of Tacarra Hayes and Cook. Both are averaging 14.8 points per game for the Golden Eagles, while Hayes is also leading the team in assists (20) and second on the team in rebounding (5.3 rebounds per game). Cook has led the team in scoring in four of its eight games while averaging a team-leading 32.4 minutes played per contest.
Saturday's game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip-off with the Tennessee Tech men's game to follow shortly after. Single game and season tickets are still available through the Golden Eagle ticket office by calling 372-3940 or visiting TTUsports.com.
Live stats can be accessed through TTUsports.com, while Web streaming will be available through OVCsports.tv.