Golden Eagles welcome Bluefield, look to stay perfect at home
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Following a seven-day layoff, the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team will return to the court on Wednesday when the Golden Eagles take on visiting Bluefield College at the Eblen Center. Game time for Tech's fourth home game this season is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
TTU (5-5, 1-0 OVC) has protected its home court so far this season, winning each of its first three games in Cookeville. Tech defeated Lipscomb in the home opener before taking down Southern Illinois and, most recently, Belmont in a pair of nail-biters. With a win against Bluefield, the Golden Eagles would have its first 4-0 start at home since the 2001-02 season when the team won its first eight games at the Eblen Center. A win would also mean that head coach Sytia Messer's squad would end 2009 with a record above .500.
Wednesday will mark the first-ever match-up between the two teams. Bluefield, which competes in the Appalachian Athletic Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), will enter the game with a 8-4 record and coming off of a 72-68 victory over Reinhardt; however, Lady Rams have gone 24 days without playing a game as that contest took place back on December 5.
The Lady Rams have played one fellow Ohio Valley Conference team this season as they dropped an exhibition game to Tennessee State, 75-50, in November.
The Golden Eagles are coming off a 78-58 loss at St. Louis, which snapped Tech's four-game winning streak. Sophomore Tacarra Hayes led the charge for TTU, posting a career-high 22 points along with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Hayes has been the offensive catalyst for the Golden Eagles through most of Tech's first 10 games this season. The 5-foot-7 guard leads the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game - second in the Ohio Valley Conference - and also is pacing the team with 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
Other Golden Eagles ranking in the top-10 in the OVC include freshman Kellie Cook and sophomores Rachel Glidden and Simone Rutledge. Cook, the leading freshman scorer in the conference, is averaging the third most points per game (13.4) while playing the fourth-most number of minutes per contest (32.8) in the league. Glidden has come on strong over the past five games and is sixth in the conference in 3-pointers made per game (1.5), while Rutledge is grabbing 3.2 offensive rebounds per game, which is sixth in the OVC.
Wednesday's game will tip off at 5:30 p.m. 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.