Tech slips past SEMO Redhawks on late 3-pointer by Kylie Cook

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman Kylie Cook buried a 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds remaining to lift Tennessee Tech to a 59-56 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Southeast Missouri Saturday night, capping a wild contest in the Eblen Center that included a 10-0 run by the home team and an 11-0 stretch for the visitors.

The Redhawks (8-13/3-8 OVC) stormed back from a double-figure deficit in the second half to take a lead, and the contest was up for grabs over the final five minutes.

SEMO freshman Patricia Mack made both free throws with 29 seconds remaining to tie the game at 56-56, and Tech worked the ball to Cook for the winning shot. A long 3-point try by the Redhawks at the buzzer fell short.

Now 7-3 at home this season, the Golden Eagles improved to 9-12 overall and 4-7 in OVC action. The nine victories matches last year’s entire season win total.

Sophomore Tacarra Hayes led Tech in scoring with 19 points, and added five rebounds and four assists. Kylie Cook finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Tech also got seven points and 10 rebounds from Krystal Stirrup.

SEMO had three players in double digits, led by Mack with 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocks shots. Adams had 11 points and six rebounds and Erika Lane finished with 10. Bianca Beck had seven points and six assists.

The Golden Eagles held a 48-29 advantage in rebounds.

Tech went 6:31 without a field goal in the second half and the Redhawks took advantage of the lull, going on a 15-2 run to erase a double-digit deficit and take a one-point lead. Tech was up by 12 points with 13:23 to play following two free throws by Hayes, but SEMO scored the next 11 points to make it a one-point Golden Eagle lead, 48-47, with eight minutes left.

Kellie Cook hit a jumper for Tech with 7:39 remaining to make it a 50-47 lead, the first basket for the home team since Cook’s jumper at the 14:10 mark. Adams then scored back-to-back baskets for the Redhawks, giving them a 51-50 lead and putting them on top for the first time since a 5-4 lead in the opening minutes.

Southeast Missouri was on top by a 54-52 count after Beck made one free throw with 4:36 to go and with 2:34 remaining Hayes hit a jumper to knot the score.

A basket by Stirrup with 1:56 left nudged Tech ahead by a 56-54 count before Mack’s two free throws.

The Golden Eagles took control of the first half with a 10-0 run that broke a 6-6 tie. After baskets by Stirrup and Hayes, Kylie Cook added back-to-back 3-pointers and Tech was on top 16-6 with 14:19 remaining.

The Redhawks cut the lead to single digits a couple of times before halftime, getting within seven points with 5:19 remaining on a basket by Patricia Mack. With 3:18 to play, Shelah Fields’ layup made it a nine-point Tech lead, 34-25, but the Golden Eagles added a layup by Hayes and two free throws by Katy Cooke for the 13-point edge at the intermission.

The Golden Eagles head out to “Death Valley” next week for games at Eastern Kentucky Thursday and Morehead State Saturday.