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February 27, 2010

Golden Eagles control boards, win 77-61 to finish tied for fourth in OVC

Golden Eagle women return to Clarksville Tuesday for OVC Tournament contest

2010 OVC Women's Basketball Tournament Bracket (PDF)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech controlled the boards and got balanced scoring with four players in double figures on the way to a 77-61 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Jacksonville State Saturday night in the Eblen Center in the final regular season contest of the year.

With the victory, the Golden Eagles tied for fourth place in the OVC standings with an 8-10 league mark and went 14-15 overall. After the league applied its tie-breakers, Tech will be the No. 6 seed in the OVC Tournament beginning next week.

Tech held a 51-27 margin on the glass.

Sophomore Tacarra Hayes, ranked second in the OVC in scoring, led Tech with 18 points and also had seven rebounds and seven assists. She was joined in double digits by Rachel Glidden with 14, Kylie Cook with 13 points and eight rebounds, and Tiarra Hopper with 12 points and eight rebounds. Krystal Stirrup contributed eight points and seven rebounds.

Brittany Wiley topped JSU (9-20/6-12 OVC) with 21 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Karisma Boykin added 13 points. Zenobia Pitts had seven points and five boards, and three players finished with six points.

For the most part, the first half belonged to the Golden Eagles as they took a 41-30 lead into the dressing room at the break. Tech shot 42.4 percent in the opening half and held JSU to 34.5 percent accuracy, and the Golden Eagles owned a 27-13 advantage in rebounds.

The Golden Eagles quickly erased a 2-0 JSU lead in the opening minute and pulled on top, 6-2. The TTU lead grew to 13 with 9:47 remaining in the half on a 3-pointer by Kylie Cook, 26-13.

The Gamecocks fought back to within six a couple of times in the half, the last at 30-24 on a layup by Destiny Lane with 6:13 to play. Rachel Glidden answered with a 3-pointer to key a 9-2 Golden Eagle run, leading back to a 13-point margin over the final two minutes. A jumper by Brittany Wiley with 24 seconds finished the first half scoring and left the difference at 11.

The Gamecocks never really threatened in the second half as Tech wedged the game toward a 20-point difference in the first five minutes after halftime. The Golden Eagles’ largest lead was 25 points, coming with 4:15 to play at 72-47 on a basket by Kylie Cook.

By clinching the No. 6 seed, the Golden Eagles will play Tuesday evening at No. 3 Austin Peay in the first round of the OVC Tournament, with the winner advancing to Nashville for the tournament semifinals in the Sommet Center on Friday.