November 18, 2010

Hopper leads Tech to road win at Lipscomb, 2-0 start to season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Sophomore Tiara Hopper had a double-double by halftime, finishing with 18 points and 16 rebounds to help lift the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team to an 81-65 non-conference road victory at Lipscomb Thursday night in Allen Arena. Hopper was one of four Golden Eagles in double digits for coach Sytia Messer's squad.

Hopper was 7-for-9 from the field and 4-for-6 at the free throw line and added three steals in the victory. Sophomore Kellie Cook netted 14 points while juniors Tacarra Hayes and Rachel Glidden scored 11 points each.

Jenna Bartsokas led the Bison (0-2) with 20 points while Anna Bowers added 15 points. Also in double figures for the home team, Hannah Phillips scored 10.

The Golden Eagles head back to Nashville Sunday to face another A-Sun foe with a 3 p.m. contest at Belmont University.

The Golden Eagles connected on 9-for-21 from long range (42.9 percent), led by Glidden's 3-for-6 and Kellie Cook's 3-for-7 showing.  Tech shot nearly 50 percent overall for the game, going 36-for-54 (48.1 percent). The Golden Eagles claimed a narrow, 41-40 edge on the boards.

Lipscomb managed just 28.8 percent (19-for-66) shooting for the game including 23.8 percent (5-for-21) from beyond the arc.

The Golden Eagles never trailed in the contest, and allowed Lipscomb to tie the game just once at 2-2 in the opening two minutes. A 3-pointer by Krystal Stirrup bumped the Golden Eagles into a 5-2 lead which they never surrendered. Molly Heady's 3-pointer with 10:24 to play in the first half gave Tech its first double-digit lead at 21-11, and the largest difference in the opening 20 minutes came with 1:24 to play when Brittany Darling's layup made it 39-28 for an 11-point margin.

Phillips hit a jumper with 13 minutes remaining to finish a 7-1 run and pull Lipscomb to within seven points, 45-38, but that was as close as the hosts would get as Tech quickly regained its double-figure advantage on a 3-pointer by Kellie Cook.

Twice Tech went on top by 17 points, and the largest lead of the evening was 18 points when Kylie Cook's two free throws made it 81-63 with 52 seconds to play.

Tech's bench outscored the Lipscomb bench, 45-22, and the Golden Eagles had a huge advantage in points off turnovers, 27-15.