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First-place Tech improves to 7-1 in OVC
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech opened an important four-game road trip by fending off a stern challenge from Austin Peay Thursday night in the Dunn Center. The Golden Eagles held onto first place in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 69-65 victory over the Lady Govs.
Entering the game just one game back in the tight OVC race,
Austin Peay harbored hopes of knocking off coach Sytia Messer's
squad in the first meeting between the two in-state rivals and
moving into a tie at the top of the standings.
Instead, juniors Tacarra Hayes and Rachel Glidden led the way to the four-point win. Hayes finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Her night included a 9-for-11 effort at the free throw line.
Glidden, meanwhile, made all eight of her free throws on the way to 16 points. She was a perfect 6-for-6 in the final 35 seconds as Tech kept the rallying Lady Govs just out of reach.
Freshman Molly Heady added six points and a team-high eight rebounds while Kellie Cook scored eight.
Austin Peay had four players in double figures, led by Jasmine Rayner with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Nicole Olszewski scored 15 points, while Whitney Hanley and Brooke Faulkner added 12 each. MeganBussabarger chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds.
Tech improved to 13-4 overall and 7-1 in the OVC. APSU saw its record slip to 6-13 overall and 5-3 within the conference.
Austin Peay went on top early, leading for most of the first 10 minutes of the game. Tech broke a 17-17 tie with a free throw by Hayes with 10:30 remaining in the first half, never trailed after that. Shortly afterward, the Golden Eagles pieced together a 9-0 run to build a 29-20 lead.
The Lady Govs got back within four just before halftime, and that was the Golden Eagle margin at the break, 33-29.
Tech tried to slip away in the second half, getting a six-point lead and later taking a seven-point advantage. But the Lady Govs didn't surrender. Austin Peay came back to tie the game at 51-51 with 6:04 to play on a layup by Rayner.
Two free throws by Kylie Cook broke that deadlock and Austin Peay never caught up. The home team did get within one, 62-61, but Glidden poured through her free throws down the stretch to secure the road win.
The second game on the four-game road stretch comes Saturday evening in Nashville as Tech visits Tennessee State for a 5:15 p.m. contest in the Gentry Center.