Western Kentucky rebounds to claim 71-58 win over Golden Eagles

Western Kentucky rebounds to claim 71-58 win over Golden Eagles

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Long-time women's basketball rivals Tennessee Tech and Western Kentucky met for the 38th time Tuesday night in Diddle Arena and the host Hilltoppers rebounded from an early season loss to the Golden Eagles to claim a 71-58 win and split the season series.

Rebounded is precisely what WKU did, not only in the series but in the game itself. The 'Toppers owned a 44-26 advantage on the boards, including 17 offensive grabs that helped key the victory.

Tech (6-13) had earned a 10-point win in Cookeville in December.

Senior Keshia Mosley led a strong inside game by WKU (6-12), shooting 9-for-11 from underneath the basket to score 22 points. LaTeira Owens added a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds .

The Golden Eagles had four players score in double figures, led by Jala Harris and Tacarra Hayes with 14 each. Brittany Darling fouled out with 13 points and eight rebounds and Molly Heady added 10 pints.

In addition to the rebounding edge, WKU also shot with m ore accuracy, hitting 54.5 percent from the field while the Golden Eagles connected on 35.6 percent.

The contest was tied three times and the lead changed hands twice in the first eight minutes. A jumper by Jala Harris tied the contest at 12-12 with 12:22 to play in the first half, before Alexis Govan scored a layup 30 seconds later to put WKU in the lead for good.

The 'Toppers went on top by as many as seven a couple of times, and Tech kept cutting the lead back to a single possession. At halftime, the Golden Eagles were within five points, 32-27.

Tech pulled to within one point at 34-33 on a basket by Hayes with 17:29 to play in the game, and were back within one at 36-36 a minute later on a pair of charity tosses by Hayes.

The Golden Eagles continued to hang in there over the next five minutes, and were still within five with 8:31 remaining. That's when WKU used a sudden 6-0 spurt to open a double-digit lead, converting back-to-back steals by Govan into transition layups and Tech found itself trailing by 11 points, 56-45, with 7:53 left.

The lead stayed in double figures nearly all the way to the final buzzer, with Tech pulling within nine only once. Western Kentucky, which shot just 43.5 percent at the free throw line for the game (10-for-23) had a stretch where the Hilltoppers hit 5-for-6 to maintain their advantage during the final minute-and-a-half.

The game was the final non-conference action of the season for the Golden Eagles, who head into 11 consecutive Ohio Valley Conference games including six at home. The run begins Saturday with a 5:30 p.m. tipoff against Southeast Missouri in Eblen Center, the opening game of a doubleheader.

The Golden Eagles will host Jacksonville State on Monday at 7 p.m. in the team's "blizzard" game.

For tickets or further information, please call (931) 372-3940 or visit the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center.