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Golden Eagles need overtime, but finally subdue Redhawks, 60-57

Next game features a "blizzard" Monday vs. Jacksonville State

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Sophomore Molly Heady ignored the fact that she was playing with four fouls, taking control in overtime with back-to-back-to-back baskets that eventually lifted Tennessee Tech to a 60-57 Ohio Valley Conference victory over pesky Southeast Missouri Saturday night in Eblen Center.

It was a satisfying win for coach Sytia Messer’s squad, which held the Redhawks scoreless for nearly five minutes to finish regulation and force the overtime period. Tech (7-13/3-3 OVC) spent most of the game playing catch-up, and did it again in overtime.

SEMO (4-16/1-6 OVC) pulled ahead early in the extra session, 51-50, on a free throw but Heady put Tech on top, 52-51. Bianca Beck hit two free throws and Brittany Harriel made a layup to give the visitors a 55-52 lead.

Heady then scored a layup followed by a jumper to push Tech ahead, 56-55, and Briana Jordan’s layup made it a 58-55 TTU lead. Brittany Darling and Jordan each made one free throw to open the lead to 60-55 with six seconds left, before Baile Roberts hit a layup at the buzzer for the final margin.  

Heady led Tech with 14 points, shooting 7-for-10 from the floor. Three other Golden Eagles scored in double figures, with Darling getting 13 points and six rebounds, Tacarra Hayes adding 11 points and four assists, and Jordan finishing with 10 points and four assists.

SEMO had two players in twin figures, paced by Harriel with 12 and Courtney Shiffer with 10 points. Shiffer also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Roberts finished with nine points and eight rebounds while Karley Evans added eight points and seven rebounds.

After shooting 35 percent in the first half and 42 percent in the second, the Golden Eagles hit 4-for-6 in the overtime period.  SEMO shot 44 percent in the opening half and 40 percent in the second, but managed just 2-for-9 in the overtime.

The Skyhawks owned a 44-35 advantage in rebounds, while Tech had the edge in turnovers, forcing 18 by SEMO and committing 11

The Redhawks used an 11-0 run to go from being down three points (15-12) to building an eight-point lead (23-15). A driving layup by Harris halted the run but SEMO used a 3-pointer by Evans and a putback by Roberts to open its lead to 11 points, 28-17, with two minutes to play.

Tech notched the final five points of the half, a jumper by Hayes and a 3-pointer by Kellie Cook with one second left on the clock, the only trey of the game for the Golden Eagles (1-for-7). The Redhawks took a 28-22 lead into halftime.

Tech opened the second half on a 10-2 run to tie the game at 32-32. The contest was tied three more times over the next few minutes before SEMO got a layup by Hariel and a 3-pointer by Bradshaw to regain a five-point edge with 6:30 to go.

Down by four heading down the stretch, the Golden Eagles held SEMO scoreless over the final 4:40 and battled back to tie it one more time. A layup by Molly Heady made it 50-50 with 1:41 to play.

Neither team was able to break the tie, with SEMO missing three shots and Tech missing its only attempt, pushing the game into overtime.

Tech closes its brief homestand with a Monday night contest against Jacksonville State. Tipoff in Eblen Center is at 7 p.m. and gates will open at 6 p.m.

Monday’s game will feature a blizzard from Tech’s fans following the first basket of the game by the Golden Eagles. For tickets or information, please visit or call the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center at (931) 372-3940.