February 1, 2012

Golden Eagles edged in overtime by SIUE Cougars

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Melia Duncan’s floater on the left baseline with 5.6 seconds to play in overtime lifted visiting SIU Edwardsville to a 64-62 Ohio Valley Conference road victory at Tennessee Tech Wednesday night, snapping the Golden Eagles’ winning streak after four games.

Jazmin Hill scored a layup with five seconds remaining in regulation to force the overtime for the Cougars, who swept both games from Tech in the season’s series.

It was a battle between two teams tied for third place in the OVC standings, with SIUE (13-8 overall) edging ahead with a 7-3 league record. It was SIUE’s third straight win.

The Golden Eagles (10-14 overall), who were playing their third game in five days, saw their OVC mark slip to 6-4.  

The contest was the last home game for Tech for nearly two full weeks, but Tech’s busy stretch continues with a Saturday afternoon game at Jacksonville State (2 p.m. CT), followed by a visit to Austin Peay Monday night (7 p.m. CT).

Hill led SIUE with 19 points as she went 5-for-8 from long range. Raven Berry scored a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and also had a team-high five assists. Duncan finished with eight points and four assists.

Tech’s balanced effort was topped by Jala Harris with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists while Tacarra Hayes added 12 points. Five other players netted between five and nine points, including Molly Heady with nine and Brittany Darling with eight points and eight rebounds.

Tech clawed its way ahead in the overtime, 59-58, on a 3-pointer by Kellie Cook, but Berry hit two free throws and SIUE was back ahead, 60-59. The game was tied again at 60-60 and again at 62-62, the sixth tie of the game coming on a layup by Heady with 1:35 to play.

Each team missed a shot in the next minute of play, before Duncan’s basket decided things.

After the Cougars had surged to a three-point lead, 52-49, on a layup by Berry with 4:34 remaining in regulation, Harris scored six straight to push Tech back on top, 55-52. A layup by Duncan with 1:16 left made it a one-point game, and Hayes’ stood her ground defensively under the basket and forced a miss by Berry with 19 seconds left.

Hayes hit one of two free throws with 12 seconds to go to make it 56-54, and Hill’s coast-to-coast layup tied the contest with four seconds to play to force overtime.

SIUE scooted out to a 3-0 lead to start the contest, but Tech bounced back with a 13-2 run which was started when Heady scored the first five points. Darling netted three baskets in the run and the Golden Eagles were up 13-5 with 11:32 to play in the half.

The TTU lead grew as large as 15 points on a jumper by Hayes at the 8:00 mark and stayed in double figures for the next six minutes. A jumper by Berry with 2:01 to go trimmed it to a single-digit difference, 31-23, and nobody scored again down the stretch to halftime.