Golden Eagles sizzle in topping Lady Govs by 22 points


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech misfired on its first seven 3-point attempts Saturday night, but once they found the range the Golden Eagles were deadly, making eight of their next nine attempts and finishing the game going  13-for-24.

By scorching the nets from long range, coach Jim Davis’ team was able to claim a 73-51 victory over Austin Peay in Eblen Center, allowing the Golden Eagles to gain some ground in the East Division of the Ohio Valley Conference women’s basketball race.

Tech improved to 11-9 overall and 5-2 within the league, pulling to within one game of leader Belmont and tied for second with Eastern Kentucky. Austin Peay, playing in the West Division, fell to 5-14 overall and 0-7 in the OVC.

Seniors Kellie Cook and Jala Harris were the snipers who lit the fuse Saturday. Cook was 5-for-6 in the first half and finished the game 7-for-9 for a game-high 23 points. She also tied for the team lead with six rebounds as the Golden Eagles owned a 36-24 advantage on the boards.

Harris, meanwhile, was 5-for-6 from long range and contributed 17 points and eight assists. Diamond Henderson also reached double figures in scoring, adding 12 points.

Meghan Bussabarger topped APSU with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Leslie Martinez had a solid all-around game, finishing with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists.

A bomb from the corner by Cook made it a 10-5 Tech lead early,  and the Golden Eagles took their margin up to 13 points, 21-8, as Cook hit three more. Cook was 5-for-6 from the distance in the first half and went to the break with 15 points.

But Austin Peay fought back with a couple of 3-pointers, one by Nicole Olszewski and one from Martinez, and the Lady Govs were back within five points, 21-16, with 6:02 to play in the half.

APSU got within four, 26-22, with 2:23 left on a layup by Jenifer Nwokocha, and again with 36 second left when a layup by Martinez made it 30-26. Henderson’s 3-pointer from the corner with three seconds to play too it to halftime with a seven-point difference.

Martinez scored the first two baskets of the second half, and following two free throws from Nwochoka, the Lady Govs were within one point, 33-32, with 15:42 to play. APSU got within one two more times, and each time the Golden Eagles had an answer, twice from Molly Heady and once from T’Keyah Williams.

Cook knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers and Harris added another, and the lead suddenly was back to a dozen, 48-36, with 10:11 remaining.

Tech slowly added to its lead over the next six minutes, eventually making it a 20-point lead with 2:06 to play. The final 22-point edge was the largest lead of the game.

Tech finished the game hitting 53.2 percent from the floor (25-for-47) and 54.2 percent from outside the arc. Austin Peay was 19-for-55 for 34.5 percent overall, and went 3-for-21 from long range for 14.3 percent. Both teams were 10-for-12 at the free throw line.

Tech hosts Murray State Monday night in Eblen Center, with tipoff at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit or call the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center at (931) 372-3940.