COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Start spreading the news, Tennessee Tech is hitting the Big Apple. The Golden Eagles are playing in the St. John's Chartwell's Holiday Classic in one of the toughest fields in the country. The field includes previously ranked St. John's University, St. Mary's College (Calif.) and #14/17 UCLA.
Tennessee Tech (5-4) vs. St. John's (4-3)
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012
11:00 a.m. CT
Carnesecca Arena - Queens, N.Y.
Tennessee Tech (5-4) vs. St. Mary's (6-2) or UCLA (5-1)
Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012
11:00 a.m. CT or 1:00 p.m. CT
Carnesecca Arena - Queens, N.Y.
Setting the Stage:
Of the three teams in the St. John's Chartwell's Holiday Classic, the Golden Eagles have only faced UCLA prior to this weekend. In the ever-changing conferences around the country, St. John's has remained a staple in the BIG East. Ranked just one week ago in the polls, St. John's has battled in the first part of the season, but so have the Golden Eagles. Both teams are just one game over .500, but the Golden Eagles are on a two-game winning streak. Tech has the momentum off two very good wins over Samford and Western Carolina.
It's been 11 years since the Golden Eagles have defeated a BIG East team. Tech beat Seton Hall in 2001, but has not had much success since.
Coming from the West Coast are UCLA and St. Mary's College. Tech and UCLA battled last season in the WNIT Preseason tournament when the Golden Eagles flew to California Nov. 13, 2011. The Purple and Gold lost 74-52.
A Glance at the 2012-13 Golden Eagles
The Golden Eagles are 5-4, and on their second 2-0 winning streak of the season. Tech is led by sophomore guard Diamond Henderson. Henderson is averaging 16.9 points per game and, in the win against Western Carolina, scored 10 straight points, changing the game for the Golden Eagles. Jala Harris continues to be Tech's most balanced player, scoring 9.6 points per game and dishing out a team high 3.3 assists per game.
Joining Henderson and Harris around the perimeter are Lashay Davis, and Kellie Cook, each averaging 7.6 and 5.9 points per game respectively. Davis leads the team with 16 three's this season, with Kellie Cook scoring at least two three's in all but four games this season. Kellie's sister, Kylie, is shotting 45.5% from behind the arc this season, and 46.9 % from the floor, making her Tech's most accurate shooter.
A Look at the Red Storm
St. John's enters the weekend riding a two-game losing streak. The Red Storm have fallen to Boston University and Duke in the past week. Leading the Red Storm are Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith, averaging 16.7 and 16.5 points per game respectively. Both also lead the Red Storm in rebounds averaging 9.8 and 6.3 rebounds per game.
A Look at the Bruins
UCLA has played a near-perfect season, with its only loss coming against No. 5 Notre Dame. The Bruins have faced three ranked opponents, including #11 Oklahoma and thier most recent win against #12 Texas. The Bruins are led by Markel Walker and Alyssia Brewer. Walker averages 16.3 points with Brewer adding 11.2 points per game.
A Look at the Gaels
St. Mary's has won its last five games, including a win over fellow Tennessee school UT Chattanooga on Nov. 24. The Gaels are led by Jackie Nared, who averages 18.6 points per game. Danielle Mauldin is a dual threat, averaging a double-double this season, with 13.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.
For complete gamenotes, please click here.