COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A 14-1 first-half run sparked by Lashay Davis allowed Tennessee Tech to capture control of the game and the Golden Eagles maintained ownership to the final buzzer for a convincing 79-52 Ohio Valley Conference victory Saturday night over Jacksonville State in Eblen Center.
The Golden Eagles (14-10/8-3 OVC) climbed to within one-half game of first-place Belmont in the OVC East Division. Tech is tied with Eastern Kentucky for second in the division with the third-best record in the league.
Up by two points with 8:13 remaining after the Gamecocks
(0-24/0-12 OVC) had rallied to within 13-11, the Golden Eagles used
four consecutive 3-pointers by Davis to move on top, 27-12, less
than four minutes later.
Tech was able to build its first-half margin to 21 points by halftime and never looked over its shoulder.
Davis led Tech with a career-high 19 points, draining 5-for-7 from beyond and going 7-for-10 for the game. She also topped Tech with four steals.
Diamond Henderson scored in double digits for the seventh consecutive contest, also netting 19 in the game along with a team-high five assists and adding three steals. T’Keyah Williams added 14 points, hitting 4-for-4 from the field and all six free throws on a perfect night of shooting.
Miranda Cantrell was the top scorer for JSU with 13 points, while Danielle Vaughn had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Candace Morton also hit double figures with 11 points.
Jala Harris hit a 3-pointer to get the scoring started and Kellie Cook made back-to-back 3-pointers and Tech was off to a sudden 9-0 lead. But Jacksonville State battled back with a pair of jumpers and layups from Danielle Vaughn and Candace Morton to trim the deficit. A free throw by Sydney Brown pulled the Gamecock women as close as they would get, 13-11, before Davis’ barrage of long bombs blew the game open.
Tech hit 42. 4 percent for the game (25-for-59), including
11-for-21 from long distance. Tech was 18-for-27 from the free
throw line for 66.7 percent.
JSU shot 42.9 percent (18-for-42) from the field but managed just 1-for-9 from long ragne. The Gamecocks hits 62.5 percent (15-for-24) at the charity line. JSU also owned a 36-31 edge in rebounds, but had 33 turnovers in the contest.
The Gamecocks outscored Tech in the paint, 35-14, but Tech owned a 36-11 edge in scoring points off turnovers. And, the Tech bench outscored the Gamecock bench, 44-11.
The Golden Eagles remained in the chase for the top seat in the OVC’s East Division, improving to 14-11 overall and 8-3 within conference boundaries.