COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team has been waiting all season for this final stretch. Tech is finally in control of its own outcome as two 9-3 teams face-off Monday in a battle for the top spot in the OVC East Division when the Golden Eagles visit Eastern Kentucky. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. CT.
Tennessee Tech (15-10, 9-3 OVC) vs. Eastern Kentucky (15-8, 9-3 OVC)
Monday, Feb. 18, 2013
6:00 p.m. CT
Alumni Coliseum - Richmond, Ky.
Setting the Stage
With just four games remaining before the OVC Tournament, all eyes are focused on Richmond, Ky. The East Division has been chasing Belmont, but with a recent loss by the Bruins to Tennessee State, the race for the division lead now features Tennessee Tech and Eastern Kentucky. Both teams have three loses, but only one can cross the finish line with that same number Monday night.
The two teams will unite under one cause: Think Pink. Both teams will honor those who have fought and continue to fight their battle with breast cancer with flourishes of pink on their uniforms.
A Glance at the Golden Eagles
Tech is looking to continue its string of four wins, the most consecutive wins since the Golden Eagle run into the OVC Tournament last season. Tech is coming off of its highest scoring game this season, as they topped the Morehead State Eagles, 84-70, Saturday night. Tech shot 50 percent from the floor, and made 21 trips to the foul line. Even more impressive was the 43 rebounds Tech collected, marking just the fourth 40-plus rebound game this season.
Much of Tech's performance on the boards came from T'Keyah Williams who turned in her third double-double of the season. Williams scored 11 points and grabbed a career-high 13 boards. Williams has averaged 9.5 rebounds per game in the past four contests.
Diamond Henderson recorded her eighth-straight double-figure outing, scoring 26 points. Henderson has scored 20 points or more five times this season and averages 17.1 points per conference contest.
Senior point guard Jala Harris notched four assists, sending her over the 100 assists this season at 101. Harris averages 14.7 points per game.
Lashay Davis and Kellie Cook are Tech's go-to bombers in recent action. Both Davis and Cook shot 50 percent from behind the arc, making 2-of-4 apiece. Tech has shot above 40 percent from three-point range in the past four games, and shot well above 50 percent in two of it's past three road tests.
The Golden Eagles have had success off the bench recently, outscoring opponents bench in each of the past four wins. Tech has been getting key minutes from several players, as the starting five has rotated in each game.
As a team, the Purple and Gold average 66.7 points, a .425 field goal percentage, 6.5 three-pointers, 34.9 rebounds, 12.5 assists and 7.8 steals per game.
A Look at the Lady Colonels
The Lady Colonels have lost a key player to their lineup, but have two players remaining that average double-digits. Marie Carpenter leads Eastern Kentucky with 12.7 points per game, while Brittany Coles averages 12.6. Eastern Kentucky's leading rebounder is pulling down 9.4 boards per game, as the Lady Colonels are out-rebounding opponents by four boards per game.
The Lady Colonles are 5-1 on their home court in conference action, dropping their conference home-opener, but winning the past five conferences contests in the Alumni Coliseum.
Eastern Kentucky boasts the second-best scoring defense in the OVC, and averages a conference-high 4.9 blocked shots per game.
As a team, Eastern Kentucky averages 61.3 points, a .378 field goal percentage, 5.6 three-pointers, 42.0 rebounds, 12.9 assists and 8.7 steals per game.
Tech leads the series 53-21, with the two teams first meeting in the 1973-74 season. The Golden Eagles have won the past five pairings, dating back to 2010 when the Lady Colonels last beat Tech in a 61-60 thriller in Richmond.
Last season, Tech swept the series, meeting Eastern Kentucky twice during regular season and once in OVC Tournament play. In the tournament, Harris had a game-high 19 points, her best performance against the Lady Colonels.
In Tech's 82-67 road win at Eastern Kentucky, Molly Heady was the top returning scorer with 13 points, shooting 6-of-11 from the floor.
Tech is 8-2 in the past 10 meetings, both losses coming in Alumni Coliseum.