RICHMOND, Ky. -- The road to the top seed in Ohio Valley Conference East Division got a little rockier for the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team Monday night, but Coach Jim Davis' squad still has a clear road map in front of them and a full tank of gas.
The Golden Eagles lost its hold on first place with a 61-55 loss at Eastern Kentucky, slipping one game back into a tie for second place with Belmont behind the Lady Colonels. But with three games remaining, including two at home Tech can still arrive at the top seed if it can navigate the remainder of the season in the win column.
Eastern Kentucky (16-8, 10-3 OVC) was led by Marie Carpenter with 18 points and Brittany Coles with 15 points and 8 rebounds and won the game outside the three-point arc. The Lady Colonel defense held the Golden Eagles to just 3-of-14 three pointer while five Lady Colonels combined to go 9-for-20, making seven threes in the first half.
Tech (15-11, 9-4 OVC) had the edge in the paint in a physical game, outscoring Eastern Kentucky 30-22 in the paint and outrebounded the Lady Colonels 41-34, but couldn't overcome the 18 point difference from long range.
Diamond Henderson led the Purple and Gold with 17 points and T'Keyah Williams finished just shy of her fourth double-double with 14 points and seven rebounds. Jala Harris led the Golden Eagles with five assists and nine points. Molly Heady and Kylie Cook each chipped in with six points.
Tech's largest lead of the game was four points, 7-3 in the opening minutes. While Eastern Kentucky came back to lead for the final 8:27 minutes of the first half, with their largest lead only grossing to six and Tech came within three at the half, 30-27.
Eastern Kentucky went on an early 9-2 run on its way to the largest lead of the game as Tech trailed by twelve, 41-29. The Golden Eagles battled back within two points at the mid-way point thanks to Williams eight points in five possessions. The Lady Colonels went on a late a 7-0 run, extending their lead to 56-46 with 3:57 to play. Tech fought hard to make it a two-possession game, but came up short losing by a final score of 61-55.
The Golden Eagles return to action in one week in their final road game of the season. Tech travels to Southeast Missouri to take on the Redhawks for a 6:30 p.m. CT tip-off.