COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Junior Molly Heady recorded her best game of the season Thursday night, and her 19 points was a catalyst for Tennessee Tech as the Golden Eagles vaulted back into a tie for the top spot in the Ohio Valley Conference East Division with an emphatic, 67-47 victory over Eastern Kentucky in the Eblen Center.
Tech can now clinch the division’s highest position and one of the top two seeds in next week’s OVC Tournament by wrapping up the regular season Saturday with another win over Morehead State.
Eastern Kentucky (17-9/11-4 OVC) had won four in a row coming
into Cookeville, including a 61-55 victory over the Golden Eagles
in Richmond just 10 days ago, and had claimed seven of its last
Tech (17-11/10-4 OVC) has won six of its last seven games, with the lone loss being the six-point fall at EKU.
Heady was 6-for-8 from the field, including 4-of-5 from long range, on the way to her game-best 19 points, one shy of her career-high. Diamond Henderson added 15 points while point guard Jala Harris finished with nine points and six assists. T’Keyah Williams led Tech to a 40-39 edge on the glass with 11 rebounds.
Marie Carpenter was the lone Lady Colonel to score in double figures with 10 points, while Brittany Cole added nine and Miranda Maples contributed eight points and six rebounds. Alex Jones topped EKU’s rebounding effort with 10.
Tech shot 8-for-18 from long range (44.4 percent) and managed 42.3 percent overall (22-for-52). EKU hit 25.5 percent (14-for-55) for the game and went 4-for-19 (21.1 percent) from outside the arc.
Kellie Cook dropped in back-to-back 3-pointers and Heady scored
five points, including a 3-pointer, in a decisive 14-2 run during a
four-minute span that allowed the Golden Eagles to rush from a
one-point lead to a 33-20 advantage in the first half, a difference
that the Golden Eagles rode to the finish line.
EKU had a couple of slim leads in the opening minutes, and the score was tied a twice in the first half, the last time coming at 16-all with 7:37 to play. After Raechele Gray’s layup made it a 19-18 Tech lead, the Golden Eagles used the long-ball to pull away before intermission.
The run started quietly, with a free throw by Henderson with 5:57 remaining. Cook then hit a three, and Henderson and Heady made layups to make it 27-18. A layup by LaRa’e Allen was the only damage EKU managed during the stretch, before Heady and Cook dropped bombs, with assists from Harris on both.
Tech was on top, 35-22, at halftime.
The Lady Colonels were within 11 in the second half, at 39-28, but Tech answered with a 12-4 run to spread the lead back to 19. It hit 20 points with 12:15 remaining, 52-32, on a free throw by Lashay Davis.
Tech’s largest margin of the night was 26 points, which came twice in the contest, before setting for the final 20-point win.
Tech will host one final game in the regular season Saturday
night, as Morehead State visits for an OVC doubleheader. Tipoff is
at 5:30 p.m. The game will be Senior Night, as Tech recognizes the
careers of five women’s players and two men who are wrapping
up their playing days at Tech.
For tickets, please visit or call the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center (931-372-3940).
GOLDEN NUGGETS: Tech improved to 8-1 against OVC East Division opponents…Diamond Henderson has scored in double figures in 11 consecutive games… Tech is now 54-22 in the all-time series against EKU.