By Jocelyn VerVelde, Sports Information Coordinator
AKRON, Ohio - In a rematch from 2012-13 that looked good enough for prime time, Tennessee Tech and Mid-American Conference opponent Akron squared off in front of hundreds of screaming kids for a 9:30 a.m. "Youth Day" Game on the campus of the University of Akron.
Both 2012-13 conference tournament runners-up, both picked to win their respective conference divisions in 2013-14, and both starting two preseason all-conference players, Tech and Akron took the court and for the second straight season, Akron had the upper hand, winning 118-71.
"There are some lessons we can learn from this game, and the primary lesson is that Akron is a very good basketball team and they are skilled," said head coach Jim Davis. "We have good athletes, and right now we don't have good players. This group from Akron has made themselves into good players, and I gaurantee that does not happen only during their practices. Akron's players put in the extra time to become this skilled. The diffference is that we haven't developed those skills to pass and shoot and handle the ball during the two hours of practice everyday, and I know our young players aren't working on their own. We can't get it done in two hours a day, and we need to get them to have pride in their work and ability."
Akron opened up the game in the first half as they held the Golden Eagles to 26 first half points while pouring in 60, including 23 from one of Akron's two preseason all-conference players, senior guard Hannah Lunburgh.
The Zips forced the Golden Eagles into 13 first half
turnovers and scored 15 points off those miscues.
Out of the break, the Golden Eagles were looking for some sort of spark. Junior Diamond Henderson, one of Tech's preseason all-OVC picks, did her part to provide one. Going into the first official timeout at the 16 minute mark of the second half, Henderson had already added 10 points in the half. But it was not enough as the Golden Eagles never pulled within less than 28 points in the half.
Tech was led by Henderson who finished with 20 points. Junior T'Keyah Williams added 15 points and seven rebounds and freshman Hannah Goolsby added 14 points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal.
The Zips were led by Luburgh who finished with 33 points, three assists and four rebounds. Rachel Tecca, Akron's other preseason all-MAC player, finished with 23 points and nine rebounds, and Anita Brown posted the game's only double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
"It's behind us and we need to move on," said Davis. "We need to learn how to defend moving forward, develop pride in our basketball team and in their ability to compete on the defensive end of the floor."
The Golden Eagles return to action on Nov. 21 as they head to Mississippi State for a 7 p.m. CT game.