By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – After a period of nine days between games, Tech resumed its season on Tuesday morning in a meeting with Winthrop.
The Golden Eagles picked up a 70-41 win over the visiting Eagles, improving their record to 3-7 with a game left in non-conference play.
Tech also hosted its first Education Day in conjunction with the game, introducing the initiative to the Cookeville community. A crowd of 1,519, many of which were local middle school students, came to watch the Golden Eagles in the early tip-off.
"I thought it was a tremendous environment," said head coach Kim Rosamond. "It was a great crowd, it was a great atmosphere, and I think it's something that we can continue building on. It's going to be really positive thing moving forward with our community."
As today marked its first game since Dec. 10, Tech got off to a rough start. In the first quarter, the Golden Eagles made just 18.8 percent of their shots (3-of-16) and ended the quarter tied with Winthrop at 10-all.
Tech found its footing in the second quarter and went on a 19-3 run in the last seven minutes of the period, which opened up a 14-point lead at halftime.
In the game as a whole, Tech out-rebounded Winthrop 46-34 and shot 42.9 percent from the floor, including 47.6 percent from 3-point range.
The team also cut down its turnovers, giving up the ball 16 times after a 27-turnover performance against IUPUI on Dec. 10.
"It looked like we had been off nine days, and it took us a little while to get going," said head coach Kim Rosamond on the opening quarter. "I thought Jordan Brock came in and ignited us. Kesha Brady obviously did some really good things today.
"Overall, (it was) a solid win. Any time you can hold a team to 41 points, you're doing some good things on the defensive end."
Freshman Jordan Brock played a big role in Tech's 3-point success, coming off the bench to make five of her eight attempts and total 15 points overall, along with six rebounds.
Kesha Brady received the title of First National Bank of Tennessee-Special Olympics Player of the Game, scoring 19 points for her fifth-straight double-figure performance. Brady's shot selection and efficiency were excellent, making all five of her shots (two from beyond the arc) and missing just one of her eight free throw attempts. She also brought down five rebounds.
But when it came to boards, Asia Harper shone for Tech. The senior had never totaled more than eight rebounds in a game at Tech until she collected 12 today. That also marked the first time this season an individual Tech player totaled 10 or more rebounds in a game.
"I'm really, really proud of Asia Harper's effort today on the board," said Rosamond. "I know that Coach (Melanie) Walls has made that a personal thing for her to really get Asia motivated over the last couple days and rebound better. I think Asia Harper can be that X-factor for us, especially on the glass. You saw that today, and it really gave our team a huge boost."
Yaktavia "Shug" Hickson and MacKenzie Coleman also contributed to Tech's rebounding numbers, collecting eight and seven boards respectively. Coleman additionally had her second-straight game with four blocks.
"This has been a tough first 10 games for us, and so we're still figuring out how to win and still trying to experience success," said Rosamond. "We're getting there, but we are definitely still a work in progress. It was really good to be able to get back out on the court today after nine days of working on us and see some of those things come to fruition."