By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE – Although it got close, Tennessee Tech is still searching for its first OVC win of the season after a 10-point loss at Tennessee State on Saturday.
Tech fell to TSU 76-66 in its second trip to Nashville in the past three days, giving the Lady Tigers (3-10, 1-3 OVC) their first conference win.
"I thought we did some things better today," said head coach Kim Rosamond. "We had four people in double-figures and we rebounded better today, but obviously we didn't do enough things well. A disappointing loss, we've just got to keep working. This team needs a little bit of confidence."
The Golden Eagles looked as they were on their way to solving their first-quarter woes on Saturday afternoon, trailing by five points at the end of the quarter and heading into the locker room at halftime down just 37-33.
Tennessee State opened up a 12-point lead with 3:41 to go in the third quarter, but with the help of some TSU turnovers, a handful of Tech layups and a 3-pointer from Jordan Brock, the Golden Eagles cut their deficit to 58-53 heading into the fourth quarter.
While Tech has owned the closing half of many of its games this season, the team struggled in the fourth quarter. The Golden Eagles shot a game-low 27.8 percent in the final period but managed to cut Tennessee State's lead to 64-60 with 4:41 to go in the game. However, TSU hit 10 of its last 12 free throws to close out the 76-66 win.
Despite the loss, Tech racked up some statistics of note versus Tennessee State. The Golden Eagles outrebounded the Lady Tigers 32-29, which marked the first time Tech has rebounded an opponent since playing Lipscomb on Dec. 21 (33-28). Fifteen of Tech's rebounds were offensive, which matched the team-high number set on Nov. 27 at Georgia. Tech also earned 12 second-chance points from those rebounds.
Four of Tech's five starters scored in double-figures, while guard Akia Harris came extremely close with nine points (but had a team-leading seven assists). Yaktavia "Shug" Hickson, who never left the floor on Saturday, led the Golden Eagles in scoring. She totaled 14 points along with eight rebounds to match her season-high. MacKenzie Coleman followed with 13 points and seven rebounds.