By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Tennessee Tech entered Jacksonville State's Pete Mathews Coliseum on Thursday morning with recent history not on its side. Although the Golden Eagles had beaten the Gamecocks in two of their last three match-ups, they had not been so fortunate in Jacksonville, dropping four-straight games on the road.
Tech got off to a promising start to kick things off, ending the first quarter with a 15-13 lead.
It was a two-point lead that would end up giving the Golden Eagles the game.
Tennessee Tech knocked off Jacksonville State on Thursday by a score of 60-58, marking Tech's first win in Jacksonville since December 2012 and snapping that aforementioned four-game road losing streak. Tech improved to 3-10 in the OVC and won its second-straight road game.
Jacksonville State, previously tied for third in the conference, fell to 8-5 and lost just its second OVC contest inside its home gym.
"Our kids just battled, fought and stayed together the entire game," said head coach Kim Rosamond. "They really played with a lot of heart."
Tech has reversed its luck in close games, defeating both Eastern Illinois last week and Jacksonville State today by a combined five points. Before playing EIU, Tech had dropped three of its last six conference games by four points or less.
Along with the win itself, the Golden Eagles can leave Alabama pleased with a number of aspects about their play.
As a team, Tech put up 60 points on a Jacksonville State squad that entered the game allowing an OVC-leading average of just 56.5 points per game. Defensively, Tech allowed just 58 points when JSU had previously averaged 62.8. The Golden Eagles also forced 17 JSU turnovers, which they converted into 16 points.
Individually, Yaktavia "Shug" Hickson put together arguably one of her best performances ever in her four years in a Tech uniform. The senior scored a season-high 21 points and added 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the year.
Today's game also ended Hickson's streak of 22-straight free throws, but she went 8 for 12 from the line to give Tech some key points at crucial spots.
MacKenzie Coleman and Jordan Brock were Tech's two other double-figure scorers, putting up 12 and 10 points respectively. The Golden Eagles also got another game of great play out of Abby Buckner, who paced the team with three steals and was the second-leading rebounder with four boards. She also added seven points and a crucial free throw to give Tech a three-point lead with 12 seconds left in the game.