By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men's basketball team couldn't match a torrid pace from 3-point range set by Lipscomb Thursday evening, as the Bisons (3-6) downed the Golden Eagles (2-6) in a rugged and hard-nosed contest in Nashville, 104-85.
Lipscomb was nearly infallible over the game's first 20 minutes, firing at a 75.0 percent rate from beyond the 3-point arc and 61.5 percent mark from the field. The Bisons finished 9-for-12 in the half, scoring 54 points while the Golden Eagles struggled to match the offensive output.
Tech finished the half a cold 0-for-7 from downtown and shot just 34.6 percent from the floor. The team did manage to knock down 12-of-17 attempts at the charity stripe in the first stanza, but early foul trouble made it tough for a consistent offensive flow to take place for the team.
While the Golden Eagles heard the whistle 15 times in the first half, things would go on to significantly more challenging over the final 20 minutes. In the opening 94 seconds of the second half, 12 fouls were called, including an inexplicable nine on the visitors from Cookeville.
Tech would go on to finish with 38 fouls in the contest, with five players fouling out and leaving just six players on the bench, two of which accumulated four fouls on the night. Both tied program records for highest total of personal fouls and foul outs by a Golden Eagle team, making it nearly impossible to ever truly get an offensive flow going.
Lipscomb also saw a high foul count, getting whistled for 29 of its own and having two players foul out as well. All-in-all, 67 fouls were called in the game. The two squads combined to attempt 84 free throws, with Tech finishing 26-of-38 (68.4 percent) and Lipscomb converting 30-of-46 attempts (65.2 percent).
The Tech defense came alive in the second half with a high-pressure approach, forcing 16 second-half turnovers by the Bisons.
Offensively, Aleksa Jugovic finished the contest absolutely red hot from beyond the arc, tying his career-high with a game-high 30 points. The junior tied his own career-best mark with seven triples, knocking down seven in-a-row in the second half after starting the contest 0-for-3 from deep. He finished with 25 second-half points and a season-best six rebounds while shooting 8-for-12 from the field, 7-for-11 from 3-point range and 7-for-8 from the charity stripe.
True freshman Colton Blevins enjoyed his best performance of the year, posting career-highs in minutes (16), points (12), rebounds (four) and free throws (6-for-8). Hakeem Rogers also collected double figures in the scoring column, finishing with 14 points.
Lipscomb's Josh Williams led the way for the home team, scoring 20 points, including 18 in the first half on 4-for-6 shooting from the arc.
The Golden Eagles return to action as part of a stretch of three games in four days with a road contest at Alabama A&M Saturday evening. Tip is set for a 6 p.m. CT start in Huntsville, Ala.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information