By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A frigid start on offense to start the second half doomed the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team Monday night, as the Golden Eagles fell to in-state rival Lipscomb in the Hooper Eblen Center, 78-65.
It was during the opening 10 minutes of the second stanza where the visiting Bisons (3-4) really pulled away in a relatively close battle for much of the contest prior. During that span, the Golden Eagles (2-6) saw just three of their 18 attempts from the field fall. Lipscomb also forced five Tech turnovers during the stretch, pulling ahead by 11 points.
The Golden Eagles held its largest lead of the contest with just under four minutes to play in the first half, thanks to a hot-handed Jared Sherfield. The sophomore drained back-to-back-to-back triples on three consecutive possessions, taking Tech from a two-point deficit to a seven-point advantage heading into the final media break of the half.
Tech showed improvement in the turnover department, making just 14 on the night. The Golden Eagles also turned in a strong showing on the glass, out-rebounding the Bisons 43-36 overall and 17-7 on the offensive boards.
Junior forward Larry Kuimi, who earned his second straight start, led the effort on the boards, snaring a game-high and season-best 10 on the night. He also added a season-high seven points while finishing +4 when on the floor.
Jr. Clay, who was named the Special Olympics Player of the Game, paced the Golden Eagle offensive attack, channeling in for a season-high 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting. The sophomore guard hit four of his eight tries from downtown and made just one turnover in the contest. Sherfield joined Clay in double figures, totaling a season-best 11 points.
The Tech squad will get a brief break for Thanksgiving before returning to the hardwood for a contest next Monday, Dec. 2 against Reinhardt University. Tip is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT in the Eblen Center. The Golden Eagles will get an opportunity to redeem themselves with a Dec. 17 rematch with Bisons in Nashville later this season.
Season tickets for Tennessee Tech basketball are on sale now. Call (931) 372-3940, visit the Hooper Eblen Center ticket office, or log on to TTUSports.com to order yours today.
Photo by Thomas Corhern