OVC women's basketball action kicks off at Jacksonville State

OVC women's basketball action kicks off at Jacksonville State


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Women's hoops travels to Jacksonville State to kick off Ohio Valley Conference action Saturday. The Golden Eagles will play in their fifth game on the road and are looking to get back above .500. Tip-off is at 2:00 p.m. 

Tennessee Tech (6-6, 0-0 OVC) vs. Jacksonville State (0-12, 0-0 OVC)
Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012
2:00 p.m. CT
Pete Mathews Coliseum - Jacksonville, Ala. 

The Broadcasts
TV: none
Radio: Fox Sports Radio, 106.1 The Eagle (Roger Ealey)
Webcast: OVC Digital Network
Live Stats

Setting the Stage:
Ohio Valley Conference action: this is what the past 12 games have been preparing for. The Golden Eagles have been to the OVC Tournament Championship game the past two seasons, and they're like sharks in the water. Standing in their way are 11 other teams, and their first target is Jacksonville State.

The OVC has taken on a new format for the 2012-13 season with the addition of Belmont. The conference has divided into the East and West Division. Tech, preseason favorites to win the East, must play Eastern Kentucky, Belmont, Tennessee State, Morehead State and Jacksonville State twice, and play each team in the West once. This will be the first meeting between Jacksonville and Tech this season, and the Golden Eagles take on the weakest prey first. JSU is 0-12 this season, but in their struggle to find their first victory, the Gamecocks lost to Samford University by three points earlier in November. The Golden Eagles defeated Samford just two weeks later by nine. 

It's been five years since Gamecocks have defeated the Golden Eagles, when Jacksonville State downed the Golden Eagles in the Eblen Center, but the Purple and Gold still hold a 15-3 all-time series lead. 

A Glance at the 2012-13 Golden Eagles
The Golden Eagles have grounded Owls, caged Bulldogs and coralled the Herd, but in the battle of the birds, they look to seniors Jala Harris, Kellie Cook, Kylie Cook and Katherine Barker. The group is 6-0 against the Gamecocks and the Cook sisters have both had notable games against JSU. Kellie Cook scored 20 points at JSU in 2009, and Kyllie Cook scored 15 in 2010. Up until Saturday's win against Marshall, Harris had a career high five assists against the Gamecocks. 

The seniors are currently leading a balanced Golden Eagle squad that has bounced back from a tough trip to New York City with a big win over Marshall University. Jala Harris set a new career assists record with eight against the Herd but it was T'Keyah Williams who had her second break out game of the season. Williams, who leads the team with 6.1 rebounds per game, had a double-double in the first game of the season against Tennessee Wesleyan College, but hasn't made the same type of impact since, but at Marshall Williams took over the game. She scored 18 points in a dominating performance in the paint. 

The Golden Eagles had three different players scoring double-digit points for just the fourth time this season as freshman Mariah Dean made her presence known, scoring 12 points in just 14 minutes of play. 

The Purple and Gold have many contributers to their offense, but leading the team is sophomroe Diamond Henderson, averaging 15.3 points per game. Lashay Davis consistnently lends her shooting skills behind the arc, draining 19 three's this season, and averaging 7.3 points per game. Davis also leads the team with 1.9 steals per game, with a season total of 23 steals. Harris is contribuing 11.2 points per game and captain Molly Heady adds 6.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. 

A Look at the Gamecocks
Jacksonville State is still searching for their first win of the season. They have taken on formidable opponents, including Alabama and Georgia State, but the Red and White are winless. The Gamecocks are averaging 52.8 points per game and are led by Briana Morrow who averages 9.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. 

Series History
Tech and Jacksonville State first met in the 2003-04 season and Tech won the first two meetings before dropping both contests in 2004-05. The Golden Eagles have only lost once since then in 2008 in the Eblen Center holding a 15-3 advantage over the Gamecocks. 

The Golden Eagles defeated the Gamecocks in both meetings during the 2011-12 season. Tech won at home 65-59 before traveling to JSU and winning 62-50. 

For complete gamenotes, please click here.