Shug's 1,000-point career highlights Tech's win over Cumberland, return to Cookeville

Shug's 1,000-point career highlights Tech's win over Cumberland, return to Cookeville

By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Thursday night turned out to be a tremendous homecoming for the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team.

It wasn't a homecoming that you'd traditionally think of in the context of collegiate athletics, but it was one that Tech needed.

After slogging through a seven-game stretch with five road contests to open the 2017-18 season, the Golden Eagles finally returned to Cookeville to post an 83-52 win over Cumberland University (5-4), starting a six-game home stand for Tech.

"We needed it," head coach Kim Rosamond said of the team's win. "It probably wasn't the prettiest game or the best executed game on either ends of the floor, but it was a win."

Tech (2-6) was just a point shy of matching its season-best of 84 points, scored in its home opener against Tennessee Wesleyan nearly a month ago. It was just what the Golden Eagles needed after their lacking offensive performances in their last few games.

Seventeen of those points came from senior guard Yaktavia "Shug" Hickson, putting her into the Tech record books as the 30th Golden Eagle in program history to total 1,000 points in a career. She now stands at 1,002 points and has an excellent shot of moving higher up in the rankings (Samaria Howard and Hannah Goolsby are tied for 29th with 1,059 points each in their Tech careers). Hickson was named the First National Bank of Tennessee-Special Olympics Player of the Game.

"There's nobody more deserving. She's the energy and the heart of our team," said Rosamond.

"I want to thank my teammates and my coaches," said Hickson. "Coach Rose always tells us we need to get in the gym, that way once we're in the gym, and we're used to making shots and just getting in the extra work, that shows."

Freshman Jordan Brock led for Tech in scoring, collecting a career-high 21 points. All 12 of her shots were from 3-point range, and she hit seven of Tech's 10 total 3-pointers. Fellow youngster Kesha Brady put up 15 points for her third double-figure output in a row.

Akia Harris continued her unselfish play with a team-high five assists, while Hickson led on the boards with seven rebounds. MacKenzie Coleman also totaled five.

Megan Clark and Brittany Cooper also saw their first minutes on the floor for Tech this season.

Tech will have another quick turnaround this weekend, facing IUPUI in a 2 p.m. CT tip-off on Sunday, Dec. 10.
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Photo by Jim Dillon