Tech stays in-state for first OVC road trip to Belmont, Tennessee State

Tech stays in-state for first OVC road trip to Belmont, Tennessee State

By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Tech heads off on its first road trip of 2018, traveling to Nashville this week for meetings with Belmont and Tennessee State.

Tech tips off with Belmont on Thursday, Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. CT and Tennessee State on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. CT.

"Now we get to go on the road to the best team in the league, but we've got to be excited about that," said head coach Kim Rosamond after Tech's game on Saturday against Eastern Kentucky. "We've got to be excited about another opportunity. There is still a ton of basketball to be played. It's about how you bounce back and how you respond, and we've got to respond in a really positive way at Belmont on Thursday night."

LAST TIME OUT
The Golden Eagles are coming off a pair of close home losses to Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky in the opening weekend of OVC play, with both games coming down to opposing free throws.
 
Jordan Brock, MacKenzie Coleman and Akia Harris each put up double-figure performances in both games.
 
Brock's endurance was tested in both games. She was on the floor for 37 minutes against Morehead State, the first time all season she's played more than 27 minutes in a game, and was on the bench for just one minute versus Eastern Kentucky. She totaled 30 points and five 3-pointers.
 
Coleman was a combined four rebounds away from Tech's first double-double of the season. Her six blocks against Morehead State, her first-ever conference game, were the most by a Tech player in a single game in nearly two years.
 
Harris' performance against Morehead State was solid with 12 points, four rebounds and six assists, but her play two days later against Eastern Kentucky could be argued as the best of her Tech career. The sophomore put up a career-high 22 points and went 5-for-5 from 3-point range, which also marked a career-high. Seventeen of her points came in the fourth-quarter, helping Tech to 32 total points in its almost-comeback over EKU.
 
COMING UP
Tech's pair of opponents this week sit at both ends of the conference spectrum – 2016-17 OVC champion Belmont is looking to repeat both its regular-season and tournament titles this year, having only lost to Power Five programs Oklahoma and Stanford on the road and 2016-17 Horizon League co-champion Wright State by 10 points in Nashville this season. Meanwhile, Tennessee State just missed its first OVC win in a five-point loss to Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau last Saturday, having tied the score with 47 seconds left in the game.
 
Despite Belmont's recent success in its all-time series with Tech, the Golden Eagles still hold a 25-18 series lead over the Bruins. Tech is seeking its first win over the Bruins since the 2012-13 season and its first win in Nashville since Feb. 2, 2013, when the team defeated Belmont 67-62.
 
Against Tennessee State, Tech hopes to extend its four-game win streak over the Lady Tigers. The Golden Eagles have not lost to TSU since February 2015 and lead the all-time series 55-13.
 
BROADCAST INFORMATION
at Belmont
Thursday, Jan. 4, 5 p.m. CT
Live stream: OVC Digital Network
 
at Tennessee State
Saturday, Jan. 6, 2 p.m. CT
Live stream: OVC Digital Network
 
A LOOK AT THE OPPONENTS
Belmont Bruins (12-3, 2-0 OVC)
  • 2016-17 record: 27-6, 16-0 Ohio Valley Conference (won the regular-season title; defeated 7-seed Eastern Kentucky 94-64 in the tournament championship)
  • Notables: Belmont is now led by first-year head coach Bart Brooks after former head coach Cameron Newbauer left to fill the same position at the University of Florida. Tech's last win over Belmont was a 61-57 victory in the 2013 OVC tournament, which turned out to be the penultimate game before Newbauer was named head coach… The Bruins have at least two players in the OVC's top 10 of each of the following statistical categories: scoring (Kylee Smith [19.6] and Darby Maggard [16.3]), rebounding (Jenny Roy [7.9] and Smith [7.5]), field goal percentage (Maggard [.473] and Smith [.460]), assists (Maggard [5.3], Smith [4.7] and Roy [4.1], 3-point percentage (Maggard [.426] and Smith [.389]), 3-point field goals made (Maggard [3.3] and Smith [2.8]), assist/turnover ratio (Maggard [3.6], Roy [3.1] and Smith [1.6]) and defensive rebounds (Smith [6.2] and Roy [4.7]).
Tennessee State Lady Tigers (2-9, 0-2 OVC)
  • 2016-17 record: 10-16, 5-11 Ohio Valley Conference (tied for 11th in the regular season)
  • Notables: Standout freshman guard Taylor Roberts has won four of the eight OVC Freshman of the Week honors this season. Roberts ranks sixth in the league in both scoring (16.1 PPG) and rebounding (7.5 RPG) and is the youngest player in the top 10 of each category. She also leads the OVC in free throw percentage, making 86.6 percent of her tries… Only two of Tennessee State's 15 players hail from Tennessee, while eight of Tech's 15 players are from the Volunteer State.
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Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information