By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Tennessee Tech kicks off its final month of regular-season play on the road, traveling to Illinois.
Tech tips off with SIUE on Thursday, Feb. 1 in an Education Day game at 11:30 a.m. CT and Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. CT.
- 2016-17 record: 14-17, 9-7 Ohio Valley Conference (finished 3rd in the regular season; lost to 7-seed Eastern Kentucky 61-58 in the tournament semifinals)
- Notables: With eight conference games remaining, SIUE sits at second in the league and trails leader Belmont by two games. The Cougars are one of three current OVC teams still chasing their first conference title (Jacksonville State and Morehead State)… SIUE head coach Paula Buscher, who has been at the helm for the Cougars since the 2012-13 season, is one win away from 300 in her 20-year coaching career. Buscher entered this season ranked third among current OVC coaches in wins – under her direction, SIUE came into the 2017-18 season with 78 wins.
Eastern Illinois Panthers (2-19, 1-9 OVC)
- 2016-17 record: 9-19, 5-11 Ohio Valley Conference (tied for 11th in the regular season)
- Notables: EIU is one of four OVC programs with a new head coach this season. Matt Bollant takes over for the Panthers with 15 years of coaching experience, including five years as the women's head coach at Illinois from 2012 to 2017. With Saturday's game, Tech will have faced every OVC team led by a first-year head coach (Belmont's Bart Brooks, Tennessee State's Jessica Kern and Murray State's Rechelle Turner)… Guard Karle Pace shared the latest adidas® OVC Freshman of the Week honor with Tech's Jordan Brock after a career game at Tennessee State. Pace scored 31 points, making 11 of her 18 field goal tries and shooting 60 percent from 3-point range. She also added four rebounds and a steal. Her previous career-best had been 18 points against Tennessee State earlier in the season.