Tech ends season hosting Tennessee State, Jacksonville State

Tech ends season hosting Tennessee State, Jacksonville State

By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech women's basketball closes its 2017-18 campaign this week with a pair of home games, hosting Tennessee State and Jacksonville State.

Tech tips off with Tennessee State on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. CT and Jacksonville State on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m. CT.

The Golden Eagles will honor seniors Asia Harper and Yaktavia "Shug" Hickson in a postgame ceremony on Saturday (between the end of the women's game and the start of the men's game), which is likely to begin around 7:30 p.m. CT.

Tech split its earlier meetings with Tennessee State and Jacksonville State this season.
The Golden Eagles played at TSU as part of its Nashville road trip at the beginning of January, falling to the Lady Tigers 76-66. Tennessee State shot 52.2 percent from the field, its best mark of the season, and was aided by a 26-point performance from redshirt junior Tia Wooten. Tech's offensive contributors were widespread – four of its five starters scored in double-figures, and fifth starter Akia Harris came close with nine points, along with seven assists to lead all players.
The Golden Eagles are 55-14 all-time vs. Tennessee State and 25-5 in Cookeville.
Tech started up a two-game winning streak on the road in its game at Jacksonville State, recording its first victory in Jacksonville since December 2012. The Golden Eagles had previously lost four-straight at the Pete Mathews Coliseum. Tech took a 60-58 win after JSU hit a meaningless 3-pointer as time expired. Yaktavia "Shug" Hickson put up her second double-double of the year with a season-high 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Tech leads its all-time series with JSU 21-9 and is 12-3 in Cookeville.
After one block at Austin Peay, freshman post MacKenzie Coleman still needs just four blocks to tie and five to break the single-season freshman record for blocked shots, which Melinda Clayton Hatfield owns with her 51 blocks in the 1986-87 season. Coleman currently has 47 blocked shots.
PROMOTIONS vs. Tennessee State
  • Youth Basketball Night – Any child wearing his or her basketball uniform will receive free admission.
Tech headed out on its final road stretch last week, traveling to Austin Peay and Murray State to complete its home-and-home series with both teams.
The Golden Eagles started off in Clarksville, falling 53-52 to the Governors to split the season series. The game was Tech's third of the season decided in the final seconds, as APSU hit two free throws to pull ahead for the win. The Golden Eagles struggled offensively, putting up their second-lowest point total in conference play this season. Both of Tech's games this season with Austin Peay (Tech won at home back in January by a score of 63-59) were decided by a total of five points.
Jordan Brock hit three treys to give her 62 at the time, becoming the first Tech player to total 60 in a single season since then-senior Lashay Davis made 60 back in 2012-13. Tech also forced 23 APSU turnovers, well above the Governors' previous average of 15.6.
The Golden Eagle offense turned things around two days later at Murray State, exploding for 73 points in an 80-73 loss to the Racers. Tech's 73-point total was its highest in conference play and marked its fourth time this season scoring 70 points or more. Its 46.9 shooting percentage was also its second-best mark of the year. Four Golden Eagles scored in double-figures, highlighted by Coleman's impressive 9-of-10 performance from the field.
Tech also tied a season-high with 19 assists, led by Brock's career-high of six.
vs. Tennessee State
Thursday, Feb. 22, 5:30 p.m. CT
Live stream: OVC Digital Network
vs. Jacksonville State
Saturday, Feb. 24, 5:30 p.m. CT
Live stream: OVC Digital Network
Tennessee State Lady Tigers (6-19, 4-12 OVC)
  • 2016-17 record: 10-16, 5-11 Ohio Valley Conference (tied for 12th in the regular season)
  • Notables: Tennessee State grabbed its third conference victory with a 69-58 win over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday and is now two games behind Murray State, which is ranked eighth in the conference standings, with two games to go in the regular season. Tennessee State could possibly tie with Murray State or both Murray State and Eastern Kentucky for the eighth spot in the OVC Tournament but cannot qualify for the tournament due to its loss to Murray State earlier in the year… TSU continues to rank toward the top of the league in free throw percentage, a statistic the team was dead last in just last season at 64.0 percent. The Lady Tigers stand at second in the OVC, shooting 75.4 percent from the free-throw line. Freshman Taylor Roberts leads the team and individually ranks fourth in the conference at 83.4 percent.

Jacksonville State Gamecocks (17-10, 11-5 OVC)

  • 2016-17 record: 13-15, 6-10 Ohio Valley Conference (finished 10th in the regular season)
  • Notables: With its one-point win at Austin Peay last Saturday, Jacksonville State reached 11 conference wins this season to tie a school record. The 2015-16 Gamecocks went 11-5 back when the OVC played a 16-game schedule. JSU hosts Belmont, ranked 23rd in the AP top-25 poll, this coming Saturday before traveling to Cookeville… The Gamecocks have overcome fourth-quarter deficits of at least seven points in each of their last three games. JSU trailed by 10 in its most recent game at Austin Peay and won 51-50, by seven at Murray State and won 59-55 and by eight vs. Tennessee State and won 62-61. Jacksonville State's last loss came to Tech on Feb. 8 in Alabama by a score of 60-58.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information