By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Golden Eagles got back in the win column in thrilling fashion as a career day for Kesha Brady helped lead the Golden Eagles to a dominant 72-57 road victory over the Samford Bulldogs on Sunday at the Pete Hanna Center.
"I couldn't be prouder of our team and their response today," expressed head coach Kim Rosamond. "We have thrown them into the fire so to speak with a very difficult road swing, and to see them respond and grow from a disappointing loss on Thursday is very encouraging."
Brady surpassed her previous career-high of 23 points as she led the Golden Eagles offensively with an impressive 33-point performance in the win. She netted 21 points through the first half, marking the most for a Golden Eagle since Yaktavia Hickson dropped 25 against Belmont on January 21, 2017. Brady finished the day with 33 points in the contest, tying Jordan Brock's career-high of 33 last season during Tech's 99-88 win over Eastern Illinois on January 12, 2019. Brady shot a tremendous 69 percent from the field and 80 percent from 3-point range, while also knocking down all 11 of her free throws. Brady also led the Golden Eagles in boards and takeaways, tying for a game-high eight rebounds, and grabbing a team-high three steals in the contest.
"We had so many people step up and make plays, but you have to start with Kesha Brady," said coach Rosamond. "Kesha was huge today. She knocked down shots, got to the free throw line, defended and rebounded at an elite level. When she plays with the aggression and poise she played with today, she is a nightmare to defend."
The Golden Eagles had numerous players making key plays to contribute to the Golden Eagles triumphant win over the Samford Bulldogs. Anacia Wilkinson and Mackenzie Coleman were dominant in the post for the Golden Eagles as both picked up a pair of blocks. Akia Harris dished out a team-high five assists in the win.
"I could go down the line of players who stepped up and made big plays at crucial times. We were adamant about being a better rebounding team and strides were definitely made in that area," said coach Rosamond. "We finally got back to finishing at the free throw line as well as at the rim. I thought today our players finally got tired of beating themselves and went out and took the game. Samford is a good team with a lot of really solid parts, and to be able to get a win on the road is a confidence builder for us."
The Golden Eagles led through most of the opening frame, however, a Bulldog jump shot with a minute to play gave the Bulldogs a 20-18 lead. Tech responded to hold the Bulldogs scoreless through the final minute to retake a 22-20 lead after the first 10 minutes of play.
Tech continued the momentum into the second quarter as the Golden Eagles extended their lead back out to five at the 7:32-mark of the period, 28-23. Over the next three minutes of play, the Bulldogs produced a 6-0 run to close the gap to take a one-point lead, their first since the opening period and their final lead of the contest, 29-28. Needing a bucket, Brady responded with a huge corner three for the Golden Eagles to quickly retake the lead, 31-29, and spark an 8-4 Tech run to close out the half and send Tech into the locker room with a three-point advantage, 36-33.
The Bulldogs struggled to find an answer for Tech's shooters as the Golden Eagles opened the third period with a 12-4 run to give the Golden Eagles their first double-digit lead of the contest with only a little over three minutes to play in the third. Samford would control the final minutes of the period as they outscored Tech to cut the Golden Eagles' lead to seven heading into the final quarter, 51-44.
Coleman connected on a layup to open the fourth and a pair of huge 3-pointers from Megan Clark extended Tech's lead to its largest of the contest thus far, 59-45. The Bulldogs would close back within eight following a 9-2 run through the 3:17-minute mark of the fourth period, but that was as close as it would get. The Golden Eagles outscored the Bulldogs 11-5 through the remainder of the contest to seal the 15-point victory, 72-57.
The Golden Eagles take a break for the Thanksgiving holidays before they head to Las Vegas, Nev. for the South Point Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 29-30.
Photo by Thomas Corhern