By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
MARTIN, Tenn. – After a tough game on Thursday night, the Tennessee Tech women’s basketball team will put that game in the rearview and get set for Saturday’s opponent – long-time OVC rival UT Martin.
Tip-off from the Elam Center on Saturday is set for 1 p.m. Roger Ealey will have the call on 106.1 The Eagle, while Chris Brinkley will handle the broadcast on ESPN+ (subscription required).
Thursday’s game couldn’t have been any closer against Eastern Illinois as the OVC front-runner took the 67-62 victory. The Panthers jumped out to an early lead only for the Golden Eagles to close the gap at the half and take a lead in the third quarter. EIU retook the lead late and was able to stay on top as the final seconds ticked away.
Redshirt freshman Reagan Hurst led the Golden Eagles with a season-high 19 points, but statistically, both teams were nearly equal.
UT Martin (6-8, 2-1 OVC) comes into the contest with wins in their last two games, both decisive victories over Morehead State (63-48) and Southeast Missouri (77-58). The lone blemish on the league slate so far was a buzzer-beater at Little Rock as the Trojans prevailed 45-44.
The Skyhawks are getting big production out of freshman Sharnecce Currie-Jelks. The 6-2 forward has 11 double-digit scoring games this season, including a 30-spot on Southeast Missouri on Thursday. Currie-Jelks shot 12-for-15 from the floor and 6-for-8 at the stripe to pluck the Redhawks. She also had 13 rebounds – two shy of her season-best. For the season, Currie-Jelks is averaging 14.3 points and 7.1 rebounds.
Currie-Jelks is shooting .531 from the floor and .675 from the line.
Fellow freshman Kenley McCarn has a 19.8-point scoring average, but has not played since Nov. 21 at Marshall. She scored double digits in all four games she appeared in, posting 31 in the season opener against Troy.
The Skyhawks are also getting solid numbers out of Paige Pipkin, who is averaging 10.9 points, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals a game. Pipkin has not appeared in the Skyhawks’ last two games, but still had a good outing against Little Rock with 11 points and four rebounds. Pipkin is shooting .421 from the field and .360 from 3-point range with 18 makes.
Seygan Robins is a strong shooter from beyond the arc, knocking down a team-high 28 3-pointers, while averaging 8.4 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. Shea Littleford is averaging 10.1 points a game and leads the Skyhawks in assists with 3.6 per game.
As a team, UTM is shooting .414, .333 from 3 and .765 at the stripe. The Skyhawks are averaging 62.1 points per game and allowing 62.4.
UTM had a tough non-conference go of it, collecting a 3-7 record before entering conference play, but one of those three wins was a 66-54 victory at Vanderbilt.
The Golden Eagles saw their eight-game home winning streak come to a close, but Tech has won its last two road contests – and have won the last two meetings at the Elam Center. Tech has a 49-26 all-time record against the Skyhawks with the last 10 games falling as an even 5-5 split. UTM head coach Kevin McMillan is 14-7 against Tech, but Golden Eagle head coach Kim Rosamond has won five of her nine meetings against the Skyhawks.
Maaliya Owens leads the Golden Eagles with a 12.2-point average on the season, while Reagan Hurst is close to the decade mark with a 9.9 average. Anna Walker (9.8), Jada Guinn (8.7) and Reghan Grimes (8.2) are close as well.
Grimes leads the team in rebounding with a 5.8-board average, while Guinn leads the team in assists with a 3.7-clip.
Conference-only stats sees Hurst leading the way with a 14.0-point average, while Guinn (13.0) and Owens (11.3) are also into the double-digits. Peyton Carter leads the team in rebounding in OVC play with a 6.0-carom average.
For the year, Tech is shooting .425, .321 from long-range and .733 at the free-throw line.
Following Saturday’s game, the Golden Eagles return home to take on Morehead State on Thursday.
Photo | Jim Dillon
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