By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, TN (SPECIAL TO WLAF) – With the game on the line, the Tennessee Tech women’s basketball team came up big at the free-throw line, using a 17-for-19 night as the momentum to hold off Western Carolina 67-63 on Wednesday night at the Hooper Eblen Center.
Former Campbell County Lady Cougar Madison Brady, playing as a true freshman, saw action in her second game for Tech. Brady played a minute in a tight win over Jacksonville State (68-66) on Sunday and four minutes in a 67-63 win Wednesday night over Western Carolina. Both wins came at home after a season opening loss on Friday at Chattanooga against the Lady Mocs.
“Sometimes you just have to dig in and find ways to win,” said Tech head coach Kim Rosamond. “I thought our kids did, especially in the second half. There’s not much pretty about it other than it was a W. I’m proud of the way they were able to dig deep. We made plays when we had to make plays. We won the game at the free-throw line.”
The Golden Eagles improve to 2-1 on the young season and return to action Saturday as they host Samford at 2 p.m.
Tech had four players score in double figures, led by Kesha Brady with her second straight Special Olympics Player of the Game selection as she led the Golden Eagles with 15 points. Jada Guinn added 12, Mackenzie Coleman 11 and Anna Jones 10.
Their cause was helped at the line as Tech was an efficient 17-for-19 at the charity stripe as Coleman went 7-for-7 and Brady 6-for-6.
“We shot nearly 90 percent and made some huge free throws,” Rosamond said. “We did a really good job of getting to the free throw line
Western Carolina (1-5) built its lead as the Golden Eagles weren’t able to get shots to fall, going 2-for-9 from long-range in the first quarter and it was only late into the second quarter that the Golden Eagles were able to get the 3-point shots to fall.
Adding to the difficulty, the Catamounts controlled the paint, piling on 42 points to Tech’s 10 inside.
“We struggled the whole game, but that’s to the credit of Western Carolina,” Rosamond said. “They are well-coached and play extremely hard. They play that sagging man defense and we were extremely hesitant and passive. We just really struggled to find a rhythm in the first half offensively.”
Once the Golden Eagles started to get its rhythm going, including a great first appearance for freshman Peyton Carter, Tech started to surge forward. Carter ended the game with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting – all 3-point tries – with two assists and a steal.
After falling behind by 10 points late in the second quarter, Tech went on a 12-2 run to close out the first half with a 25-25 tie.
Tech also maintained control on the glass, outrebounding WCU 34-30 and 13-8 on the offensive end. Coleman, Brady and Ohio Valley Conference co-Newcomer of the Week Anna Jones each had six boards.
The Golden Eagles were able to stay on top in the fourth quarter, going 13-of-15 from the free-throw line, and withstanding a WCU rally.
Kyla Allison led WCU with 17 points, while Zanoria Cruz added 12. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/17/2020-6AM).