Krystal Stirrup was 15 days old the last time the Tennessee Tech women’s basketball team roared out to an 8-2 start. Nobody else on this year’s Golden Eagle roster was even born yet. That puts into perspective just what the current squad has accomplished in the first month of the season, following a 62-48 victory over Southeast Missouri Tuesday night in Eblen Center. Tech’s win, coupled with a three-point loss by Morehead State at Austin Peay Tuesday night, puts the Golden Eagles alone in first place in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 3-0 mark. This time it was a balanced attack and tenacious work on the boards that led to the win. Tech held a 48-31 margin in rebounds, including 22 on the offensive glass. SEMO was held to just five offensive rebounds. It led to a 21-1 difference for Tech in second-chance points. Tech’s fourth win in a row upped its record to 8-2 overall and 3-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play. The last time Tech opened with that record was in the 1989-90 season. Southeast Missouri, suffering its eighth consecutive road loss, slipped to 4-8 overall and 1-3 within the league.
For the second consecutive game, juniors Tacarra Hayes and Brittany Darling led the way, each coming within one rebound of notching double-doubles. Hayes had 13 points and nine rebounds, and also dished out four assists. Darling added 13 points and nine rebounds, and blocked two shots. Freshman Molly Heady (photo above) and junior Rachel Glidden also scored in double figures for Tech to provide a balanced attack. Heady finished with 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting while Glidden had 10 points. Point guard Briana Jordan had four points and four steals. It was a satisfying victory for Tech, which had dropped six of the last seven to the Redhawks including two of the last three in Eblen Center. Next on the agenda for the team is a brief holiday break, followed by two non-conference games. Tech visits Central Florida on Wednesday, Dec. 29, for a 3:30 (CT) p.m. contest against the Knights. The Golden Eagles are back in Eblen Center on Sunday, Jan. 2, to host St. Louis at 2 p.m. in the first game of an afternoon doubleheader.