By Carey Phillips
Tennessee Tech let a 15-point first half lead get away but recovered to defeat Western Carolina 62-58 in non-conference women’s basketball action Dec. 17 at the Ramsey Center.
Kesha Brady scored 21 points for the Lady Eagles, and Mackenzie Coleman added 17.
Tembre Moates paced the Lady Cats (2-10) with 16 points. Andrea Martin-Ruiz and Jewel Smalls both scored 12, and Lauren LaPlant had 10.
WCU used a 10-1 run, including four by Moates, to take a 51-50 lead on Smalls’ basket with 4:09 left in the game.
Smalls’ three-pointer gave Western a 54-52 edge with 3:12 on the clock.
Maaliya Owens’ three--pointer with 2:43 to play put Tech ahead for good, 55-54.
The margin reached 59-54 on Brady’s foul shot at the 1:44 mark, and the Lady Eagles held on for the win.
Trailing 31-17 at halftime, Western got back in contention with 10 straight points, including four by Martin-Ruiz. LaPlant’s two foul shots capped the spurt cutting the gap to 35-32 with 4:17 left in the third quarter.
Smalls’ layup tied it 39-39 at the 1:26 mark.
Brady’s layup with 1:02 on the clock and Owens’ three-pointer with 31 seconds to play gave Tech a 44-39 lead entering the fourth period.
Martin-Ruiz’s basket gave the Lady Cats a 7-4 edge with 7:40 remaining in the opening stanza.
Brady’s three-pointer with 5:48 on the clock put the Lady Eagles in front 11-9, and they led 14-10 at the quarter break.
They opened the second period on an 11-2 run, including four by Anacia Wilkinson, for a 25-12 advantage on Harris’ basket with 3:14 on the clock.
The lead reached 29-14 on Coleman’s fast break layup at the 1:53 mark, and it was 31-17 at halftime.
Tech shot just 33.8 percent from the floor but made 13 of 17 foul shots. WCU hit 38.1 percent of its field goal tries and was five of six from the line.
Brady and Jada Guinn both had nine rebounds as the Lady Eagles controlled the glass 43-36. Smalls topped Western with seven.
The Lady Cats committed 14 turnovers, and Tech had 13.
Completing the WCU scoring were Alyssa Walker with five and Judith Martin-Ruiz with three.